Star Wars: Empire at War storms retail

Real-time strategy game based on the universe of George Lucas' sci-fi flicks strikes PCs; release already met with problem-solving patch.

The throngs of sci-fi geeks seen leaving their domiciles can mean only one thing--something Star Wars-related is going down. There's still plenty of popcorn and Milk Duds left at the local Cineplex, since the latest project based on George Lucas' popular films isn't a movie; it's Star Wars: Empire at War, a PC game that hit stores today.

Set a few years before Episode IV: A New Hope (or just plain Star Wars for those who have lost track), Empire at War is a real-time strategy game that lets gamers play as either the Rebel Alliance or the Empire. Fans will be able to explore not only familiar environments such as Hoth, Tatooine, and Dagobah, but also new environments mentioned in the films and the novels of the Expanded Universe.

The single-player game challenges users to command armies on land and in space. Memorable characters, such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, are playable and have special skill sets that differentiate them from other units. Several vehicles from the films, including AT-ATs, speeder bikes, and star destroyers, are also at the whim of gamers. Skirmish modes that support up to eight players and a two-player Galactic Conquest mode round out the game's features.

LucasArts has also released the game's first patch to quell disturbances in the force. The 20MB file takes the game to v1.01 and is now available for download from GameSpot. Those who can't make it to the store can still try out the game's demo.

Star Wars: Empire at War is rated T for Teen and has an SRP of $49.95. To see if the game is more Darth Vader or Jar-Jar Binks, check back later for GameSpot's full review.

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Discussion

39 comments
beesbreck
beesbreck

Another fine game added to the collection :)

Alunanite
Alunanite

townsenda1 what are you talking about? Almost every PC game worth its salt has a patch near or at launch, its just a reality nowadays. To say that it isn't going to do it for gamers just shows the depth of your ignorance.

vejkis
vejkis

Better to come out with a patch now then "hold" on it just to show that the game isn't rushed, I guess that somebody/one have done that sometime, I dunno, don't blame me.

townsenda1
townsenda1

With a patch already on this game, it doesn't sound like this game is gonna do it for gamers. I'm waiting.

nochotwo
nochotwo

its like playing an updated Starcontrol with a RTS part added..

s0l0123
s0l0123

Will probably buy it when i get a new GFX card.

Jedi_Osborn
Jedi_Osborn

my pc had trouble with the demo.....might have to upgrade first....ugh.

plightstar
plightstar

I hope the Space battles will be as good as Homeworld SW Mods, now that had big SW space battles.

mystereojones
mystereojones

At least EAW got a patch. BFII just got a patch 4 months later and that patch makes game unplayable.

Alunanite
Alunanite

Well I just spent four hours with this game. Let me dispel some rumors. First off its completely balanced, the demo did not do it justice. Rebels get pwned in early space battles, but have a better time raiding and hiding out until the bigger ships come. Ect. The only problem is that the patch didn't seem to fix the problem everyone is currently having with multiplayer. I don't think its a patchable problem though, I just think Lucas Arts is being cheap and waiting a week to bring all the servers online. Either way its a stellar game with some multiplayer issues. If you are on the sidelines just wait a week and then get the game.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Getting it this weekend... can't wait.

frankcastle54
frankcastle54

Patches are inevitable. The developers showed courage and a desire to put the best product to market. They clearly sighted a problem either just before or sometime after the game went gold and because of their sense of professionalism and want to create a great, fully functional game they released a patch. This doesn't mean that Lucasarts rushed them. I highly doubt that any of you have never put forth a project for school or work that after the deadline you didn't discover something that you couldn't have made better or more complete.

cyprus646
cyprus646

If my PC was stroing enough i would def get this games it looks asome.

valdarez
valdarez

Regardless of the 'patch', the game is still broken. Multiplayer apparently doesn't scale. When you try to connect to the servers, it fails, and consistently crashes the game after the 2nd time it has failed. Before crashing, you can see the stats. The last time I crashed, it showed 80 people in the lobby and 15 games in progress. Nice scalability huh? This is what happens when a company fails to release a beta to stress test their public servers. They should have known by the number of demo downloads that there were going to be a lot of folks playing this game. I only bought this game to play multiplayer...

tomservo51
tomservo51

I love SW but the LOTR 2 demo was a lot more fun.

