Review by A_Cornered_Fox

"Some good, some bad"

By the end of this review you'll probably believe I'm hard on games that I review, and that is true. I don't expect games to be perfect, but its the imperfections that we critic isn't it?

Campaign Mode - 8
Named Rise of the Empire, it follows the events of Episode III up to the Battle of Hoth at the beginning of Episode V Empire Strikes Back. Naturally the story has some inconsistencies, but they're not any real problem. Much of the fun is in actually being the Clone/Storm Troopers that were on the front lines, right? Well, the campaign is good. There are some annoying parts, these are usually at the beginning of Reign of the Empire since it doesn't like to give you a lot of troops and the Empire's weaponry is horribly inaccurate (both in terms of actual accuracy and how closely they resemble their movie counterparts). Still I do enjoy the Campaign mode of this game, not the greatest ever but I suppose only one game could ever claim that title.

Expansion Mode - 9
Called Galactic Conquest, this mode allows you to move your fleet from planet to planet, engaging in space battles whenever you encounter enemy fleets, and engaging in ground battles whenever you arrive at a planet controlled by your nemesis. It's much better than the original in my opinion. Every time you engage in battle you earn credits, whether you win or you lose. Credits are given to you based on the number of planets in your possession. The only reason I didn't give this mode a 10/10 is because at the beginning when the enemy controls all but a few planets, they often earn more money then you, and it just doesn't feel right the your opponent makes money from losing battles (possibly a fleet if you engage in space combat). Also I think they could have done more with the orbital fleets, have a way to use the Star Destroyer's destructive power on your opponent if your ships are the ones controlling the skies.

Multiplayer - 6
There are only two modes, and they can get kind of boring. Plus some of the levels can feel empty, and Xbox LIVE tends to lag a bit more than it probably should. Also if you have First Person View on with two or more people on your box, you won't see your weapons, just a reticule and the regular data. Also the fog of war is closer on two players, which makes distance sniping a pain.

Level Designs - 5
Some good, some bad. More good than bad I think, but they really need to bring back the old Geonosis, and none of the levels have air support vehicles anymore, which is a major part of any battlefield.

Character Designs - 3
Bah, these were horrible. There's no point in using some of the classes, and all the others have the wrong weapon set up. For instance Storm Troop rifles were always semi-auto, and very precise unlike in the game where they are full auto and grow inaccurate after a few shots. Worse yet is the fact that a weapon's accuracy is determined by the number of rounds left in the clip instead of how you fire it; where most games have it that if you fire one or two rounds at a time they stay accurate, this one has it so it is only accurate for five or six rounds per clip. Rebels only had the pistols in most instances, and I think even the rifles it showed them using at Hoth were semi-automatic. Also the Super Battle Droid (SBD) is the standard infantry trooper, replacing the regular Battle Droid. Though their gun is accurate, it is completely different from the movies. In Star Wars Episode II, the SBDs had arm blasters with an extremely high rate of fire, in Battlefront II, they have an extremely slow firing rate, in fact their rate of fire is the slowest in the game (they probably should've given that to the rebels and empire and given those two facts the SBD's firing rate). The droid's wrist rockets took a big hit in their power, and why they call what the troops use "Thermal Detonators" I'll never know (it took a single Thermal Detonator to destroy an AT-AT, and another to scare all of the people in Jabba's Palace, I doubt that they're as weak as they're portrayed in the game). There are other problems naturally, but these are mostly personal disagreements like Bothans having a disintegration gun that only works on a single person at a time, and the jet packs being slower and how little fuel they have.

Space Vehicles - 2
Disappointing doesn't even begin to cover it. Your standard TIE doesn't have shields or secondary fire, they're meant to swarm an opponent. X-wings have variable firing modes depending on their target. A single proton torpedo would rip through even a shielded snub fighter with such destructive potential it's pretty much a waste to use it on them. Bombers have the same weapons as your starfighters, not some high powered cannon, plus the bombs should drop straight down instead of firing forward and arching (which how they arch in space is beyond me). Also the guns shouldn't overheat as fast as they do. I can understand them putting a limit so people dont' go around firing them off in random fashion, but it needs to be twice the time. You can't even kill a bomber if all your rounds hit, and that's about all the scout fighters have. The V-Wing, seen in Episode 3 and in most circles referred to as a scout fighter, is the Republic's Bomber, and the ship Obi-Wan steals from Grievous in Epsiode III is the bomber for the CIS. Tri-Fighters are given chain guns instead of their laser cannons (seen in Episode III) and only the drop ships have a limited number of secondary. Also the Ark-170 Starfighter, Republic design and predecessor to the X-Wing, should be able to be operated by two people, a pilot and rear gunner (you can see them in Ep. III, and you can even see the rear gun turret in the game). Also, all the first person mode is, is a reticule with whatever information would be on your screen. No detail was put into the first person mode on starfighters, which is kind of tragic.

Land Vehicles - 5
Better then their space counterparts, but still lacking. The vehicle variety is somewhat lacking in this game, most of the rebel alliance vehicles are... non-existent. Level depending they may get a speeder bike, and they are given a tank, but they don't have a land speeder like they used to. Also the vehicles lost most of their power as well, few of their rounds are explosive and like their space counterparts they overheat. This makes them kind of weak and they can quickly become walking death traps. I did think they needed to be toned down a bit in the first one, but not this bad, the whole point in armor support is to be powerful.

Heroes - 4
Well I'm glad they're in there, but a few of them are clones of one another. Their techniques are simple, bulky, and far from the movies' depictions of them. Really I think they were thrown in as an afterthought, which is probably true (and in case you were wondering, the new heroes aren't much better).

Awards - 9
These are mostly great. There is only one real problem, and that's with the award sniper. It goes through its targets and packs quite a punch, but for a weapon that you obtain by getting head shots on an opponent, it packs more irony then bang. Shooting an opponent in the head with this is pointless, it won't kill them, or even hurt them. Because of this, forget about taking out most of the manned turrets that are firing on you. I think the shotgun could've used a better upgrade too, a bit more damage or range or something, but it's good enough.

I think more thought could've been put into the space battles, not just in Galactic Conquest but overall. The ships are small and pointless, the frigates move and fire at will, rarely will the capital ships actually fire on one another (actually I think I've only seen that on one level) and your friendly auto-turrets tend to kill you more than the enemy. The biggest pain in space would be the auto-turrets, but I suppose that's only natural. Still, I'd prefer more auto-turrets on a ship but they stay destroyed when they're destroyed (you can destroy auto-turrets outside of the ship, but they repair in less than a minute, you have to take them out from the inside to be completely rid of them, but that takes the fun out of it).

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/10/06

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