Our first of three profiles for Battlegrounds focuses on the Empire and the Rebellion factions.
LucasArts' upcoming real-time strategy game, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, is close to shipping. It should arrive on store shelves by mid-November. Between now and then, GameSpot has secured exclusive coverage of this game to bring you detailed information while you eagerly await its arrival. The focus of the game is on the continuing war between the six factions of the game: Empire, Rebel, Royal Naboo, Trade Federation, Wookies, and Gungans. Each has its own flavor, unique unit, different gameplay style, and varied complement of technologies and units.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take you on an inside tour of Galactic Battlegrounds, showcasing the unique abilities of each of the game's six civilizations. This week, we'll look at the Empire and Rebels. Two weeks later, we'll showcase two more civs, and two weeks after that, we'll conclude with a look at the final two factions.
Galactic Battlegrounds is based on the Age of Kings engine from Ensemble Studios, but it differs in a number of significant ways. The look of the game is very different, of course, since this is Star Wars, but each civilization also has its own completely unique set of art, from its ground troops and simple workers to its starfighters and armored mechs. In terms of gameplay, gamers who try to play this game like it is Age of Kings will be in for a rude awakening. While the designers retained the controls and options of Age of Kings to make Battlegrounds easy to learn, they definitely added many new features and enhanced existing ones to make this a deeper game. From our time with the game, it's clear that those who play this game like they did Age will be at a disadvantage against those who adapt to Battlegrounds' enhanced gameplay.
One immediate difference is that this game is largely based on ranged attacks. There is no distinction between infantry and archers--in this game, the infantry are ranged troopers. Right away, the dynamic shifts to ranged battles, meaning walls and defensive postures aren't as successful as they are in Age of Kings. Units here will just shoot past your walls, since they don't have to go through them in order to attack your forces. There are certainly melee units in this game, and they are much tougher than they were in Age of Kings to compensate for the ranged fire, but they're vastly outnumbered by all the ranged units in this game. Clearly, this game is about taking out your enemy from afar.
Battlegrounds also gets off to a faster start, since even in the first tech level (the game's "ages"), you can build two different trooper types. By the second tech level, you get Jedi and mechs, making this era more contentious than it was in Age of Kings. There are plenty of differences and new features in Battlegrounds, and throughout these showcases, we'll highlight those differences as we delve into detailed accounts of each civilization. So without further ado, we bring you the armies of the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance.
- Release Date: Nov 11, 2001 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: June 2002 (US)