In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Star Wars: Rebel Assault

Moby ID: 272
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

Star Wars: Rebel Assault is an arcade flight/shooting game based on the original Star Wars trilogy. Players control Rebel recruit Rookie One (who can be set to have either a male or female voice) in combat against the Empire. Story events (which don't follow the films to the letter but instead offer their own interpretation and characters) include Rookie One's basic training, an Imperial assault on Tatooine, the battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back and the Death Star battle from A New Hope. Players will control four different Star Wars craft: Skyhoppers, A-Wings, X-Wings, and Snowspeeders.

The game's fifteen levels encompass navigating canyons, caves, and asteroid fields, battles against TIE Fighters in space, attacks against a Star Destroyer and an Imperial Walker, a battle on foot against stormtroopers, and the famous Death Star trench run. There are three different types of flight sequences: seen from either behind the own craft, from an overhead perspective, or from a first-person cockpit view. All follow an 'on-rails' model, utilizing motion video backdrops displaying pre-rendered environments. The third-person levels allow some degree of free movement to dodge obstacles, while the first-person levels limit movement to a minimum, mostly requiring accurate shooting instead. Some levels offer a choice of branching paths. The on-foot level takes place on static screens, with Rookie One seen from behind, stormtroopers moving in from side corridors, and the player being able to take steps to the side to avoid enemy fire. The game features a password system - a password is given after every level in the console ports, but only after a group of levels in the PC version.

Spellings

  • מלחמת הכוכבים: מתקפת המורדים - Hebrew spelling
  • スターウォーズ レベルアサルト - Japanese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

61 People (60 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Designer
Programmer
Project Leader
Lead 3D Artist/Animator
Associate Producer
Voice Producer and Director
3D Artist/Animator
Additional 3D Art
3D Modeler
Artist/Animator
Additional Art
Lead Art Technician
Art Technician
Programming Assistance
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 90 ratings with 3 reviews)

Technologically impressive.

The Good
The technology of the game is impressive, given its system requirements. With only a single-speed CDROM drive and a high-speed 386, you too can play numerous action sequences in front of a motion video backdrop. Like Novastorm, the background isn't just for looks; on occaision, you interact with it. If you don't dive fast enough, your ship can run into a geological formation and crash. If you don't swerve to avoid the asteroid hurtling toward you, don't expect to come home.

One nice touch about the video background is that it is larger than the screen. This allowed the developers to shift it up/down/left/right according to player movement, and it helps mask the fact that it's on rails. Another nice trick is a very quick interpolation and rotation section of the video playback code, which allows them to rotate the backdrop +/- 15 degrees if you bank left or right.

The Bad
The action sequences are too hard. Since the action sequences make up the core gameplay. I'd have to admit that the game itself is too hard. I guess I can't put it more bluntly than that, eh? :-)

The joystick code is very sensitive; almost 'twitchy'. There is a patch on Lucasarts' website that fixes this, though.

The Bottom Line
Rebel Assault is a good game to stick on a fast 386 if you want to simulate an early console CD action game like those written for the Sega CD. It looks pretty. It's also a little too hard for anyone other than die-hard shooter fans, so try before you buy.

DOS · by Trixter (8954) · 1999

Good old video-action games, can't beat 'em can you...

The Good
... Or can you? Unfortunately I was not too keen on this game. What I DID like was the fact that the graphics were great for 1993, and that it stuck with the Star Wars soundtrack and general theme. The videos included were very impressive technology at the time.

The Bad
It's too linear, basically. Problem with these games is that whatever you do, you end up doing the same thing if you succeed. You cannot define much, only the general position of the craft. The sound is a pain to get working, and the joystick is a pain to control - Put short, it's a pain!

I also did not like the fact that it did not store your personal settings, and had to stream from the CD so often.

The Bottom Line
If you see it for a very cheap price, I suppose you could give this a go, but Rebel Assault II is a bit more interactive, and is done with real actors, etc. I personally was not impressed, and it took me 10 years or so for me to get past the first level (from 1993-2003), so good luck to you.

DOS · by Quackbal (45) · 2005

A cool game, which fathered the video backdrop shooter sub-genre

The Good
The main reason to buy or play Rebel Assault, which is why I originally bought it, is to play a starfighter pilot. And this game lets you do just that - play a rebel pilot (which is referred to in the game's soundtrack as "rookie one").

Lucasarts managed to capture the feeling of the movies perfectly. You get to fight TIE-fighters in an asteroid field, shoot down a star destroyer, have a shoot-out with imperial stormtroopers, destroy an AT-AT walker, and expreience the famous Deathstar trench run. All this to the incredible sound of John Williams' original Star Wars soundtrack, professionaly produced movies and cutscenes, and incredible CGI effects - all thanks to the video backdrop, which ran amazingly well, concidering the technology of the time, and the amount of data that needs to be streamed of the CD.

The gameplay was fun as well, and not to hard at all. Granted, some sections ARE hard, but if you persevere - you will be rewarded by beautiful cutscenes, and more great play. The gameplay is varied - sometimes you will have to quickly and accurately shoot fighters or

people, sometimes you will have to navigate narrow canyons. Sometimes both.

All in all, the game is fun to play - and captures the feeling of the Star Wars movies.

The Bad
As always with this sort of games - the gameplay is extremely linear. Absolutely nothing changes from game to game. And there is no replay value at all - once you finished the game, there is little point to play it again.

Also, instead of a save game system, rebel assault has a password system. The game is devided to 15 scenes, and after every 3, you are given a password to the next scenes. This is very disappointing, especially when you finish a particulary hard scene, get no password, and find out you have to finish it all over again because you run out of lives at the next scene.

The Bottom Line
Today you have much better games that let you experience Star Wars, but
Rebel Assault was the first game that had such a feeling of immersion. Rebel Assault did quite well at the stores, and spawned a sequel, and many video backdrop games such as Cyberia and Novastorm.

DOS · by Mickey Gabel (332) · 2000

Trivia

3DO ratings

While the US release of the game had a 3DO rating of 12, the Japanese version was rated E.

Technology

One nice touch about the video background is that it is larger than the screen. This allowed the developers to shift it up/down/left/right according to player movement, and it helps mask the fact that it's on rails. Another nice trick is a very quick interpolation and rotation section of the video playback code, which allows them to rotate the backdrop +/- 15 degrees if you bank left or right.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #16 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
    • Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC-Games" (It is almost solely responsible for the fast establishing of CD-ROM drives for PC games. This allowed other developers to free themselves from space restrictions and experiment with new ideas, e.g. FMV sequences.)
  • FLUX
    • Issue #4 - #5 on the "Top 25 Worst Video Games of All-Time" list
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1994 – Best CD-ROM Game in 1993

Information also contributed by Big John WV

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

SEGA CD added by Kartanym. Macintosh added by Kabushi. 3DO added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Crawly, Patrick Bregger, Kayburt.

Game added September 15, 1999. Last modified June 14, 2024.