Ever play a Real Time Strategy game? Red Alert? Empire Earth? Age of Empires? Starcraft? Warcraft? GOOD! Then you are ready to take controls of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds – Lucas Arts’ new real time strategy game based in the world of Star Wars. If not then you will need to go through the whole tutorial before you are ready rather than just the last few missions.
Is it a ground breaking new game? Not in the least. Does that really matter? Not to me in the slightest. If a game is fun to play I will play it no matter what "engine" it uses or what "graphics rendering technique" it uses or how many similar titles there are out there. In fact, the game uses the exact same engine as Age of Empires. So if you know that game, you will know this one before you even take it out of the box.
Lucas Arts’ new title is just one of these types of games. Nothing new. Nothing earth shattering. Just a ton of fun to be able to play a real time strategy game set in the Star Wars World. It is visually pleasing and has a great tutorial that will bring you up to speed in short order while it entertains you with the building and defense of a Wookiee settlement. The addition of the recently released Clone Campaigns game, and a combo pack that has both the original and the expansion pack, adds elements from the Attack of the Clones movie. So you can command all those cool robots you saw during the movie.
As in any real time strategy game, you start with a few workers and perhaps a warrior type or two and have to build an infrastructure complete with weapons and equipment manufacturers, research facilities, defensive fortifications and the military might to protect it all from the other players in the game. You get to gather the resources necessary for the building of these things – in this case Food, Carbon (from trees of course), Ore and Nova Crystals. You get to progress from one era to another by completing various structures required for the progression. And then get build new and better structures and military units that the new era allows before progressing to the next one. And you get to pit your wits against computer or human enemies all bent on your ultimate demise. And – you get to do all this in the world of Star Wars.
You can play either side in this epic struggle. The Galactic Empire, Trade Federation, Rebel Alliance or one of the other possibilities (Wookiee, Gungan or Royal Naboo ). They each have their own campaign game and each will have appropriate special units (Jedi, Sith Knights etc. ) You can use the mighty AT-ATs or try and figure out how to bring one of those bad boys down before it lays waste to the base you have been working so diligently to construct. The choices are only one of the strong points of this game.
The game looks and feels like you are taking part in a Star Wars movie and therein lies the real beauty of this game. There have been many many real time strategy games but this one is set in the Star Wars World. You can play with that Jedi Knight or with the Wookiees or with an army of Storm Troopers or with a host of other races and items that will be well known to the Star Wars enthusiasts among us.
I have played almost all of the real time strategy games to be released in the past few years and most have come and gone rather quickly. This one however, will most likely be on my hard drive for months to come. Am I a Star Wars fanatic? No I would not say that. But I will say that it is a blast to be able to play the races and units familiar to the Star Wars World. And that makes it just fresh enough to garner a well deserved 4.5 GiN gems from this reviewer.
It will be an asset to any gaming library and a must for any Star Wars enthusiast. It would also be great for anyone that has wondered what all this talk of real time strategy gaming is about!