reviews\ Nov 3, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds Saga - PC - Review

Galactic Battlegrounds Saga is a neat little package that combines the original Galactic Battlegrounds with the expansion pack all into one tiny box. The game is powered by the Age of Empires: AOK engine and uses the Star Wars license to make some of the best real-time strategy mayhem out there.

For those of you who don't know, the Episode 2 DVD will be in stores very shortly. Attack of the Clones has been re-released in an Imax theater near you. So of course a PC offering is to be expected. I played through a healthy chunk and didn't find much new, however the gameplay is outstanding and the level of quality is very high as in most LucasArts titles.

There are campaign modes to choose from where you can play as one of many civilizations. The Empire, Rebellion, Wookie and Trade Federation are all available to mention a few. Each movie in the Star Wars universe is represented whether it is a locale, a civilization or a military unit.

You can fight amongst your friends with online play. Building your own scenario is possible by using the editor. Or you can jump right in by choosing a random map.

Simply build up your army and advance through the tech tree to gain bigger and more devastating weapons. Since I played through the original releases I will quickly mention some points. The computer is still much faster at building than the player. If you don't figure out what units can counter specialized enemy units you will have your behind handed to you.

The music is mostly played during the menu screens, and it is of course soundtrack quality. The sound effects are lifted from the movie and explosions sound sweet with a sub-woofer.

So I built my galactic army to full strength. First I had advanced turret emplacements surround my base, then I made sure that the shield generators were all online to protect my buildings. My workers ran around and furiously collected nova and food and ore and carbon. Then I began deploying AT-ATs. That's right the massive four-legged battle machines. They were supported by a full squadron of TIE Advanced fighters and TIE Bombers. Over one hundred and fifty units are supported but to be honest I didn't even need that many.

My massive army attacked the Rebel base and completely annihilated it. The Rebel snow speeders and armored cannons were no match to the supreme might of the Empire. Okay so the game isn't going to blow the RTS genre out of the water with a mind-blowing gameplay revolution, but it sure is a blast and a half to play. Addictive gameplay and a bag of chips too. In fact a bunch of trading card packs are included in the game. Wish I knew what to do with them. Sadly I don't play. It's Star Wars. It's fun.

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds Review                    Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds- Clone Campaign Review

Gameplay: 8
It's fast. It's addicting and it's fun. It's Star Wars baby, but it's not groundbreaking. 

Graphics: 8
The AOE engine is showing at the seams, but if you bump up the resolution all of a sudden you've got some four-legged walkers blowing everything to hell and it's so much fun that you don't care about dated graphics.

Sound: 8
The music and the sound allow you to fall into the battleground what more could you want. Oh yeah it's Star Wars music and sound.

Difficulty: 7
If it's too hard bump the difficulty level down to easy. If you are still getting smoked research the tech tree and figure out what units counter enemy units. If you're still getting clocked then maybe you should go play through the tutorial and learn all the ins and outs of gameplay. If that doesn't work than it's time to use the force baby. Or you could just punch in some cheats. He he.

Concept: 8
Galactic Battlegrounds gets a ten for being Star Wars and a negative 2 for basically being AOE with a movie license.

Multiplayer:  8
Good times here especially when you can create your own scenario with the editor then watch your online buddies smash each other apart.

Overall: 8
Hey it's Star Wars okay? If you didn't get GB the first time around go pick it up and play it loud. Or better yet put it on your holiday wish list.


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