Galactic Battlegrounds
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 0
Date 2001-11-12
Date 2001-11-23
Publisher Activision
North America Retail Box ArtA long time ago, an awesome real-time strategy game set in Earth's past named Age of Empires II was unleashed on an unwitting public. Almost immediately, it took its place among the best games of its genre. Galactic Battlegrounds takes many of the elements that made Age of Empires II so good and gives them a complete Star Wars makeover. The gameplay is so similar, it's hard to recommend it to anyone with a copy of AOE II. However, if you haven't played AOE II, or you're a hard-core Star Wars fan, you might just find this game to be strong in the Force. Battlegrounds offers you the chance to become a leader in deciding some of the most important battles of the Star Wars mythology. As in other real-time strategy games, you'll concern yourself with such things as keeping your troops fed, advancing technology, and trade. And, of course, keeping your base from getting completely wiped out is generally considered a plus. Among the few enhancements Battlegrounds makes to the Age of Empires II engine is the bigger technology tree (more stuff to invent and play with) and air and anti-air units (TIE fighters, X-wings, etc.). Most of the favorite races, machinery, and characters of the films are also well represented. Wookiees, Jedi, the Trade Federation, Darth Vader, Luke, and the rest of the gang (including Jar Jar) are all there for you to command in the campaign mode. Those looking to wage war in the battles seen in the films might be somewhat disappointed, as many of the missions, while no less important, take place parallel (and usually very close to) those shown in movies. Thankfully, a few of the better-known skirmishes have been incorporated in the game--just don't expect to significantly alter Star Wars history. For example, when controlling Imperial forces in the Battle of Hoth (the snow battle from The Empire Strikes Back), you lead your troops in an effort to annihilate Rebel scum before they can flee the planet. Can you change the outcome of the battle seen in the films? Aside from losing your commander and immediately losing the game, no. But the stories behind the skirmishes depicted throughout Battlegrounds do fit well into the Star Wars myth and are usually fun. There are also quite a few standalone missions, a random map generator, and tools for creating your own battles. It's enough to keep hard-core Star Wars fans ignoring their earthly responsibilities for a good long time. Battlegrounds is, at its core, a modification of Age of Empires II and it plays about as well as can be expected. Fortunately, despite its somewhat outdated graphics, Battlegrounds' famous characters and locales add just enough Star Wars flavor to help make it a solid game in its own right. Pros: Puts you in command of AT-ATs, stormtroopers, and Jedi Familiar Star Wars locales, characters, and music Uses the familiar (and very good) Age of Empires II interface Interesting main campaign that spans the films and goes beyond Return of the Jedi Cons: Outdated graphics lack definition and are rather flat AT-ATs too small, TIEs and X-wings hover instead of fly
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