Star Wars: Empire at War
The game is set in the Star Wars universe. The plot of the single player campaign begins after the end of Episode III and works up the time until the beginning of Episode IV . So it deals with the beginnings of the fighting between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire . The player takes over one of these factions and tries to defeat the other. The game combines strategic with tactical elements.
The game was positively received by the trade press. Trade magazines celebrated the game as by far the best Star Wars strategy game to date . Some voices criticized the fact that the game relies too much on its license and offers too little challenge in terms of play compared to the competition.
Half a year after the publication of Empire at War , the expansion Empire at War: Forces of Corruption appeared , which was also developed by Petroglyph Games. It deals with the time after Episode IV, so it is scheduled a little later than the main game. The focus is on the Zann consortium , a criminal organization that has a number of innovations in play.
The plot of the game is told in two campaigns. It covers the time between the films Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) and A New Hope (Episode IV). The focus is on the establishment of the Galactic Empire and the formation of the rebel alliance . In both campaigns, the player takes on the role of one of the two factions. While the latter follows the plot line of the films, the imperial campaign has an alternate ending.
The Imperial campaign begins with Darth Vader's search for a defector who will make a pact with the rebellion. First, the Empire searches for information on the planet Thyferra , on which there is a rebel base, but finds nothing. Therefore, the Empire attacks a pirate base at Ilum and a rebel base at Jabiim . There Vader finds out the identity of the traitor, who is arrested and executed after a brief skirmish. In the meantime, there are uprisings among the population and attacks by rebels, for example on Kashyyyk or Carida . The development of the Death Star , a weapon of mass destruction with which the Emperor plans to consolidate his power, is running in parallel . After the completion of the Death Star, the rebels try to destroy the station. However, this fails and the Death Star destroys the last planets that are in rebel hands. This smashes the rebel alliance.
The Rebel campaign begins with an attempt to steal a new type of fighter, the X-Wing . These are located on the heavily guarded planet Fresia . The rebels therefore launched an attack on the shipyards of neighboring Kuat , with which they lured away most of the Fresia garrison. After a hacker attack on the stationary defense, the rebels invade the Jägerwerft and steal the hunters. They are supported by some scientists. These are then arrested by the empire, but freed again shortly afterwards by a rebel attack.
Meanwhile, the leader of the rebels, Mon Mothma , has learned that the Empire is researching a new weapon, the Death Star. So she hires the smuggler Han Solo to break into an imperial cargo depot and place an EMP generator in a cargo box . When the box is brought to a space base above Corulag , the rebels detonate the EMP, deactivating the station's guns and the defending ships. Then an alliance troop penetrates the station and steals information about the Death Star project. They come across Admiral Ackbar , who has been held prisoner. This then helps the rebels to steal plans for a new battleship. The empire then starts an attack on the hometown of Ackbars, which the rebels are able to fight back. Meanwhile the Death Star has been completed and launched an attack on Alderaan that destroyed the planet. Then the rebels try to destroy the battle station, which they ultimately manage with the help of stolen blueprints for the station.
The player can choose to take control of the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance and lead them against the opposing faction in space and ground battles.
This happens in two game modes. Rapid interventions represent short-term, tactical battles in which the counterparty try each to destroy the enemy base. In the Galaxy Conquest , strategic elements are added to the tactical ones. Both factions try to develop their own faction militarily and to bring the planets of the enemy under their control.
In both modes, the game happens in real time, so the players act simultaneously. In tactical battles, the environment can be partially involved in the fighting. There are fortified positions, buildings that can be captured, and locals who can be friendly or hostile. In space there are obstacles such as fog or asteroid fields.
The head-up display (HUD) comprises a command field with buttons for various attack and movement commands, an overview of the currently selected units and possible reinforcement troops, and a minimap. In addition, there is a camera function with which the player can view the action from a film-like perspective during a fight.
The Galaxy Conquest takes place on a three-dimensional map, which, depending on the scenario, depicts up to 43 planets of the Star Wars universe. The player has the task of driving the opposing faction out of his area of operation. The action is divided into the action on the galaxy map, in which strategic action is required, and into individual battles that are tactically oriented. The galaxy map is essentially determined by two factions, the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Pirates also control planets, but they have inferior units and do not attack other planets on their own. Both factions have individual strengths and weaknesses. The empire has greater financial resources and larger armies. The rebels have advantages in their reconnaissance and sometimes superior units.
