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SummaryA complex and compelling Star Wars strategy game
The GoodI think that Rebellion is best categorized as a 4X strategy game but it's not an obvious clone of any strategy game I've played. Unlike most of the other 4X games, it's not turn-based but instead operates in real-time. There is a lot to digest. It took me many hours to figure out how to play the game. I read some of the rather large manual and followed the tutorial. Once I got the hang of things, I really got sucked in.
There are many strategic options. You can go the conqueror route, with huge armies and fleets of ships led by officers who gain experience. You can alternatively go with a more "diplomatic" direction. You can also do lots of sabotage, espionage and incite rebellions and such. Combine, mix and match. Whatever you enjoy.
The game has a lot of Star Wars "expanded universe" material. I really like seeing the games go beyond the movies. There are numerous characters and a lot of technology from the novels. I have read a boatload of Star Wars novels and recognized a lot of things and this definitely enriched the experience for me.
The space combat is strange and maybe difficult to control, but it definitely has the proper slow lumbering naval capital ship feel to it. The simulation of each ship/fighter's capabilities is complex and fascinating and definitely is something you can learn to leverage advantages and weaknesses of.
The BadThe interface isn't really capable of dealing with the amount of info you have available. I would like to have seen an interface with windows that you can drag around so you can keep them open. It's hard to juggle the game events. It's not that bad though.
The real-time aspect isn't particularly beneficial to a game like this. Thankfully the game speed is adjustable so essentially it ends up being a turn-based game without a turn button.
Ground combat isn't presented in a satisfying manner. I think a little animated battle screen like the MOO games have would have added some excitement to this aspect. A little goes a long way, but this game does zero.
Space combat is ugly? This is true but I don't think it matters. The ships are recognizable and that's all that matters to me.
The Bottom LineRebellion is a misunderstood game for some reason. I think a lot of people were expecting Command & Conquer Star Wars Edition. That is not what this game is at all. If that's what you want, look at Force Commander or Galactic Battlegrounds.
Don't expect it to be easy to jump into. It has a nasty learning curve. Give the manual a read and follow the tutorial to get a grasp on the basics and then things will go much better for you.
If you want to see a simplified and arguably refined version of this game, look at Star Wars Empire at War. I immediately caught on to this when I first loaded EaW up. I think they went way too far with the simplification of the strategy aspect and the ground combat is not great, but the space combat is fun.