PC REVIEW: STAR WARS GALAXIES: EP. 3 - RAGE OF THE WOOKIES

More Star Wars productions? In the wake of the last movie and the obligatory videogames? Watch out for the exploding heads of nerds that can't handle the overload.

Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookies is an expansion pack to the popular Star Wars Galaxies series that highlights certain events in the Star Wars universe that correspond to the movie events but don't interfere with the main storyline. Call them side quests if you will.

The persistent online role playing allows players to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe unlike any other game as you create an maintain a character through a series of virtually, never-ending adventures.

To get to the wild planet of the Wookies, Kashyyyk, will require hyperspace travel. It's not available to everyone because access is limited. Once you do manage to get there you will notice that it's a little bit crowded. By performing various missions you will be able to move further into the heart of the planet where there will be less people.

Kashyyyk can be a dangerous place. You can form alliances or fight the various organizations and creatures that inhabit the place such as the Rodians and the Trandoshan. There are some boring fetch quests but most of the missions involve some form of combat which requires you to kill a bunch of lifeforms. The combat is not very interesting in and of itself but it is an means to an end since you have to fight for certain items that will be useful to further your character's development and to enhance and further the cause of your organization or society.

Getting around the planet can be a bit of a chore. Good vehicles such as the coveted Jedi Starfighter are rare but just trying to get your hands on one keeps you motivated. If you're like most of us you'll be traveling on land. Most times you will follow rivers and valleys as the planet is relatively new and is void of any roadways. These paths also serve to channel most of the players to the same areas. The areas that I explored that were off the beaten path yielded nothing. It's made very clear that if you want something out of this game you have to play by the arbitrary rules.

Money can be earned by selling goods that you collect to Wookies. You can also earn some extra goodies by protecting ships from pirates and mining resources off of asteroids. Many of the adventures in this game will take you back to other planets such as Tatooie, Loc and Corellia. The NPC interaction is a bit of a pain. You always seem to get screwed around somehow. It seems no matter who you talk to first they always give you some smug, cryptic answer that forces you to go and talk to someone else first.

If you've spend a lot of time and experience points upgrading your character with fighting in mind then you'll do fine in this version. If you've developed your character to be more an egghead you might want to reconsider. There is no compensation system to balance characters' attributes if your guy is a bit of a nerd. You can help offset this disadvantage by getting into a group where you will find safety in numbers.

Rage of the Wookies maintains the Star Wars Galaxy's high quality production values. The new planet is very much alive and dynamic. It's got more features than any other planet in the series. The tree city of Kachirho is very detailed and imaginative. The music and sound effects are equally excellent.

For those of you that can't get enough of all things Star Wars, Rage of the Wookies will both satisfy your cravings and leave you begging for more.

Preview by Devin D.

If I have ever suffered from insomnia, Star Wars Galaxies would have been the way to cure it. One would think that Star Wars Galaxies would be a lost cause by now, with its pain staking experience engine and lack of Star Wars substance. Sony Entertainment Online isn't about to give up its never-ending struggle to add exciting new features and content to SWG. To further prove that SOE won't back down, they are releasing a new expansion called Episode III Rage of the Wookiees. Can SOE pull the infamous MMO out of the fire, and turn it into a badass Jedi killing machine? Unfortunately SOE is no Palpatine, and SWG isn't exactly an Anakin either… Ok well maybe the whiny brat from Episode I.

Episode III Rage of the Wookiees gives players the opportunity to embark upon adventures on a brand new planet, Kashyyyk. The Wookiee home world marks Galaxies' first expansion planet, which will also be the game's first and only adventure planet. Kashyyyk will revolve solely around the 100 new quests and new theme parks, and will not allow players to build homes or cities. The new missions mostly revolve mostly around the Wookiee enslavement arc, where the Imperials and Trandoshan Slavers are the main baddies. SOE also decided to jump on the Episode III bandwagon, hence the clever title. Expect the expansion to be chock full of Clone Wars goodies, from quests to vehicles and mounts.

SOE producer Dallas Dickinson has hinted that Revenge of the Sith characters may be included in the add-on as well. An in-game screen shot featuring a tall silver robot holding a lightsaber has been spotted floating around the net, General Grievous much?

The forest planet isn't the only way to experience some of the new features. Rage of the Wookiees also has some new, as well as some redesigned, spaceships. There's a ship called the Royal Guard Interceptor, which is only a red TIE Interceptor. As of now all we really know about this new ship is that it is, well, just red. Also keep your eyes peeled for Episode III ships such as the Arc Fighter or the Jedi Star fighter. These ships seem a bit tacked on as the X-Wing and TIE Fighter are the predecessors of those ships, respectively.

What about the regular SWG Joe, who just bops around Tatooine on his speeder bike, with no need to go to space? Unfortunately in order to run Rage of the Wookiees, you must have the Jump to Lightspeed expansion. There's no if, ands or buts about it.

SOE also has some other things to bring out with the expansion as well, like more vehicles, armor and weapons. SOE hasn't given out much information about these new goodies, with the exception of the cybernetic parts. You got now have robot arms which will grant your character stat boosts.

When the smoke clears though, this is still just Star Wars Galaxies, a rage of tedium that never ends. If you're merely a casual player who's into crafting and doesn't have Jump to Lightspeed, you may not want to drop the extra $20 just to be able to go to another planet. Power gamers out there will more than love Rage of the Wookiees as it gives them more land to conquer, and more quests to spam.

Features:

  • Explore Kashyyyk - the home planet of the Wookiees is being added as an entirely new adventure planet and space zone
  • Adventure through over 100 story-driven quests - Join the Wookiees in their fight for freedom against their Imperial-supported Trandoshan slavers or support the Empire in their mission of quelling the spread of the Rebellion!
  • Visit and discover several points of interest and adventure zones including the Wookiee-run tree cities, Trandoshan-controlled slave camps and the safari lands of the affluent Rodians
  • Pilot new starcraft inspired by Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith including Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter model
  • Enhance your character with radical new cybernetic parts that add special abilities and improve your performance in combat
  • Embark on daring new space mining missions to recover precious raw materials for sale to ground-based crafters. Surviving slews of pirates will provide unprecedented economic opportunities
  • And experience the all new combat system featuring new weapons, new armor, new effects and an all new user-interface to make combat even more engaging and fun!
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System: PC
Dev: LucasArts
Pub: LucasArts
Release: May 2005
Players: Multi - Online
Review by Daemia
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
4.0