Review by Wist

"Star Wars fans finally get a strategy game that is above par!"

Introduction:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a 3D universal map. On this map was the landscape of battles of epic proportions. Victory Class Starships, X-wings, Y-wings, A-wings, Tie Fighters, AT-ATs, Stormtroopers, Home One, Millenium Falcon, Slave 1, Darth Vader, just to name a few. Honestly, this game has it all. Battles in space, battles on ground, some basic planetary base building, spacestations, turrets, power generators, planetary ion cannons, phew. Best part is, you build and command them all! If you are a Star Wars fan I bet you are drooling over this. If you aren't a fan, well, then, you still might be drooling. So whats different about this game from Galactic Battlegrounds? Well, lets move onto the Gameplay section!

Gameplay:
This game is a 3D real time strategy game. There is a universal map that has many planets and on these planets you must conquer them (as if they were cities in other similar games). You build buildings on the planet (to build infantry, vehicles, etc) while spacestations build ships and help defend enemy attacks. This is all in real time. Each planet has its own unique bonus to the empire or rebellion depending on your alignment and a different amount of buildings that can be produced on it. Using the planets under your control you can build ships, vehicles, infantry, spies, smugglers, bounty hunters, etc.

So how does the fighting actually take place? Well there are 2 types of battles: space and land. Space battles in my opinion are much cooler. A fleet comes out of hyperspace and onto a large map. There are all kinds of ships ranging from small fighters to medium sized ships to large capital ships. Usually there will be a spacestation also. This space station has turrets, missle launchers, ion cannons, shields, and hangars. Whenever you order a ship to attack something you can specifically order what to attack. If there is a Mon Calamari Cruiser giving you trouble with his turrets you can order your Tie Bombers to take them out. Or if your Correllian Corvette is getting pulled in by an Imperial Star Destroyer's tractor beam, simply order your units to attack the Tractor Beam. Also, it is quite satisfying to see that flagship of your enemy blow up, break up, and fall down into the atmosphere of the adjacent planet. You can also reinforce your fleet. As ships get destroyed you can replace them as long as your fleet is originally large enough since there is a population max for battles. So if you have 20 ships in a fleet, you'll start out with around 10 or so deployed and as your troops get destroyed you can reinforce your fleet during battle.

*One of my favorite aspects of the combat is not actually the combat itself! A cool feature is a movie camera mode. After you issue all your orders you can click the movie camera mode button and it suddenly gives you movie like camera shots of the action. Whenever two big fleets go at it and there are ships flying around, blowing up, and all kinds of good stuff it is a really sweet feature of the game.

And now onto land battles. Its pretty much the same deal but you start out with a low population max. You have to capture reinforcement points in order to increase your population max. There is also bombing runs that can be very effective against the enemy as well as planet civilians. Each planet has civilians such as humans, wookies, jawas, etc and they will side with a force and fight for them. Fighting is pretty much the same as any other game. Click here, send them there, shoot this, shoot that, etc. Once again, movie mode is kinda neat on land as well.

Story:
Hmm.. actually the story isn't that bad! The two campaigns follow the Rebellion and the Empire follow the story from the end of the 3rd movie up until the end of the 4th movie. Its suprisingly enjoyable to play even if you know whats going to happen!

Sound:
The sound is pretty decent. The voices sound like the characters they are supposed to be imitating. The warfare sounds realistic with explosions, laser fire, troops shouting commands, etc. The soundtrack is also pretty decent since it is a compilation of the big tracks from the movie. I'm sure you would recognize most of them if you saw Star Wars a few times.

Graphics:
The graphics are par. Nothing too amazing but I'm not complaining. This is a huge step from Galactic Battlegrounds and other Star War games. The units actually look like units.. well.. as long as your zoomed far out it looks really good. The closer you get to the units you'll realize they aren't that great looking. Battles look really awesome if you are zoomed out far... especially space battles. Animations look good especially in land battles. Tie Fighters and other small fast maneuverable fighters in space can move alittle weird at times. Nothing too major though. I'm not impressed by the graphics (maybe slightly wow'd at awesome space battles) but I'm by no means dissapointed.

Flaws:
The game is pretty repetitive. You possibly might get sick of space and land battles. Once you fight one, or one hundred, you might realize that its pretty much the same battle over and over again with maybe one or two more/different ships. Same goes with land battles (they aren't randomly generated) and you might feel some rendevous. You'll probably play through one or both the campaigns, a game of conquest, and possibly a few skirmishes but I don't see this being a game that you'll play for months and months. Its very addictive while you play it though.

Replayability:
As I said before, this game is really addictive while it lasts but how much and how long you play depends on the gamer. This might hold Star Wars fans and real time strategy game fans' attention for a really long time. However, buyer beware.

Conclusion:
This is my favorite Star Wars game out. It gave me EXACTLY what I wanted. I wanted to control enourmous amounts of troops, deploy and dominate the universe. I wanted to crush the rebels with AT-AT walkers and the Death Star and I wanted to repel the Empire with my fleet of Mon Calamari Cruisers. I wanted to create and watch my own epics take place and this is the game that delivers it to me. Simply awesome. A must have for all Star Wars fans.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/06


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