The most control you will ever get in the Star Wars universe
Imagine an Age of Empires or Star Craft style game with a Star Wars skin and you will have Star Wars: Empire at War. This is an RTS that allows you to play as either the commander of the Rebel Alliance or the Imperial Empire. It is more fun than it sounds, provided you like the subject matter. I would challenge this game came out before the great fall of Star Wars game quality. I do not mean to imply that the game is perfect, even as a Retro Review, this game could have used a few more months of polish, but still, I find it to be a neat little game and you could do far worse in this genre.
This is a fully featured title and includes all of the modes that players have come to expect from an RTS in this current cycle of games. You have your multiplayer of course but I care little for that, traditional skirmish, galactic conquest, and a campaign. The skirmish is your Age of Empires style unit and facility building all the while trying to free the map of the enemy and their base. This can be fought in either a land battle or a space battle both are pretty similar as to how they work. The campaign is pretty much galactic conquest with a loose attachment to movie cannon and you can play this from either the empire or rebellion perspective. But the meat of this game is in that aforementioned galactic conquest mode.
This mode is as the name suggests a battle to conquer the galaxy. You choose a faction to control and battle the other to gain the advantage and ultimately wipe them from the universe. This is done one planet at a time. You both start out with a few planets that you control. On these planets you can build unit producing buildings like a barracks or academy, or support buildings such as a shield generator or mining facility. The number of building slots depends on the planet and range from as little as 2 to as many as 8. Above the planet you can also create and tech up a space station to produce ships and support turrets to protect it. Every planet you control generates credit for your war effort at the end of a galactic day. These days don’t impact anything else. This credit amount can be modified by mining facilities on planets and smugglers on enemy planets. So in the end this is really more of a Star Wars Risk where every planet you control gives you a small benefit and the more you control the more funding you get and the better you can beef up your border worlds.
Man that was long winded. In case you didn’t pick up on the tone of that last paragraph, I do enjoy this game. Even though I am not very good at Risk, I love playing it and this is such an awesome mixing of Star Wars and that great board game. There is actually 3 factions in the galaxy, the one I didn’t mention is the crime faction. In the expansion, Forces of Corruption, you actually get to play as them so that’s pretty cool. That would be the one thing I would say about the game, the fact that it needs more player support. So three players is better then two. Aside from that, this being a RetroReview you know the game looks old so don’t be surprised when you zoom in and see the age. There are a few other issues not really worth mentioning. Plus, being a RetroReview you can probably find the Gold version of this game for cheap somewhere and I would encourage you to go out and get it if you are a fan of both Star Wars and RTS.