Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Our money's on the big ugly guy.
As a real-time strategy game, Star Wars: Empire at War might remind players of games like Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War. Empire at War's land combat is typical of the genre where units counteract one another (for example, Infantry Platoons are strong against Stormtroopers but weak against Scouttroopers) and finding the right ratio of heavy, light, and specialized units is key to counteracting your opponent. But the game's space battles and Galactic Conquest option set the experience apart.
Battles in space can be epic, with agile Y-wing bombers taking on gigantic Star Destroyers. You'll need to refine your battle tactics to negotiate asteroid fields and skill-sapping nebulae. In Galactic Conquest mode (similar to the game Risk), you control the galaxy, moving your space fleet and land units to conquer planets. When combat begins, you then enter the land or space combat portion of the game with only the forces you have at the planet, so it's best to preplan your strategy.
Empire at War oozes the style of classic Star Wars. The Empire and the Rebellion duke it out in a galactic civil war that takes place during Episode IV: A New Hope. Luke sports an X-wing, and Darth Vader isn't some teenybopper heartthrob. The Empire is all about money and overwhelmingly massive battle forces, while the Rebellion relies on craftiness and skill by stealing technology and slipping small raiding parties past Imperial space fleets to fight planetside. You can purchase heroes such as Boba Fett and Han Solo from the movies, and even Mara Jade from the books, and they're devastating on the battlefield.
If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit.
Unit imbalance in Empire at War is a problem, however. Some units are useless unless fighting those they're designed to counteract. Space battles are two-dimensional, never leaving the same plane. When a land or space battle begins, all structures are already built except defense turrets. This can prevent opponents from building impenetrable fortresses, but it also gives players less freedom. Once you play a few hours of the game you get a sense of the repetition, but the mod community has already created cool, Mac-compatible mods to help balance gameplay - visit cheathappens.com or fileplanet.com to check them out for yourself.
The bottom line. Empire at War adds some interesting ideas to the real-time strategy genre, but the game falls short of being truly great. Experienced RTS players will feel as frustrated as a young Luke Skywalker training with Yoda in a Dagobah swamp. But if you get teary-eyed every time you hear John Williams' score, pick up Empire at War.
REQUIREMENTS: 1.83GHz or faster Intel processor; Mac OS 10.4.8 or later; 512MB RAM; 3.5GB disk space; 64MB ATI Radeon X1600, nVidia GeForce 7300, or Intel GMA 950 video card; broadband Internet for online play
Oozes classic Star Wars style. Some good gameplay ideas. Jar Jar-free.
For Intel Macs only. Unbalanced units. Repetitive. Lacks tactical freedom.