Sunday, November 3, 2002

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

Having played the first 2 campaigns I feel I can review this now. The interface sucks. I don't have a manual for this game and the hotkeys are slightly different to all the previous games in this genre I have played, which means I am always using the wrong keys. The games seem to be very time-consuming, often the opposition starts out with way more firepower than you and you need to 'just hold them off' long enough to build up a bit. But that step takes a long time.

The graphics are smooth, and the military is more varied than other games I have played (Starcraft/Warcraft/AOE/Settlers/Pharoah), but you are limited to fairly rigid unit placements. Unfortunately, if you have chosen a formation that should protect some units, selecting to attack anything will cause the game engine to abandon your formation and make every unit attack the target, oblivious to other things. It would also be nice to be able to set initial instructions for when a unit is made, but I realise none of the games I have played have done that. There are only 3 speeds, slow, medium and fast. Fast is quite slow, and slow is deathly slow - only useful in planning a large combat situation, where there is lots of mouse work.

I find the game play quite tedious, and the interface very annoying. At least the background music is exactly that, very soft. It's a real shame they didn't get the actors voices, as it sounds quite fake. I think it will end up like the Gungan Frontier - a game a played a little of, but gave up because it took too long for a game to finish. There are campaigns from varying times in the SW universe, but the storylines seem very much contrived, and most of the time you know how it is going to end. I guess I was spoilt with Star Craft!

I rate it about 5.5/10. It's good enough for me to lose a day when I need to shut my brain down and everything else out for a while.

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