The strength of a faction is determined by the units and planets it controls. Planets are the basis of every faction, they are used to build bases, to recruit new troops and to generate income. Each planet has a certain bonus that can give the controlling faction an advantage.
The economic system is simplified compared to other strategy games. The player receives income in the form of taxes and by operating mines. Mines are one of the basic buildings. The player can build two to eight buildings on each of the planets he controls; In addition to mines, these are defense facilities such as gun turrets, tank factories and barracks.
Both parties achieve technological progress in different ways. The empire is free to build research facilities with which they research new technologies. The rebels, on the other hand, send a droid team to hack into imperial computer systems and steal blueprints.
Battles occur when two warring fleets or armies meet on the galaxy map. Then the action pauses on that map and a battle map - either one in space or one on a planet's surface - is loaded. There the hostile troops fight each other until an army withdraws or is worn out.
The two playable factions have special commanders available. These represent important characters from the Star Wars universe, such as Darth Vader, Darth Sidious or Admiral Ackbar. These are characterized by special skills in combat or by strong bonuses. Some figures allow troops to be recruited locally at lower prices. Others give their fellow combatants advantages in combat during combat.
Galaxy Conquests can be played against both the computer and other human players.
Battles take place in real time. They take place on pre-made maps on planetary surfaces or in space. At the beginning of a battle, both parties bring a limited number of troops into battle. Areas that are not in sight of your own troops are covered in the fog of war . The maximum number of troops that can take part in a battle at the same time is limited by the population limit. Each unit has a certain population value, which counts towards this limit. Larger units have a higher value than smaller ones. This prevents an excessive force imbalance. If a unit is destroyed in combat, its population value is subtracted from the limit so that the player can request further reinforcements.
Various commands are available to the player that he can issue to his troops. These include attack and movement commands as well as a defense command. Most units also have special abilities that give them advantages in combat. These include special attack maneuvers, such as the Power Blitz , or defensive bonuses such as healing allied units.
The available units are divided into room and floor units. They are largely based on templates from the Star Wars universe. The types of troops, such as fighters, bombers or tanks, are similar in both factions. Fights between units usually take place according to the rock-paper-scissors principle .
In most battles, the defender has a base, be it a complex of factories and barracks or a space station. He must protect them from the attacker. If there is no base, the troops fight against each other until the opposing army is wiped out or on the run.
In battles on planet surfaces, there are abandoned buildings in some locations that can be captured by either party for an advantage. These include, for example, transmitters that lift the fog of war. Furthermore, there are civilians in some locations who support one of the factions or are hostile to all invaders. Depending on their sentiments, they support their preferred faction in battles.
There are two different campaigns to choose from, one for each playable faction. Both take place in the entire Star Wars universe and more or less follow the plot that is given by the original films. In terms of play, the campaigns are based on conquering the galaxy, but in some places they restrict the player's freedom of action in order to ensure that the campaign runs correctly. For example, independent research was deactivated in both campaigns.
In the battle mode (also immediate use ), individual battles are fought in any operational area. The players start with two separate bases, which they first attach and then upgrade with troops. For the victory, the opponents try to destroy the enemy base, optionally also the enemy troops. In a further variant of the game, the teams try to conquer and hold on to locations spread across the map.
In immediate missions, both players have a military base consisting of factories, barracks and research facilities. In order to receive money for recruitment and research, both parties can occupy resource depots and mines distributed around the map and put them into operation.
Space battles are playfully different from ground battles in that both parties only have one building, a space station. They try to upgrade these as quickly as possible in order to gain access to more powerful units.
Battles can be played either alone against the computer or against other players. The same bet types are available in both single-player and multiplayer modes.
Empire at War was first mentioned to the press in late 2004. Jim Ward, then chairman of LucasArts, spoke to the news agency Reuters about the fact that a Star Wars -Echtzeitstrategiespiel the American developer Petroglyph in work is. It was the fourth strategy game for the saga. The three previous licensed strategy games were Rebellion (1998), Force Commander (2000) and Galactic Battlegrounds (2001).
