Screenshots From Makeb: Rise of the Hutt Cartel Initial Thoughts

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The first major expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic has been released today for early access for those who preordered. Rise of the Hutt Cartel presents the new world of Makeb and some significant changes to the game. Here are some screenshots and our initial thoughts.

Scenery & Setting

First off, Makeb is beautiful. The trees, flowers, waterfalls, and even the structures are fantastic to look at. This is easily the most impressive planet since Belsavis and it is apparent a lot of time and care went into its creation. Unlike Tatooine or Hoth, you'll enjoy being here.

Plus, there are some off the beaten path scenery like the ones below that truly impressive.

Makeb is a planet torn apparent by the Hutt's destructive mining operations. The ground is frequently uneven and cliffs are everywhere. The scenery is nothing like any of the other planets, perhaps not like any other game. There isn't any sense of "I've been here and done this already". The setting is fresh and a lot of fun to explore.

Since there are so many cliffs, light bridges have built to span the chasms. This purple causeways are a really cool addition to the landscape.


Like the other planets, there is a main storyline to follow and a few side missions. Included are dailies, just like you've done in The Black Hole, Section X, or Ilum, that you can do every day to earn commendations to buy better gear. The daily comms will help get you starter gear once you hit level 55 (don't balk at the word "starter" - its better than Dread Guard quality gear by a good bit).

So far the Republic Trooper storyline is quite enjoyable and just like the scenery, its fresh and fun. Nothing seems recycled here. Some of the cut scenes are quite fantastic.

Leaving me thinking "what happens if I push *this* button?".

Makeb is made up of several sections, each with its different flavor of scenery and mission that advances the main story. One extremely memorable area is Sanctuary, which feels a bit like a lost island with some surprising occupants (Dino….giant lizards!). I wonder "What would you do if I let you out?".


The difficulty on Makeb increases the further you go in the story. I started out with Black Hole grade mods in my gear and had no trouble with the first few sections. However, once I got to Sanctuary, it actually started to become a challenge at times.

One thing you will notice is that groups of enemies are larger. No more max 4 enemies only. One memorable fight had me fighting about 15 mini t-rexes that ate me for lunch!

There are a lot more gold bordered elites as well. These are far more common than on other planets and you'll have to plan your fights more carefully.

Fun Factor

So far I am having a blast and judging by the General chat comments, other players are just as impressed. Though I am only about 40% finished on the first day of release (I've got about 8 hours into it), I can give it two big thumbs up. Let's hope the rest is just as good!

How to Play

Star Wars The Old Republic is available as a free download. The Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack must be purchases and at this time costs $9.99 for subscribers or $19.99 for everyone else.

Jim Rosenquist Avatar

by Jim Rosenquist

Posted on Oct 6, 2014

Jim has been an avid gamer since he was old enough to fight over an Atari 2600 controller. Jim's mom thought his video gaming was a waste of time. He sure proved her wrong.