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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Star Wars: Empire At War For PC Previewed
9:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has previewed the upcoming Star Wars real-time strategy game, Empire At War. The game, which is currently in development for the PC, will feature space and land battles on planets such as Hoth, Tatooine and Dagobah as well as all new locales. The game is set in the time between episodes III and IV and will detail the struggle between the fledgling Alliance and the newly created Empire. Players will be able to join either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire and their success or failure will determine the course of the game.

Here are a few excerpts from the preview:

There are over 40 battle locations in the game and about 20 of those are planets. The object is to capture a planet and then take advantage of its resources (each planet has one) and special bonus abilities that are earned once said planet is in your possession. You'll battle on the sands of Tatooine, on the extremely icy plains of Hoth, and in the forests of Yavin IV, among other locations, but before you can land you'll need to dispatch your enemies in a thrilling space battle.

...Now what's especially neat about destroying planets is the aftermath. Empire at War takes place in this persistent universe where actions taken in the last mission may seriously impact the gameplay. If you blow up a planet it may leave behind an asteroid field that'll always be there for the rest of your game, and with it comes an all new level of strategy. If you elect to go through it, all of your units will take damage, so if you want to preserve your energy you'll need to go around it. Not only will this take longer than if the field wasn't there, but you also risk being assaulted by an enemy that's decided to travel along the same side.

...Like in most of the Star Wars films, the idea is to weaken your opponent by taking down the shield generator(s), exposing their sorry butts, and then hitting them with everything you've got. To get an added boost, you'll be able to deploy hero characters, and while LucasArts has confirmed Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi, I'm not sure if there will be others.

There's a lot more to these special characters than just using them to slaughter a few units. While Vader is more than capable of using the Force to take down vehicles and his light saber to cut through waves of enemies, you can increase the attack power of certain vehicles by placing him on board. It also appears that you can use him to counter an enemy's hero attack, so if Obi Wan is giving your guys a hard time, Vader will give him something to really worry about.

There is no word on the possibility of a Mac version of EAW, but IMG will keep you up to date on any developments. Check out the preview at the link below.

LucasArts Empire At War Preview

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