Review by Fou Lu

""You were supposed to be the Chosen One...""

I am reviewing the New Game Enhancements that SoE and LucasArts recently added to Star Wars Galaxies. This turned a 2 year old game into a completely different game than it orginally was. The NGE was made live on SWG November 15th, 2005.

Star Wars, perhaps one of the greatest movie sagas of all time, spanning multiple decades and making most of us wish we could take part in those wonderous adventures, fight along side the Jedi, or perhaps try to crush the Rebellion and aid Darth Vader. Well, SWG gives you this very chance. The game is mysteriously set in between Episode 4 and 5 (A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back). You assume the role of a customized character of your choosing. But wait, why did I say it's "mysteriously" set in between those episodes ? Well.... Instead of Luke being the only Jedi left, there's about a billion more in SWG, all players. Vader and the Emperor don't seem to care either, since they just let them run around and do nothing about it. Also, there seems to be Jedi Starfighters, Battle Droids, and a TON of content that shouldn't happen in the time period that the game is set in. But.. There's nothing wrong with that I guess, it just takes away from the whole storyline.

You start off the game by making your character. You can choose between many different races from the Star Wars universe (Humans, Mon Calamarians (fish people), Bothans (dog like people), Transdoshans (lizard people), Zabraks (think Darth Maul), Ithorians (wierd looking aliens), Wookies, and Sulustrans (ugly looking human-like aliens). You then get to chose your look, eye color, eye size.. Let's just say there's a TON of customization you can do, which really makes your character stand out in a crowd. You then get to chose some clothing, and then your profession. Currently, there are 9 in the game: Jedi (for melee fighting, lightsaber fighting, all that magic-like stuff), Bounty Hunter (good with guns, and can get missions to hunt down NPCs), Traders (they can ONLY make/sell things, they can't fight at all), Entertainers (who do NOTHING), Spy (use stealth to fight enemies), Officer (gun fighter, and can buff party members), Medic (healing people), Commando (very good with guns), and Smuggler (good with guns and like to use cheap tricks to beat enemies).

Once you've picked your job, you'll be taken to a tutorial zone where you'll need to complete a series of quests to get the hang of the game. Once you hit level 5, you can actually get into the game and head to the Planet Tatooine, where you'll begin a series of quests that should take you all the way to level 30. You'll be able to visit many other planets, and each one is massive, filled with all sorts of monsters and scenery. You can even go visit key places from Star Wars like Jabba's Palace, or go to the Palace on Naboo.

Getting around is done by walking, taking a transport shuttle to a town on whichever planet you're on, or hopping on your speeder. If you're lucky enough to have played before the NGE, you might even have a creature that you can mount and run around on. You can go to another planet simply by visiting a Starport and either using your own personal space ship, or paying for a ticket to get to your destination.

Your own ship ? Yes, that's another "profession" if you want to call it that. By becoming a pilot (something that any class can do), you can go into space and run quests and eventually become a Master Pilot and gain access to big transport ships which can carry you and your friends if you like. But be ready, the space missions are incredibly repeatitive, and eventually become super boring.

Now onto combat and movement. When you play, you'll notice the camera is over your characters shoulder, on an annoying angle. There is NO WAY to change it, you're stuck like that. You can't rotate the camera in anyway at all to see the front of your character, you'll have to open your inventory if you want to see their front, or run towards the screen. If you want to kill something and you're a gun user, move your mouse cursor over to the enemy, and hold down the first mouse button. Hold it until the monster is dead. You'll eventually learn more moves to use, like a powerful laser blast that can be used every 10-15 seconds. Use just press the hotkey for it, then right click on your target. Congrats !!! If you could read that last paragraph, you are now a master gun combatant in SWG !

Melee fighters have it tough, REALLY tough. Take your sword/pike/lightsaber/stick and run over to your target, holding down the first mouse button. If you're lucky, the target will just sit there and attack you. If you're unlucky, it will run away shooting you with a laser and you'll have to chase it around, all the while you're taking damage. Maybe you'll get really unlucky and it will run into a pack of it's friends, and you'll have 5-6 monsters attacking you. Melee fighters get powerful strikes that can be hotkey/right-clicked as well. Congrats !! You're now a master melee fighter !!

The problem with this fighting ? THERE IS NO LOCK-ON OPTION !!! Most of the time you're fighting, a monster will move right into another monster, and you'll end up attacking ANOTHER monster. This is dead if you're fighting monsters you're own level (or if you're a Jedi).

Now why be any other class when you can be a Jedi ? I bet that's what you're thinking. Here's the reason: It's been 2+ weeks since the NGE hit the game, and Jedi have NO ARMOR, ZERO, NADA. I had a lvl 71 Jedi and I was being killed by 2 lvl 30 Tusken Raiders. Currently, Jedi are bugged to oblivion. Do not use them at all unless you want to die a lot.

This game used to be a great one. It was diverse, you could do whatever you wanted. I used to be a Tailor with Creature Handling (a class they removed). If I was a Tailor in the NGE, I wouldn't be able to defend myself at all, I would just be allowed to sit in my house (yes, you can have your own house.. at least for now..). Entertainers in the NGE serve NO PURPOSE at all except to give little minor buffs if you want to watch them. You used to be anything you wanted in the old game, but this new one locks you into 1 profession only, and once you hit lvl 30, there is nothing to do except grind monsters over and over. Yes folks, they only made quests for players to get to level 1-30. That's it, that's all.

This game has lost it Star Wars feel, all that's left are some NPCs with the names Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader (if you can find them). If you're a Star Wars fan, I would highly recommend you avoid this game in it's current form. They've even resulting to lying in their commercials to get people to play. You can NEVER fight against Darth Vader or any other Star Wars character, except for Stormtroopers or Rebels (or other players).

The new SWG, sadly, just isn't worth the $15 a month. I have Star Wars Battlefront 2 to fill my FPS Star Wars needs, and I don't have to pay to play it. I give SWG a 2/10. It's one saving grace is the great Star Wars music, and the great character customization. Controls and camera just ruin the game, along with the many bugs the game is ridden with.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

Originally Posted: 11/30/05

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