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SummaryFlawed but getting better
The GoodThe first thing you'll like about this game is the excellent design of the planets. There's really nothing like being able to wander around the Star Wars universe being able to do whatever you like. The graphics are some of the best I've ever seen too, which helps (along with a powerful computer) with the immersion.
The BadAs of "publish 5" (as the last big update to this ever-changing game is called) the game is based around largely unrewarding and repetitive tasks. The worst crime of all being that these tasks require absolutely no player skill at all, just lots of time (make that LOTS of time). There are also qualms about the lack of a "Star Warsy" atmosphere and the lack of things to see, do and interact with.
The Bottom LineThe main problem has been the fact that this game has unexpectedly attracted a player base of "achievers", which basically means that the average player is more interested in improving their stats and achieving goals than living out a fantasy "role-playing" existence. As a result, the game's path has taken a turn during its development, not necessarily for the worse, but certainly somewhere the developers were not quite ready for.
The developers have since acknowledged all of the above short-comings and have vowed to fix them in the upcoming weeks and months. This is definitely the best thing about SWG; its ability to continue to grow and get better as time goes on. At the time of writing (Jan 31st 2004) it is definitely worth a look-see, and in the upcoming months, more so.