WombatGuy
WombatGuy

I enjoyed the demo myself, and will probably end up picking this one up. As far as the patch goes, that's the nature of the beast. If they recognized problems with it after it went gold, good for them in releasing a patch ASAP. You'll probably start seeing this on consoles, too, what with all of the new ones being wired for net access. There have been plenty of bad console games that could have been improved with a patch or two, and given the amount of money publishers are spending on console games and given the schedules they force devs to stick to, it won't surprise me one bit if they push out a few patches to keep a slightly botched-at-released game from going straight to the bargain bin. Welcome to next generation gaming...

hindug
hindug

Where is the review GSPOT!!!?! I skipped buying the game while I was at Target because of the lack of a gspot review. Help, I can't think for myself.

runstalker
runstalker

It's a perfectly serviceable RTS with lots of Star Wars properties, nothing more. It won't blow your mind, but it's still well worth playing.

Ace_The_Ace
Ace_The_Ace

I need to go get this now! I love Star Wars and RTS's. I have Battlegrounds too.

THF2
THF2

I wonder if that patch would improve reviews at all? I mean, the problems will likely be fixed for the first time everyone plays it.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

As much as I want it. If it is true that it will be coming out on the 360 I will wait for that one. My PC is a good one but not that good of a one to play it on the PC. So I am going to have to pass on this one and wait for the 360.

Phlakaton
Phlakaton

If you dont set some sort of deadline or cutoff for release you could keep making changes to a game til the cows come home. Sometimes you dont get everything in you would like and a patch is necessary. I'm sure people have been burned in the past with this but I doubt this patch is fixing any major issues. I give Petro thumbs up for caring about the game.

Big_Bubbaloola
Big_Bubbaloola

Ok guys, instead of moaning about that it already needed a patch, just spare a thought for us COD2 players out there........AT LEAST YOU GOT SOME FIXES STRAIGHT AWAY!!!!!! I take it that it also comes with an anti cheat software! IW decided in their infinite wisdom not to include one at retail. They say we should have a patch early 2006, it's Feb 16th and not a word about it since december. Trust me guys, count yourselves lucky. At least it might give SW:EaW a bit more longevity than COD 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

The Death Star is clear to fire!

frankeyser
frankeyser

i think a day one patch is good and bad. bad that they were forced to ship it before it was done good because they did not say eh we will wait till there are complaints.

j14rk1n
j14rk1n

It's true- a patch on release doesn't look all that great, but at least the Devs made the effort to fix the problems ASAP. They could've waited until a few weeks after to see if there were any other issues. They're just lucky it's a PC game and not consoles, because unlike consoles they have the oppurtunity to fix problems.

Hybrid094
Hybrid094

Having a patch on day one implies the game wasn't finished and was forced to ship early. It usually isn't a great sign, but atleast they are willing to patch the game.

777rak
777rak

Too bad I will not be able to get this game till Sun.

quietcool72
quietcool72

So what if there's a patch out on day one? That sure as heck beats EA's "laxed" patching schedule. (Still waiting for that patch to address the BFII load times..) ..and waiting... ..and waiting... I'll take a day 1 patch any day over the constant wait.

Phlakaton
Phlakaton

Half empty half full... understand a patch addresses things that came after the deadlines came... the developer is HELPING YOU to have a better experience. What's wrong with you people.

cerrilove4788
cerrilove4788

This is out tomorrow here in England, so i'm getting it tomorrow to see how good it is before i start judging it.

IceHawk25
IceHawk25

it's kinda sad that there's already a patch for a game that was just relased. This just shows the kind of pressure developers are under from publishers.

zarakand
zarakand

So depressing that at release there's a patch waiting. Why do consumers put up with this rubbish?

molivers7
molivers7

As much of a SW fan that I am, I am going to wait this one out. I have heard mixed reviews from people playing the demo. Just because you slap Star Wars on the package doesn't make the game great. Just makes it cool. I am impressed that there is already a patch for the game. Kudos to you Petroglyph! Now if Lucas Arts will clean up SWG, I'd be impressed :)