Star Wars Galaxies

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Star Wars Galaxies

Unlinke SWTOR, Star Wars Galaxies has been around for a long time. Released in 2003, it has had seven years to mature and grow. Nobody will argue that these years have been a wild ride for the game. There were some ups, as well as a few very well known downs. These were of course the combat upgrade and new game enhancements, which were met with unanimous negative reviews, and saw a serious drop in subscriber numbers. If anything is learned by the developers of SWTOR from their predecessor, it is to avoid changes like this.

That aside, Star Wars Galaxies provided an unparalleled Star Wars universe, where players could really choose their own path unlike any game, then or now. This is one area in which SWTOR falls down, as it seems it is not trying, and will never be able to, compete with the sandbox nature of Galaxies which attracted many in the first place.

SWG Space Ship with 3D Enabled

SWG Space Ship with 3D Enabled

In many ways, Galaxies seems superior to the upcoming Old Republic. It’s space system was far more open, players were free to do what they pleased, and there were complex and challenging resource and crafting systems. Also incorporated were involved and detailed ship customisation sub-games which were both interesting, and generated a lot of repeatable content for players to continue¬†optimising¬†their craft.

The Player versus Player system in Star Wars Galaxies was also one of the better ones from any MMORPG today. Like the rest of the game, it was very open, and battles could and did take place anywhere around the galaxy, although they did tend to concentrate at a few heavily contested locations (Restuss anyone?). Large fights were possible anywhere, although there was usually significantly latency due to the poor servers employed by SOE (One of the games major flaws). So far, SWTOR does not seem to support such large scale conflicts, which has displeased many of its most avid supporters.

Player Combat in SWG

Player Combat in SWG

The graphics of galaxies were also somewhat more realistic than those of SWTOR, which has chosen to take a more cartoon-esque approach to visuals. As can be seen in the space ship screen-shot above, the game also supported various forms of 3D viewing, with cheap anaglyph methods available to all, whilst those with more advanced computer monitors could take advantage of polarised or shutter glasses.

Although the developers of Star Wars Galaxies did make many mistakes, they also did many things right. Their MMORPG still having a steady subscriber base as it approaches its eighth anniversary only confirms this. There are many things that Bioware can learn from Galaxies, and if done well and with patience, they should be able to, in SWTOR, avoid many of the problems of their predecessor, and incorporate many of the positive points.

Over all SWG achieves a 8.5/10 rating. Although a lot has changed since its release 7 years ago, the current game is well made and entertaining.

Pros:

  • Involved crafting, equipment and space customisation systems.
  • Entertaining player combat.
  • Large open range game world.
  • Good grouping, guilding and community tools.

Cons:

  • Excessive lag.
  • Very demanding on computer resources.
  • Currently low-ish subscriber numbers.
  • Some irritating bugs and game mechanics
Screenshot from Star Wars Galaxies

A screenshot from Star Wars Galaxies

For you Galaxies veterans and collectors, one of the rare Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Collectors Edition packs is for sale on Amazon.