Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds Review (PC)

As you play it you will notice a lot of resemblance with other real time strategy games, especially with Age of Empires II.

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You coordinate Resource gathering, management and application, but the focus will always be on the battle field.

Each mission has its own little details. Some are the plain old "crush kill and destroy or taste it by yourself" missions, and some are a bit deeper "spy" missions where you will start with a small force and have to battle your way through to victory without the facilities to replace your fallen units. Only carefully planed attacks will get you through such missions.

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The scenarios are varied. You will fight on uncharted forests, in the air, asteroid fields, on the sea and under it. Yes, there are battles on old subermeged cities! And with the scenario editor you can make your own maps and fight wherever you want to, with whoever you want to.

RTS - Counquer fans will immediately recognize the look of the game from Age of Kings. That's because Lucas Arts used the same engine that Ensemble Studio used to make Age of Kings. It guarantees a stable and fully tested platform and also a remarkable familiarity with the game.

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One of the main points of this game is the fidelity to the SW story. The game has over 300 structures and units, with appearances ranging from the extraordinary AT-AT Walkers to the less noticed Naboo Guards, guarantying a long lasting interest to the game, specially to the SW fans.

The graphics are really notorious. The level of similarity with the worlds that SW brought to us is really noticeable. Dense forests in the Wookie world is overwhelming. The peace and prosperity in Naboo is obvious. As the ominous feeling you get when commanding the Trade Federation Armies.

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With the use of previously tested software, you can be sure that the game will probably run smooth if installed on a system that meets the minimum requirements. Also, you will have a well known interface, that makes use of logic to work and is highly deductive. The sound is very elaborated, with simultaneous sounds at once making the game more realistic. The tuturial campaign is well done and it teaches newcomers the rules of engagement. It also shows some innovations, as the animal nursery, where you capture animals (nerfs in this game, but they behave exactly as the sheeps in AOK) and keep them there to generate food. If you are not acquainted to this kind of game then you will become very rapidly, as the levels increase in difficulty.

The first problem that experienced strategy gamers will see is the obvious lack of innovations.

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Since the Astonishing success of the Warcraft Series, the same formulae has been applied on RTS games. You grow dozens of workers, gather huge amounts of resources, build as largest army as possible and remove the enemy from the map, simple as that. The game works and feels exactly as AOK. Some units are very alike, eg Laser Cannon/Trebuchet Jedis/Monks. Even concepts as gathering food from berry bushes and hunting where used in GB, which I find, in the least, very weird. Especially when you are playing with Trade Federations, that has a taskforce composed almost completely of droids.

So for the ones who played Age of Kings, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds might be a bit boring. It can be considered as an unofficial expansion of AOK if you ask me.

by Zago
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