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Summary'Star Wars' license = terrible game.... never been more true.
The GoodI have to admit, when a friend of mine and I first discovered this game, we stayed up literally ALL night long some nights building Star Destroyers and Death Stars. That part of the game is pretty cool. You are finally able to build up a huge fleet to roam the galaxy blowing up planets and terrorizing the rebels. Or if you play as the rebels, you can have fun stickin' it to the man. Ok, you won't have 'fun', exactly, but you'll be doing something more fun than undergoing extensive dental surgery.
After all the hours I invested playing this game, I feel that I am fully qualified to say that it is one of the absolute worst games ever produced. This is such an obvious attempt to get Star Wars fans to buy a game based on that golden license. Sadly, like so many other Star Wars games, the developers obviously knew it was going to sell regardless of the end result, so no real effort was put forth to make it an enjoyable experience.
'But you stayed up hours playing it! How can you say it isn't fun?' you say? Well, I am a classic example of the kind of sucker who buys this game. I am a die-hard Star Wars fanatic, and anytime I can get involved with Stormtroopers and AT-ATs I will do so. Unfortunately, after the initial 'cool factor' wore off, it became more and more apparent what an awful product this 'game' is.
It's been mentioned before, but I feel it's important to point it out again. This game, at its heart, has almost nothing to do with Star Wars. The Empire and Rebellion begin in almost identical situations militarily and diplomatic. This game begins just after the Battle of Yavin that ends the first Star Wars movie. Hmmm... do you remember the Empire and Rebellion being military equals at the outset of The Empire Strikes Back, because I don't.
Both sides have the same basic types of ships, ground units, buildings, etc., except with different pictures to represent them. There is almost no significant strategic difference in playing the Empire as opposed to playing the Rebellion. Your advisor robot (who is useless) is different, as is the look of the interface, but that is about it.
Oh, and about that 'interface'... It seems that Lucas Arts has gone to great lengths to make certain that players must open as many menus as possible to access the most basic information. There are no pages where important statistics are laid out for you all at once. No quick and easy system for finding out what planets are building what, or what troops are where. Can't remember who is building your Death Star? Have fun searching each shipyard for it. It is quite honestly the worst user interface I have ever encountered in any game for any system, ever.
The so-called 'characters' in the game are perhaps the most ridiculous attempt at adding Star Wars flavor to this generic strategy stew. Darth Vader will spend the entire game conducting diplomacy to peacefully win over planets. Just like the movies! Princess Leia and Mon Mothma do an awful lot of recruiting of new characters, as does the Emperor. Again, just like the movies!
Missions that can be performed by the various characters are also a joke. It seems that a dice roll is all that determines success or failure, and I could never discover what factors under my control might help produce a positive outcome. And why does it take SOOOOOO long to do anything? I realize the galaxy is a big place, but aren't all these Star Wars types of ships supposed to be REALLY fast? Most of the game is spent waiting for so-and-so Rebel character to get to such-and-such a planet to capture so-and-so Imperial character, only to find out that the target character isn't there anymore. Then you get to wait for the character you sent to go ALLLLLLLL the way back to where they came from. What fun! At least in the meantime I can access countless cumbersome menus to keep me occupied.
The game touts its '3D space combat' like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Well, it's about as interesting as slicing breade, andabout as visually compelling. The movement 'orders' you issue to your ships seem to be taken largely as suggestions. You never really get the sense that you are an admiral in charge of a fleet of starships. Instead you feel like a guy sitting at a PC trying in vain to make ugly 3D blocks move around andshoot ugly weapons effects at other ugly 3D blocks. Strangely, this turns out to be precisely what you are doing.
The Bottom Line
I could blather on for days about all the games other faults, but they are too numerous to mention, and I grow weary of being so negative. 'Star Wars: Rebellion' is by all accounts a random poor quality sci-fi real time strategy game, with a thin coat of Star Wars paint slapped on it. Only a huge Star Wars fanatic like myself could ever have any fun with this game, and even then the novelty will wear off very quickly. Perhaps if you have never played a computer game before you should play this. Every game you play after that will seem like a masterpiece! The bottom line is this: without the Star Wars license this game would be regarded as a totally useless space based strategy game. With the Star Wars license, it can now be added to the growing list of sub-par Star Wars games shoveled onto the market. Lucas Arts should honestly be ashamed. Avoid this nightmare at all costs.