Star Wars: Galaxy Of Heroes Review — Patience, Young Padawan


Since I count myself among them, I feel that it’s not an insult to say that Star Wars fans are a pretty obsessive bunch. If ever there was an audience for a game that makes players want to collect as many cool characters from one sci-fi saga as possible, we’re it.

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes does a great job playing to that tendency, serving up heroes and villains from throughout the prequel and sequel trilogies and points in-between. You also get the feeling that EA and its Capital Games studio are just getting started, because there’s plenty of room for even more characters to join the fray down the road.

It helps that Galaxy of Heroes is simple and entertaining to play. Its core conceit is that you are learning a game played on holotables throughout the Star Wars galaxy, one that will eventually put you in competition with one of the Hutts. Said game is a turn-based tactical contest between teams of up to five characters per side. Every character has an action bar that fills up, sort of like the Active Time Battle system from Final Fantasy games of yore. The difference is that there’s no time pressure, because whenever it’s time for one of your characters to act. you have as much time as you need to decide what to do.

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Not that those decisions often require tons of thought. Each character has a basic attack and one or more additional abilities, all activated by a single tap on the appropriate button. Special abilities are all on cooldown timers, so you can use them again as soon as they’re ready.

Within that simple framework, there’s still plenty of room for different strategies thanks to the interplay between abilities on both sides. You’ll find buffs, debuffs, heals, extra attacks, synergies between different character classes and much more. You can also choose who to target with each attack, so deciding who to take out first is often vital as well.

There’s also plenty to do with your knowledge of the combat system once you get the hang of it. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes offers separate light and dark side single-player campaigns right from the start, along with a PvP Arena mode (sadly not against live opponents, which would be fun) and several different special challenge tracks that unlock as you advance.

So my impulse is to say you’ll never run out of things to do or battles to fight, and that’s true in the overall scheme of things. The reality is somewhat more nuanced, as there is an energy system dictating how many single-player battles you can tackle at one time, one that’s pretty slow to recharge. There’s also a cap on how many daily Challenges and Arena battles you can jump into, unless you spend premium currency to unlock more. I’m not usually one to second-guess monetization plans, but it seems like some ad-based methods of allowing players another battle or two would have been fair.

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Patience is also required when it comes to collecting all the great characters in the game. Though you can snag characters instantly through various means, you’ll often find yourself collecting shards to either activate new characters or upgrade the ones you already own. That can be a slow grind, one that is measured in days or weeks instead of hours. Again, when it comes to Star Wars fans, we’re likely to be willing to put in the work, but just know that you won’t be teaming Luke, Han or Leia any time soon.

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The reason you might not mind so much is that Galaxy of Heroes feels like the real deal in just about every possible way. From the iconic musical themes to the visuals and sound effects to the numerous battle locations, it’s like a tour through the whole Star Wars experience in quick, bite-sized chunks.

For me, and I suspect for many other Star Wars fans, that aspect is going to trump everything else. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is a title you’re either going to try and set aside or be into for the long haul, and if you’re already crazy about the house that George Lucas built, you should prepare yourself for the latter.

Pull the Trigger on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes if …

  • You think Star Wars Battlefront looks awesome but your reflexes stink
  • You’ve always had a peculiar urge to see Count Dooku and Jawas fight side by side
  • Your mom threw out your old Star Wars toys and this is the next best way to have all those characters back in your life

Don’t Pull the Trigger if …

  • Delayed gratification is an issue for you
  • Cooldown timers offend you
  • None of the droids were the ones you were looking for