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Star Wars Games For The Macintosh
December 2, 2004 | IMG Staff

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Galactic Battlegrounds / Clone Campaigns
In the summer of 2002, developers Westlake Interactive and publisher Aspyr would release the first title of the next wave of Star Wars games for the Macintosh: Galactic Battlegrounds.

Galactic Battlegrounds is a real-time strategy (RTS) game, with an emphasis on resource management. The game includes six major civilizations from the Star Wars universe: the Trade Federation, the Rebellion, the Royal Guard of Naboo, the Gungans, the Wookies, and the evil Galactic Empire itself. Lets face it, you've always wanted to take charge of the Empire, change the course of history, and mop up the insignificant Rebellion. Here's your chance.

The variety of units in Galactic Battlegrounds is amazing. There are literally hundreds of different units in this game, from Wookies to Rebel soldiers to Imperial AT-ATs to X-wings and Tie Fighters. And you get to control them all. Pit the Trade Federation from Episode One against the Rebellion of the Classic movies, or see how the Galactic Empire would deal with the Gungans.

Campaign scenarios take place on battlegrounds from episodes I, IV, V, and VI of the Star Wars saga. With networked multiplayer modes and an advanced scenario editor, Galactic Battlegrounds is still a popular RTS game today.

A few months after Galactic Battleground's release, its expansion pack, Clone Campaigns, was released by Aspyr. Added to the already successful Galactic Battlegrounds were every unit, machine, and vehicle from the soon-to-be-released Episode II, two new campaigns based on the events of Episode II, and an enhanced graphics engine. This made Clone Campaigns more than just a simple add-on. It became an essential part of the Galactic Battlegrounds experience.

Aspyr would continue its streak of Star Wars releases with Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (both covered earlier in this article).

Knights of the Old Republic
Aspyr's latest entry in the Star Wars gaming universe is Bioware's critically acclaimed role playing game (RPG), Knights of the Old Republic. Using the game engine that helped make Neverwinter Nights such a popular RPG, Knights of the Old Republic is the first true RPG set in the Star Wars universe.

Over 4000 years before we entered a time long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Jedi Knights and the Sith were in full effect, and at odds. After a massive war against the Mandalorians, the Galactic Republic had been betrayed by two Jedi. During a battle with the Sith being led by one of these fallen Jedi, Darth Malak, a young Jedi, Bastila, is separated from her Republic allies. It is your job to find her.

Now, this may sound like standard RPG fare, but its not quite so. Forgetting the fact that there are hundreds of non-player characters, friends, and enemies to meet, fight, and join up with on 7 different worlds, superb battle animations, excellent sound and music right from the movies, and gorgeous graphics, the most unique thing about this RPG is how your character develops. Depending on decisions you make throughout the game, your Jedi character will drift towards the light or dark side of the Force, and the game's outcome will change based on whether you end up a Jedi Knight, or a Sith Lord. Part of the fun of the game, then, is to complete it twice: once enveloped in the glow of the light side of the Force, and once embroiled in the dark side of the Force. A slew of mini-games, such as swoop bike racing and space shooting, round out this multi-award-winning Star Wars game. While the system requirements are steeper than any Star Wars game on the Macintosh to date (a G4/G5 at 1 GHz is the minimum CPU requirement), the gaming experience is more than worth it.

It Is The Future You See...
What does the future hold for Star Wars games on the Macintosh? While no new games have been officially announced, rumors persist about the online multiplayer PC and console extravaganza that is Star Wars: Battlefront. Republic Commando, a squad-based tactical FPS taking place in the time between Episode II and Episode III is also rumored to be in development for the Macintosh. Then there's the sequel to Knights of the Old Republic, Sith Lords, which is currently in development for the PC and Xbox. Will Macintosh users be allowed to continue to share the Lucas universe with their PC and console brethren? If the Force is with us, we surely will.

This article was written by Marcus Albers, Joel Davies, and Stu Willis.

Related Links
Lucas Learning
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
SWGB: Clone Campaigns
Raven Software
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic



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