Star Wars: Empire at War

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Hobbit, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I was split on this game. Lucasarts is a hit or miss company, with winners like KOTOR and X-Wing, but also losers like Galactic Battlegrounds and *ugh* Force Commander. I knew I wouldn't get a copy without pre-ordering, and I really didn't want to commit until I got to play it or it got reviewed (connectiong too iffy to get the demo). Well, the guy at EB had demo disks for those who pre-ordered and said that if I played the demo and it sucked, I could just get $5 store credit (the down payment for a pre-order). Well, that sold it for me, so now, I have the demo and I've beaten it (5 of the seven tutorials and a quick, 3-world example of how the galactic conquest game will work). It...frickin'...ROCKS!!! It's everything that Rebellion, Force Commander, and Galactic Battlegrounds should have been and more.

    First off, the whole thing's in real time, meaning that, instead of a turn based campaign map, you actually have a real time game map, where travel time and construction time play a vital role in how quickly your armies can come to bear. While this can eliminate the feeling of a break between battles, it really adds to the excitement and eliminates the often humdrum affair of checking all of your cities to make sure they're building something, and the build times are short enough to keep it from getting boring. Basically, it feels like a simplified version of Warcraft or Starcraft on the campaign map, as you construct buildings and units on different planets and move your units into battle. Resources come in the form of credits. You get a flat amount from conquering a planet and a certain amount of credits per day from the planets you control (and a few other methods), with some planets being more valuable than others. The number of controlled planets also controls how many ships and troops you can have (some take up more resources than others). A day goes by about every 15 seconds, I think, but you can speed it up with a button on the command bar.

    Once two opposing forces meet, you go to the tactical map, which has more of a faster-paced "Total War" look and feel than your traditional RTS. You start with a certain amount of ships or troops, which usually won't be everyone you brought. However, you can capture reinforcement points. The more you have, the more troops you can have on the battefiled and those reinforcements can only be deployed to those points. To simplify the process, each unit, no matter what it takes up on the campaign map, only contributes one to your troop limit, but the bigger the unit, the fewer you get per troop. For example, you get about 5-10 troops in an infantry unit, but only one AT-AT. In space, there aren't any reinforcement points, so there's no such limit (though there's a way to get reinforcements in the tutorial, I just don't know how that works in the actual game). Fighters come in squadrons (3-5 in the demo), and larger ships come one at a time. Each unit of ground troops is a transport in space, but those aren't that powerful and should be kept back. Much like any good RTS, units are better against certain types than others. Rockets good against vehicles, bombers good against capital ships, AT-ATs suck against infantry, etc.

    Now, to the really sweet part. The only Star Wars strategy game that ever made the differences between the two sides really stick out was Force Commander, and that game was rushed and sucked, though it was pretty. From what I saw in the demo, the differences are well fleshed out. I saw more of the Rebellion, so I know that they steal, rather than research, new technology. They can also employ smugglers to steal credits from enemy planets. Small armies can also bypass space battles to reinforce blockaded planets or attack enemy planets with space forces. From what I saw, the Empire can extort enemy planets as a special ability. I'm sure they also get bigger stuff (Super Star Destroyers and such). I also know from the sales blurb that the Empire can, in fact, build the Death Star.

    This is a great game, and my pre-order will stand. Full review once I have a chance to actually, well, you know...play the full version.
     
  2. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Im digging it too but it sorely lacks in some areas. The camera and control schemes for ground assaults and even space assaults is awkward. I can never get control of my speeders whenever i let them loose. They are always flying all over the place. Plus the screen is too small to grasp control of all your troops or just some of them.

    Ive only been playing on easy and i get frustrated losing a battle because i thought i grabbed all my tanks but only grabbed 2 and a handful of infantry guys to go attack then hear "Unit lost, Unit lost, Unit Lost."

    ITs good and has plenty of potential but i feel like it could be better. MAybe patches will address these minor issues to make it better.
     

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