The official announcement by LucasArts followed in January 2005. The new game should include a campaign, modern 3D graphics and a multiplayer mode for up to eight players. The company gave the autumn of the same year as the expected release date. LucasArts also launched a website that regularly revealed new image and video material about the game. In an initial presentation, the developers presented sequences of air and ground battles and provided an insight into the campaign game. Although the game was still in its early stages at that time, according to the developers, numerous types of troops had already been designed. The aim of the developers was to create a real-time strategy game that would do without the micromanagement of other titles and would therefore have faster gameplay. Technically, the game was a new development. The Alamo engine, developed by Petroglyph after several tests with third-party code bases, is used as the graphics engine . The artificial intelligence is based on XML and Lua . It is designed for two areas of application, tactical fighting and strategic planning on the galaxy map.
The development of the sound was led by Frank Klepacki , who has worked on Command & Conquer titles. As a technical basis he used the EAX system, which should enable particularly realistic ambient noises. In addition to the sound effects, Klepacki also planned convincing dialogues. For this Petroglyph recruited Temuera Morrison , the actor of Jango Fett in Episode II , and Jamie Glover , the son of the actor of General Veers in Episode V , among others . The music is largely based on the film compositions by John Williams . Klepacki preferred to fall back on pieces from the original trilogy, as these fit better with the plot of the game. However, he composed around a fifth of the pieces in the game, as there were not suitable templates for all locations in the game.
The next performance followed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2005. At this point in time, the game's core functions were almost completely implemented. In July, LucasArts announced that the game was expected to be released in February 2006. In August 2005 Empire at War was exhibited at the Games Convention in Leipzig.
On January 18, 2006, a playable demo version was released. It included several introductory missions and a close galaxy conquest scenario from the point of view of the rebels. In February the game reached gold status . With that the development was finished.
On February 16, the title finally appeared in North America. The publication in Europe followed a day later. LucasArts acted as publisher in the USA and Activision in Europe. A Collector's Edition was released to mark the launch of Empire at War . In addition to a 3D cover, it contained a colored manual and a bonus CD with the Death Star print. This included concept arts , wallpaper, and some additional maps . On the day of publication, a first patch was released that fixed technical problems in the multiplayer mode.
In May 2006, Petroglyph released a map editor. Shortly beforehand, the developer had announced that an expansion was in the works. A new faction was named as a central innovation, which should clearly distinguish itself from the other two through play. The factions already included will receive some new units. LucasArts gave the autumn of the same year as the expected release date.
Finally, the add-on was released under the title Empire at War: Forces of Corruption at the end of October 2006. In September 2007, the Star Wars: Empire at War Gold Pack was released , which contains the Collector's Edition and the add-on.
In late 2006, Mac porting company Aspyr Media announced that Empire at War would be released for Mac OS next year. A demo version was released in March 2007. The game followed in April.
Star Wars: Empire at War was received mostly positively by the trade press. The Metacritic website calculated a meta rating of 79 out of 100 points. Testers praised the fact that the game was clearly the best compared to previous Star Wars strategy games and that it was convincing both technically and in terms of play. However, some criticized that it was too undemanding and lacking variety in comparison with genre competitors such as Rome: Total War .
Steve Butts from the online magazine IGN Entertainment praised the game for creating a good Star Wars atmosphere. Both factions are well represented and require different strategies to be victorious. In terms of play, however, the game suffers from a few weaknesses. There are too few units. Furthermore, the locations are designed with little variety. As a result, battles follow the same pattern too often. Furthermore, the graphics are outdated in places, especially the textures of the ground units leave something to be desired.
Bob Colayco from the American online magazine GameSpot rated Empire at War as successful in many areas. One of the strengths of the game is the division into strategic and tactical elements that create variety and challenge the player in different ways. The game is also technically convincing. In particular, the sound is of high quality. On the other hand, the land battles were negative. These suffer from monotonously designed areas of application and less demanding artificial intelligence . The powerful heroes only partially make up for this.
Dirk Gooding from the German magazine PC Games gave the game one of the highest ratings. He praised the game's many units and maps. The concept of tactical battles was also well done. The game has minor weaknesses in operation. Maneuvering large ships, for example, is often cumbersome. In addition, galaxy conquests in multiplayer mode are hardly playable due to serious errors.
Tom Chicks from the American magazine GameSpy criticized the user interface. This is too confusing with too many buttons and menus. Some functions of the game are also poorly documented. One of the game's main strengths is its concept. By largely avoiding the tedious building of bases and collecting resources, the flow of the game is much faster.
Marcel Kleffmann from the online magazine 4Players complained that the campaign was too monotonous. The missions are structured too similarly and the scenario is only weakly staged. The free galaxy conquests are less linear, but suffer from a lack of variety due to the slight variation in the maps and objectives. Convincing, however, are the graphics and sound, which implement the film templates well. The multiplayer mode is also a good concept, but there are frequent synchronization problems with galaxy conquests.
