All About JusticeCovert
It's time for a petition folks! Otherwise this game might never see a North American release. Who's with me?!
Can't stop playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I really wish some of the loot was more varied (click to enlarge):
Mere hours after saying farewell to Star Wars Galaxies alongside Kevin VanOrd, I was sat at home squeezing in some playtime with Star Wars: The Old Republic ahead of my Christmas vacation in the UK. Revisiting Galaxies--the first MMO I ever played--and then jumping straight into Old Republic served as a timely reminder of just how much both gaming and my life have changed during my 11-plus years at GameSpot.
When Star Wars Galaxies was released in 2003, the original GameSpot UK site had already gone the way of Greedo, and yours truly was working from home as the European correspondent for the US team. I knew very little about Star Wars Galaxies when I went out and bought it, and upon seeing the size of the manual (something like 200 pages) and being dumped unceremoniously onto the nondescript planet of Talus, I was convinced that I'd made a terrible mistake. My screen filled with confusing pop-up windows, there were no other players in sight, and I was given no clue as to what I was actually supposed to do in this universe.
I remember that, after happening upon my first quest terminal, I figured I should probably spend a great deal of time on Talus before even attempting to venture to another world; blissfully unaware that planets like Tatooine, Corellia, and Naboo were hives of player activity, and every bit as appropriate for me to be questing on. Getting to those planets wasn't too painful either--if memory serves, interplanetary shuttles left Talus every 10-15 minutes. (Yes, they were like buses. If you missed one, you had to wait around for the next one.)
Can you even imagine what players who came into MMO gaming via World of Warcraft would make of a game introduction like this? I suspect few would have persevered with Galaxies for more than a day or two, much less made it through their introductory month. Star Wars Galaxies was a wonderfully ambitious and rewarding game, though, because where games like World of Warcraft and the recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic (which I'm loving right now) offer scripted storylines and carefully developed characters, Galaxies was a destination where you created your own. My character Justy, for example, was a failed bounty hunter who went on to become a master creature handler and--after far too many hours spent seeking out and taming rare pets--eventually went into business selling mounts, meat, and milk. The greatest Star Wars story ever told? Hardly.But after that initial week or two of pain I enjoyed every minute of it.
Fast forward to about three weeks ago, and--more than 5000 miles away from where I created Justy--I've created another wannabe bounty hunter in another Star Wars universe. Currently level 27, Kunoichi is a lot more interesting and successful in her chosen profession than Justy ever was, but the illusion that she is in any way unique is shattered every time I encounter another bounty hunter in the game. Other bounty hunters use similar weapons and armor, fly the exact same ship, and for the most part they're even accompanied by the same companion character. Where at its best Galaxies felt like writing a book, Old Republic feels more like reading one of those old 'choose your own adventure' deals. Yes, we have some opportunities to do things differently, but our stories are ultimately the same. Better, no doubt, but the same.
My Recent Reviews
An oldie but a goodie. Star Wars meets Cops. This is the video the Internet was made for.
Trying to delete a bunch of old stuff from my PC I came across this somewhat amusing video for Football Manager 2005. Couldn't bring myself to drag it into the trash without preserving it somewhere first.
An awesome PlayStation 2 commercial. Not sure where it was first aired, but I didn't discover it until recently.
Apr 11, 2013 5:05 am GMTJusticeCovert joined the union GameSpot Writers Round Table
Only GameSpot friends of this user can view their Wii Number.