Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan Review
By Adrienne Dudek |
Coninciding with the release of the New Game Experience the gang at LucasArts and Sony Online have recently offered up the third full expansion for their popular MMO, Stars Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. The new expansion, Trials of Obi-Wan adds to the galaxy an entirely new planet full of new ground-based combat content. We'll be focusing on the NGE in a future, separate review but for right now, let's focus on the exciting new world lying off to the left of your hyperspace maps.
Given the timeframe of the core game, you might expect the expansions to focus on locations more appropriate to the original trilogy. Rather than letting players uncover Imperial activity on Cloud City or battle the elements on Hoth, the developers have instead opted to ride the marketing coattails of the prequels by offering planets featured in the more recent films. This time around players are getting the chance to visit the vulcanic world of Mustafar, the scene of the climactic battle at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
The first thing to know about Mustafar is that it's incredibly dangerous. I mean, Darth Vader was almost killed there for crying out loud, so you can imagine what your chances are. Though it's not marketed as such, Trials of Obi-Wan is exclusively for high-level ground combat classes. Anyone who thinks they'd like to see what crafting opportunities might await them on the new planet is likely to find a giant insect ready to bite off their precious loom arm and spit it into a river of lava. Even the tougher 65+ crowd will find it advisable to take along a few friends when exploring the wilds of Mustafar.
There are tons of enemies all over the planet, from limb-gnawing reptiles to gigantic lava fleas to limb-crunching crustaceans. The animal side of Mustafar is only half the story. There are also unscrupulous treasure hunters, diseased miners and the mysterious blackguards to contend with. Point is, pretty much every where you turn on Mustafar, someone is waiting to kill you. Happily, you can usually outdistance your enemies on the back of a speeder bike but there's plenty of fighting to be found if you're so inclined.
Rather than simply grinding out loads of combat experience, you'll definitely find plenty of quest-related activities on Mustafar. Granted, most of them involve killing something or other but there are plenty of opportunties to get credit for retrieving lost items, performing mining-related maintenance and uncovering the various mysteries located around the planet. A handful of quests even involve fighting, finding, fixing and figuring things out all as part of a single mission. You'll also appreciate the fact that some of the missions offer a choice between two contrasting solutions.
Though you can find a few quest givers out in the wild (and even stumble across the ghost of an old jedi master), most missions are offered at the main mining complex that also serves as your point of arrival and cloning facility. You can gather all sorts of tasks by talking to the miners and travelers located in the complex. While it's nice to have a single location to get most of your quests, it would be more convenient if the facility was centrally located. As it is, you can really only travel in one direction out of the mining complex.
What makes the location of the facility more obnoxious is that the landmass of the world are divided by dangerous rivers of lava. Though you can sometimes jump your speeder bike over the narrowest laval channels, there are also bridges that lead from one island of rock to another. Unfortunately, the landmasses are all linked in a chain so you'll have to set out from the mining complex, zig zag across the entire world to get to the other side and then zig zag back to claim your rewards at the mining complex. You're bound to get bored of it before long.