When the demo version of Empire at War was released , players began to develop modifications that added some units. These initially added a few new units or changed the balance of power between the existing ones. After the game was launched, a number of modding projects emerged that changed the number of troops and the balance of forces between the factions.
With the publication of the map editor by Petroglyph, as well as some unofficial modding programs, even more extensive projects began. Developer groups published in-depth revisions, including adding new locations and campaigns. Others port the game to other epochs, such as those of Episodes I to III or the time of the role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic .
In the German-speaking area, according to statistics from the Society for Consumer Research, the Collector's Edition of Empire at War took first place among the best-selling Windows games in the first week after the start of sales . The basic version of the game reached the fifth place. It was still in the charts in April. In North America, it was in tenth place according to statistics from the NPD Group in the week of publication. In an overall view of the most successful Windows games of 2006, Empire at War came fourth.
Forces of Corruption
In October 2006, the first and only expansion for Empire at War appeared under the title Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption .
The add-on adds a new, playable faction, the Zann Consortium . The consortium is a criminal underground organization, so it differs considerably in terms of control from the factions in the basic game. In addition to the possibility of conquering opposing worlds, the consortium can establish organized crime there . Corruption gives the pirates various bonuses, such as new units or additional sources of money. A new campaign was also implemented. This tells the story of the leader of the consortium, Tyber Zann .
The expansion was also well received by the specialist press. Testers praised the fact that the game had improved in terms of graphics and play. So ground battles benefit from the new, larger maps and the galaxy conquest from the new possibilities of the consortium. Metacritic calculated a meta rating of 75 out of 100 points.
- Star Wars: Empire at War at MobyGames (English)
- Star Wars: Empire at War in theInternet Movie Database(English)
- Official website of the game ( Memento from January 4, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (English, requires Adobe Flash )
- Fan page with information on all game content
- Star Wars: Empire at War on Jedipedia.net
- Website with all mod tools
- Tim Surette: Star Wars: Empire at War storms retail. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , February 16, 2006, accessed January 27, 2015 .
- Marcel Kleffmann: First Facts: Star Wars: Empire at War. In: 4Players . 4Players GmbH , January 18, 2006, accessed on January 27, 2015 .
- Jim Rossignol: Star Wars: Empire At War. In: Eurogamer . Gamer Network , February 23, 2006, accessed January 3, 2015 .
- Michael Graf: Successful Star Wars strategy game. In: GameStar . February 24, 2006, accessed December 31, 2014 .
- Tom Chicks: Star Wars: Empire at War. GameSpy, February 23, 2006, accessed October 7, 2014 .
- Steve Butts: Star Wars: Empire at War. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , February 15, 2006, accessed December 30, 2014 .
- Dirk Gooding: Star Wars: Empire At War. In: PC Gamer . Computec Media Group , February 20, 2006, accessed January 11, 2015 .
- Bob Colayco: Star Wars Empire at War Review. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , February 16, 2006, accessed October 7, 2014 .
- Justin Stolzenberg: Galactic Conquest also in multiplayer mode. In: PC Games . Computec Media Group , January 18, 2006, accessed February 6, 2015 .
- David Adams: New Star Wars RTS Coming? In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , November 10, 2004, accessed January 3, 2015 .
- David Adams: Star Wars Goes Strategic. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , January 21, 2005, accessed April 14, 2018 .
- Nedzad Hurabasic: Mini website is here. In: Gamona . January 25, 2005, accessed February 4, 2015 .
- Steve Butts: Star Wars: Empire at War. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , January 26, 2005, accessed January 11, 2015 .
- Star Wars: Empire at War Designer Diary # 3 - Skirmish on Land and in Space. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , January 20, 2006, accessed January 27, 2015 .
- Star Wars: Empire at War Designer Diary # 5 - The History of Empire at War. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , February 13, 2006, accessed January 27, 2015 .
- Star Wars: Empire at War Designer Diary # 4 - Audio in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , February 2, 2006, accessed January 28, 2015 .
- The Big E3 List: 2005 Edition. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , April 11, 2005, accessed January 11, 2015 .
- Star Wars: Empire at War Q&A - Heroes, Battles, and Blowing Stuff Up With the Death Star. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , June 27, 2005, accessed January 26, 2015 .
