60 Second Preview of…

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds at E3 2001

The Specs

Lucasarts has licensed Ensembles Age of Empires engine for this real time strategy game in which players can choose from six sides: the Rebels, the Empire, the Wookies, the Gungans, the Trade Federation, or the Royal Naboo. Terrain ranges from Starcraft style space platforms to Tatooine's deserts, Hoth's frozen wasteland, or the classical cities of Theed. Characters from the movies will make an appearance as hero units.

The Speculation

Mark's Comments: Battleground really looked messy to me. The units all seemed tossed into the game and the whole thing just lacked focus. I saw At-Ats lumbering about trying to get away from X-Wings that hovered instead of flying. I saw Darth Vader get killed by a dozen rebel scum. I saw wookies that looked like Cousin It. This one needs a lot of work. I hope what I saw was early. While the Age of Kings engine might be a fine start, it's no more than a start. Lucasarts really needs to take their time and polish this game.

Tom's Comments: Ouch. Let me add to Mark's description TIE Fighters bobbing in place like fruit flies, priests from Age of Empires posing as jedi knight, and Gungan subs hunting Imperial boats. I know what you're thinking: "The Empire has boats?" An AT-AT is as tall as a stormtrooper who is as tall as a dewback who is as tall as some weird unit I've never seen before that's supposed to be really tall. But it's not just that the scale is so horribly out of whack, giving Battlegrounds the chintzy look of a table full of of Star Wars Micro Machines. The main complication is that we're visiting terrain so far removed from the movies that it's irrelevant. Wookies can build tanks? The Empire has boats? Raise your hand if you're excited by the prospect of playing the Trade Federation. Anyone? Didn't Interplay try something like this with Star Trek? And wasn't it called Star Trek: New Worlds? And didn't it stink to high heaven? At least Galactic Battlegrounds has Ensemble's competent engine underneath it. But I have to ask...the Empire has boats?






Real time strategy

Release Date:

November 2001

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May 22, 2001