One of the most disappointing games ever published.
Star Wars stategic combat? Take control of the Alliance or the Empire? what a concept!
The execution of the wonderful concept is the absolute pits.
1. "Rebellion" has the worst interface of any game published in the last ten years. Accomplishing even the most mundane task is a nightmare of right- and left-clicking, none of which is based on any sort of logical menu algorithm. Even if the game was otherwise terrific, the interface alone is enough to make it worthless.
2. The graphics and sound are the pits.
3. The AI is terrible. Ten years ago I might have accepted bad AI, but for a game written in 1997 it's ludicrous. The AI acts in an essentially random fashion.
4. Despite big promises, the game's Star Wars feel is lacking. The personalities are just Strat-o-Matic cards that you assign to uninteresting missions, for which you get text boxes stating whether the mission was successful or not. Most of the really cool characters, like Darth Vader or the Emperor or Princess Leia, are merely used on one "diplomatic" mission after another, which doesn't do anything except slightly raise your influence over a planet.
The entire game doesn't even match the Star Wars universe. The Empire starts out with virtually no military power, which just doesn't make any sense at all, and controls next to no planets; they're pretty much equal to the Rebels, which of course pretty much blows the whole "scrappy rebels vs. huge, lumbering Empire" thing right out the door. My idea of the perfect Star Wars strategy game would have the Rebel player forced the hit and run and disrupt the Empire from all corners, slowly breakign it down, while the Imperial player would have to use sheer force to try to box the Rebel player in until he had nowhere to run. Most planets are unexplored, which makes no sense in a Star Wars setting. At the beginning of the game the Empire exerts no control over the galaxy. What the heck are they an Empire OF? What are the Rebels rebelling against?
The truth is that the game HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STAR WARS. The strategic and tactical elements of the game are no more relevant to "Star Wars" than they are to Fried Green Tomatoes. The game is merely a very, very bad abstract strategic game on which they've plastered the "Star Wars" name and put some of the character's names on the playing cards. Big whoop.
The game's tactical combat system sucks as well; the graphics are poor and the combat is uncontrollable and boring. Other types of missions have no combat at all and there's no ground combat, so you can't order General Veers to begin his attack, and what fun is that?
The Bottom Line
This game is a complete ripoff, an attempt to use the Star Wars name to sucker gamers into buying a terrible, boring and buggy game. Don't buy this game; don't take it if someone PAYS you to play it.