Any avid gamer knows that Lucas Arts has pumped out countless games based on the very successful Star Wars franchise. Now, nearly thirty years after Star Wars' conception, Star Wars is jumping into a realm of endless possibilities - online gaming.
Sony went straight to a formula that equals success - bringing in the former lead designer for arguably the most innovative game of its time, Ultima Online's Raph Koster, along with Verant, the development team that helped bring EverQuest to the top of the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Gaming (MMORPG) pedastal. Throw in a dedicated Star Wars fanbase that has lasted for nearly thirty years and you have quite possibly a recipe for what could be one of the best online games ever created.
Star Wars Galaxies promises to bring the depth of the Star Wars universe and combine it with an EverQuest type of feel. The game takes place between the destruction of the first Death Star and the Battle of Yavin. The backdrop of this setting is a perfect stage for a massive MMORPG to take place - you'll even find characters from your favorite Star Wars movies in the game (except for Obi Wan, poor Obi Wan).
Playing in Star Wars Galaxies, you will have eight different races to choose from including Humans, Rodians, Mon Calimari, and even those fuzzy Wookies! Within those races there will be different features you can choose from, whether it be skin color, texture, gender, and of course, all the facial features and hair selections you can imagine. That is, if your race even has hair.
The popular question when it comes to the idea of playing a MMORPG Star Wars game is whether or not you can become a Jedi. The answer to this question in Star Wars Galaxies is yes, you can become a Jedi. But the path to becoming a Jedi is not an easy path, and will require dedication by the player. And yes, it is possible to become a "Dark Jedi" by straying from the path and using your Jedi powers to kill other players. But, to the dismay of many, players cannot become Darth or Sith Lords, nor can you play as any of the characters from the actual Star Wars movies.
For those of you who enjoy listening to the Star Wars soundtracks will be happy to know that most of the music is similar and in some cases the same as the classic Star Wars tunes.
Star Wars Galaxies will include Player v.s Player (PVP) combat. The exact nature of how combat will work is yet to be seen, but the system is similar to a 'PVP switch' style. Players can engage in PVP combat either by declaring with a certain faction in the game, being a bounty hunter, or simply picking off characters in certain areas. And if none of those suit your fancy, you can always become a galactic trader, explorer, or a simple adventurer, exploring the dangerous places of the Star Wars Universe!
The game is currently scheduled for a late 2002 release for the PC, and will eventually have a release for both the PlayStation 2 and the X-Box, taking advantage of their online-play features. There's also an expansion already planned which will include more planets for you to explore and more perils that await you.