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Initial Reaction to SW Galaxies

Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided
by Jeff Yankey
June 19, 2003

Unfortunately, the Empire is divided equally.

I started in the beginning of Beta 3 with an invite from my brother in law. I was able to locate my fellow 501st members on Bestine, Tatooine and we soon organized into a small Garrison. We explored the many different planets and made Bestine our homebase.

I am still amazed with the beautiful graphics and sounds of the game. The grass flows in the wind, the weather changes, the rivers and lakes reflect the sky, and the time changes from day to night in game. As you walk through Theed, you will hear the default music change to the Episode I music that played during the Theed scenes. As you approach the Imperial Retreat on Naboo, the music becomes the Emperor's theme from Return of the Jedi.

The player association system is setup very well and please the group players. After you have your PA Hall built (you will need an architect to do this), everyone in your guild will have their PA initials next to their name.

The major problem with the game is the game design. On Naboo, the closest city to the Imperial Retreat, Moenia, also happens to be the Rebel city for the planet. Why would the Emperor allow that situation to exist? The city is a staging area for his enemies to attack him directly. Stormtroopers should be swarming that city daily, sweeping it clean of all Rebel agents. On the flip side, why would the Rebellion want to be that close to the Emperor (you can find him in there once you gain access). Overt Rebel were even able to go to the Imperial Retreat with not one Stormtrooper stopping them. The Empire is not some dominating force which the Rebellion has little hope of defeating. The Rebel players SHOULD be fearing for their lives and should be struggling to defeat the Empire at every battle. They should be forced to use resourcefulness and strategy instead of direct confrontation.

Although the combat system works fairly well for ranged weapons, the hand to hand combat is extremely annoying. There is a saying for any battle, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." Unfortunately, the game design forgets this idea. If you plan to play an overt Rebel or overt Imperial that will kill a lot of enemy players, become a Teras-Kasi master. You can strike an opponent with your fist from a distance almost the same range as most of the rifles. The beta forums were often filled with complaints of TK Masters walking into enemy cities and killing anything they could find.

I hate to say this but the game got boring. There are only two missions from the terminals, delivery or destroy. Delivery is simple, meet this person here and then meet this person there. Destroy is simple as well, destroy this small building or kill everyone in the camp. There are other missions taken from specific Non Playing Characters but they are usually a variation of delivery or destroy. These become very repetitious.

Now for a bit of warning. Parents, do not let your kids play the game without you watching. There are no safeguards to prevent inappropriate behavior. I know of a couple of incidents where Entertainers were offering more than just a dance or song for payment.

There are dozens of other items that can be listed here as positive and negative for the game. I have no doubt the game will be popular but I think Star Wars enthusiasts may be a little disappointed after they first dive in.

As Don P. wrote in an email tonight to us, "there is no way that the game will be ready" and "The game just does not have the Star Wars feel to it which I have grown to love."

I have to agree with you Don. Hopefully Sony will fix that in the future patches.

Feedback welcome



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