Star Wars Empire at War Gold Pack

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... The Galactic Empire wants to control the entire galaxy. The Rebel Alliance wants to stop The Galactic Empire. A bunch of pirates called the Zann Consortium just wants to make money and corrupt everything. Choose a side to conquer the galaxy in this Star Wars real-time strategy(RTS) game.

Release Date:

Star Wars Empire At War - February 2006.
Star Wars Empire At War: Forces of Corruption - October 2006.

Pros:

  • It is Star Wars and Star Wars done well! All the Star Wars favourites are there like the Death Star, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, AT-ATs, X-Wings, Millenium Falcon, Nebulon-Bs, Star Destroyers, ewoks and even Kyle Katarn.
  • Some original soundtracks from the Star Wars movies are mixed with some original compositions. All the music fits well with the game giving the nice Star Wars atmosphere.
  • The graphics are Star Wars wonderful. Although not as good as C&C3 Tiberium Wars it is still excellent. Each space and ground unit is well detailed. The space battle explosions look Star Wars spectacular, but the land battle explosions seems a bit lacking.
  • The sounds are authentically Star Wars and done well too, but unfortunately the original cast do not reprise their roles in the game. The substitute voices do perform an OK job though.
  • The scaling for the units are done very well. Tie Fighters and X-Wings are tiny compared to the Star Destroyers and Nebulon-Bs. And for ground battles, the AT-ATs, AT-STs, Snow Speeders and soldiers all look about the right size. Forces of Corruption also adds the Super Star Destroyer Executor to the list and it is massive!
  • Empire at War is very easy to learn to play. Even though the game plays quite different to traditional RTS titles, the tutorials are excellent and the hints that pop up really help you understand how the game works.
  • The campaigns and galactic conquest modes are played in two parts and are very different to the usual Command & Conquer type RTS. The first part is played on the galactic map. Here you get an overview of the whole galaxy and this is where you build all your stuff like star bases, ships, buildings and land units. This is also where you see your income grow and you get to move your forces around. All this happens in real-time. When one of your space or ground forces encounter an enemy's force, a tactical battle takes place. This whole galactic map mode gives a whole new way to play an RTS game and is fitting to the Star Wars universe.
  • The campaign stories takes place from before Episode IV to the battle of Yavin for plain Empire at War. Then Forces of Corruption takes place just after the battle of Yavin. This game gives you the chance to play out part of the movie if you so choose. If you are tired of following a linear story, play the galactic conquest games, where anything goes as far as conquering the galaxy is concerned.
  • There are mods for the game. Check out Empire at War Heaven, Mod DB and Mod DB: Forces of Corruption.

Cons:

  • There is a minor bug that can cause a very anticlimactic end to a galactic conquest game in normal Empire at War. If you use the Death Star to destroy a planet that has Han Solo and Chewbacca on it, the game will crash. Here is a video that shows what happens.

Other Points:

  • There is a cinematic camera feature that lets you view the world from a cinematic point of view, but I find it only shows the scenes well half of the time. Most of the time it just shows things from weird angles, that you cannot see the action nicely. It is possible to focus on one unit and rotate the camera manually with the mouse, but you cannot perform a fly-by camera action.
  • I am unsure if this is intentional or just my not playing well, but the imperial stormtroopers seems as useless as they are in the movies. I need hordes of these guys to get anything done.
  • The tactical battle part is the closest thing Empire at War has to a traditional RTS, but it is still very different. You cannot build units and you can only build small support structures on designated build pads. You start off with a bunch of units and you must call in reinforcements to join the fun. Land tactical battles have the added element of reinforcement points. You must capture them to increase the population cap to be able to call in reinforcements.
  • Both land and space tactical battles have a population cap but they are large enough to give the big battle feeling.
  • There is also a third mode of play which is tactical skirmish. This is a quick game of tactical battle on a selected map. In this mode, there is a steady income, but your units can also capture resource points to boost income. Units can be built in this tactical battle, but they must still be brought in via reinforcements. apart from the small support structures, buildings still cannot be built, but existing buildings that are destroyed can be rebuilt at the same location.
  • Unlike Homeworld, Empire at War's space battles are only controlled in two dimensions. So it plays pretty much like other ground based real-time strategy games. The battles do sometimes show ships flying in three dimensions though.
  • Plain Empire at War has the two main sides The Empire and The Rebel Alliance. Forces of Corruption adds a third side to the fray which is a pirate group called the Zann Consortium. The three sides are different but I find that Act of War and C&C3 Tiberium Wars have greater differences between the sides. In addition to the third side, Forces of Corruption also adds new units to the Rebels and the Empire.

Biases:

  • Reviewed version 1.05 of Empire at War and version 1.01 of Forces of Corruption.
  • I really like the original trilogy Star Wars movies. Everytime I play a Star Wars game I would bring out the movies to re-watch again.
  • I mainly played the Galactic Conquest and the campaign modes.
  • I have completed the campaigns for all three sides.
  • I really liked Act of War, Dune 2, Command And Conquer, C&C Tiberian Sun, C&C3 Tiberium Wars, Rise Of Nations, The Moon Project, Sins of a Solar Empire and Dawn of War.
  • I also liked Empire Earth 2, Dark Reign, Warcraft 1 and 2, Supreme Commander and Total Annihilation.
  • I did not like Homeworld.

DRM:

  • A key code must be entered before the game installs.
  • The disc must be in the drive to play the game.

Patches:

  • 1.05 - Check your version before upgrading. The Gold Pack already comes patched to this version.
  • 1.1 - The Gold Pack comes with version 1.01 of Forces of Corruption. I am not sure if it is the same as 1.1 as when I tried to install the patch, it refused saying it cannot find the game.
  • RAM fix patch - Fixes Forces of Corruption so that it runs on PCs running 64 bit with more than 2Gb RAM.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box):

  • Computer: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible computer required.
  • Operation System: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista.
  • CPU: Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon 1.0 GHz or faster required.
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM or higher required.
  • Graphics Card: 32 MB 3D graphics card with Hardare Transform and Lighting(T&L) capability required.
  • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0C compatible Sound Card required.
  • DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM drive required.
  • Input Device: Keyboard and mouse required.
  • DirectX: Microsoft DirectX 9.0c is included on this CD.
  • Note: DirectX may require the "latest" drivers for your particular hardware.
  • Installation: 3.5 GB of free hard drive space when you install both games. We recommend that you have an additional 500 MB of free space available after installation.
  • Supported Chipsets:
    • ATI Radeon 8500/9000/9200 family
    • ATI Radeon 9500/9600/9700/9800 family
    • ATI Radeon X300/X600/X700/X800 family
    • ATI Radeon X1300/X1600/X1800/X1900 family
    • NVIDIA GeForce3 family
    • NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti family
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX family
    • NVIDIA GeForce 6 family
    • NVIDIA GeForce 7 family

Computer Played On:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips:

  • The autorun setup launcher does not work on Windows 7 64 bit. To install the game I entered the EAW folder and ran setup.exe manually. Do the same with EAWX folder for Forces of Corruption.

Recommended Mods:

  • Stargate Empire at War. This is a total conversion of Empire at War using the Stargate universe. Although some of the Star Wars stuff pops up now and then, this mod is very well done. There are new units and new maps as well as text descriptions for most things. I am not very familiar with the Stargate universe, so I am not sure how true to the franchise this mod is.

Tags

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