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Star Wars Galaxies - Complete Online Adventures Review - PC

7.5
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 8 stars 8
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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Introduction

With the depth of the Star Wars universe built over the years in the movies, books, and even other games, it is no wonder Lucasarts has tried to go down the path of the massively online RPG path with the likes of World of Warcraft, Everquest, and others. Star Wars Galaxies is the result of this - a world in which Star Wars can be participated in every day if you desire.

The game was first released way back in 2003, and now comes packaged as this November's Star Wars Galaxies – The Complete Online Adventures. This includes the original game Empire Divided, as well as the expansions that have been released over the last few years - Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookies, and Trials of Obi-Wan all in one box.

Unfortunately the massive popularity of World of Warcraft, released not long after Galaxies maybe put a bit of a dampener on the potential growth of Galaxies - but some 3 years later, it's still going quite well. Many of the initial complaints over the game have meant to have been cleaned up by Galaxies, and a lot of the game mechanics have been changed. We see how things fares some 3 years after it's first release.

Gameplay

Star Wars Galaxies, while a Lucasarts game, makes use of the established Sony Online Entertainment service (SOE) for it's online interface, the same one as used for Everquest, Planetside, and a few other titles for many years. For the $60AUD you pay for the game itself, you get a month's gameplay time. After that, access is renewable at a fairly affordable $20AUD a month. You do need a credit card to be able to play which may count out some people.

After you've created an account through the Sony Online service, the game jumps on and has to download a whole bunch of updates before you can start, which can take up to an hour to download. This can take away a little from the instant play aspect, but unfortunately this is just part of most MMORPG, where mandatory updates are regular.

Once you're in the actual game, you begin by creating your unique player character. You have a few choices here. To start with you choose one of 10 different Star Wars species you will probably recognise, and after this customise them with different colours, sex, tattoos, skin colour, facial features, height, weight, etc as appropriate for each creature. Once that's down, it's time to choose a profession from the 9 currently available – Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Officer, Commando, Spy, Trader, Medic or Entertainer.

Each of these has their own abilities, and types of missions they can undertake and will in turn reflect how you interact in Galaxies. Some such as the Spy or Smuggler require some clandestine activities, and sneaking around, while a lot of the Jedi missions are on the side ...

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