- Steve Butts: Star Wars: Empire at War. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , July 21, 2005, accessed January 13, 2015 .
- Ivan Sulic: GC 2005: Empire at War. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , August 19, 2005, accessed January 13, 2015 .
- Justin Stolzenberg: Star Wars: Empire at War - Exact demo date & content. In: PC Games . Computec Media Group , January 16, 2006, accessed January 14, 2015 .
- Nedzad Hurabasic: Packshot & game info fed up. In: Gamona . February 10, 2006, accessed on February 4, 2015 .
- Tim Surette: Star Wars: Empire at War storms retail. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , February 16, 2006, accessed February 4, 2015 .
- Rene Heuser: Star Wars: Empire at War - Level Editor. In: GameStar . IDG Entertainment Media GmbH , May 16, 2006, accessed on February 10, 2015 .
- Justin Stolzenberg: E3 2012. In: PC Games . Computec Media Group , May 9, 2006, accessed January 1, 2015 .
- Justin Calvert: E3 06: Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption First Look. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , May 11, 2006, accessed January 31, 2015 .
- Brendan Sinclair: Star Wars: Empire at War expansion goes gold. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , October 6, 2006, accessed February 10, 2015 .
- Article on the release of the Gold Pack ( Memento from June 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- Alan Rose: Empire at War coming to the Mac. (No longer available online.) In: Joystiq . AOL Tech , November 30, 2006; archived from the original on January 28, 2015 ; accessed on February 18, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Tuncer Deniz: Star Wars: Empire At War Demo Released. In: Inside Mac Games . Power Pig Productions , March 21, 2007, accessed February 18, 2015 .
- Ümit Mericler: Star Wars: Empire at War, demo available. In: Mac Life . Falkemedia Digital , March 22, 2007, accessed February 18, 2015 .
- meta evaluation “Empire at War”. In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed July 23, 2014 .
- Meta-evaluation "Empire at War". In: GameRankings . CBS Corporation , accessed October 7, 2014 .
- GameZone ( Memento from October 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Marcel Kleffmann: Test: Star Wars: Empire At War. In: 4Players . 4Players GmbH , February 25, 2006, accessed on December 31, 2014 .
- Computer Games Magazine, 5/2006, p. 45.
- GameInformer, 3/06, p. 114.
- Patrick Joynt: Star Wars: Empire At War. (No longer available online.) In: 1UP . Ziff Davis , February 15, 2006, archived from the original on March 12, 2006 ; accessed on January 3, 2015 .
- PC Maximum, 05/2006, p. 74.
- PC Gamer, 04/2006, p. 62.
- Review Empire at War. (No longer available online.) In: GamePro . February 21, 2006, archived from the original on March 5, 2006 ; accessed on February 4, 2015 .
- PC Format, 04/2006, p. 92.
- Star Wars Empire at War. In: Computer Picture Games . Axel Springer , accessed on February 15, 2015 .
- Justin Stolzenberg: Mods at your own risk. In: PC Games . Computec Media Group , January 24, 2006, accessed February 23, 2015 .
- Steiner Advanced Units Mod Reloaded. In: Mod DB . Retrieved February 10, 2015 .
- Republic at War. In: Mod DB . Retrieved February 10, 2015 .
- Old Republic at War. In: Mod DB . Retrieved February 10, 2015 .
- Tobias Wüst: Star Wars: Empire At War represented twice. In: Gamona . February 23, 2006, accessed February 4, 2015 .
- Tobias Wüst: Hardly any movement in the top ten. In: Gamona . April 5, 2006, accessed February 4, 2015 .
- Kathleen Sanders: Top of the Pops. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , May 18, 2006, accessed February 11, 2015 .
- Jason McMaster: NPD Releases 2006 Top 10 PC Game. In: Gigaom . Gigaom , January 18, 2007, accessed February 11, 2015 .
- Sebastian Thöing: Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. In: PC Games . Computec Media Group , October 9, 2006, accessed January 1, 2015 .
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption Designer Diary # 1 - The New Underworld Faction. In: GameSpot . CBS Corporation , June 20, 2006, accessed February 6, 2015 .
- Steve Butts: Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption Review. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , October 24, 2006, accessed February 11, 2015 .
- Marcel Kleffmann: review: Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. In: 4Players . 4Players GmbH , November 7, 2006, accessed on February 22, 2015 .
- Meta-ratings "Forces of Corruption". In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed February 22, 2015 .