Review by Theshamen
Balance? In an RTS? NEVER
Upon hearing that one of my favorite star wars games was not only getting an expansion but a new faction I was thrilled and eagerly went to buy it upon release. Not only did I enjoy the campaign throughly and was ecstatic over the varying weapons put into use in said new faction, the Consortium. I was proud of myself for accomplishing the campaign with ease really feeling like I had the game under my belt. But, then I find out it wasn't I who was good with the Consortium it was just the consortium who was good.
Story 10/10 There was always undertones of a criminal underworld in Star Wars but nothing was really ever explored, and in this story you finally get the extent of how powerful it is. As you bounce from planet to planet spreading your tyranny and corruption you really get the feeling that you are a criminal mastermind taking over the universe.
Sound 10/10 All the star wars tracks music and sounds are still there, and the voice acting is top-notch and believable with the addition of new characters and the appearances of some old ones you'll be glad to hear this game.
Game play 2/10 Here is were they dropped the ball big time. Each faction got more then a few new units and strategy types to play around with, but the thing is they didn't increase the population cap. So even though you had all these new units and toys to play with you couldn't really use any of them. But even then that would only drop the score 1 or 2 points what really kills it is how over powered the consortium is, how weak the rebels are, and how good at killing the rebels the empire is. The Consortium's basic fighter is a fighter killer yep thats right you can easily kill 2 of the empires or rebels starting fighter with ONE consortium fighter. Every fighter, bomber frigate, cruiser, gunship, and capital ship the empire and rebels have the consortium does it better. The rebels have or had rather one saving grace, extremely strong and durable shields. However the second and third tier consortium ships have shield bypassing weapons. Infact the third tier ship has a shield bypassing nuke and if that wasn't enough it has a shield killing nuke also. And this isn't even their capital ship. Then there is the lack of buffs the Rebels got, they only got a few new units and an interested but weak frigate. While the Empire got 3 new vastly superior fighters and 1 new capital ship hero, thats right the empire has 2 capital ship heroes. So there goes the rebellion. The way it worked in the original game was the rebellion had superior fighters but the empire spawns them like nothing else out of their ships. However in this game they flipped it so the Rebels have weaker fighters but the Empire still spawns fighters like nothing else. Another saving grace was that Rebellion heroes were better then the Empires heroes. Well not anymore, the Consortium's heroes are strong enough that they can kill the Rebellion AND Imperial heroes at the same time. Sure there are a few trade-offs for the Consortium like increased credit cost for units, but when you have a faction that specializes in making money, and it's starting units can easily take control of all the mining nodes it really isn't too much of an issue. I could go on and on and on about this but I think you get the point.
Multi player 2/10 It's fun to actually get a real battle going when you have enough players to make population cap nearly non-existent but unless your going 4 skilled rebellion players against 4 newbie Empire players the rebels will lose every time. And if the consortium is in the fight they will win. An interesting aspect of the original game was galactic conquest where you had planets that you fought to control for various reasons be it resources technologies abilities etc etc Well the consortium can do this thing called corruption where it takes away ALL the good things of a planet, and costs A TON of credits to get rid of. However it takes the Consortium 1/10th of the time and resources to corrupt then it takes you to uncorrupt so again the Consortium will win any fight they are in. Then there is crux of the games resource system, to earn resources you have to take control of mining nodes placed in certain positions in each map. HOWEVER this nodes are easy to control, easier to destroy, and whoever grabs them all first wins.....instantly. This is one of the reason why the Consortium is so good. Their starting units obliterate the other 2 factions units with ease. And since those are the units that mining nodes are usually captures with it's really biased toward the Consortium......again
Well theres my review I really wanted to enjoy this game but just couldn't maybe if they release a good patch or two to revise these issues the game might deserve a higher score but for now it stays the same.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (US, 10/24/06)
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