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Star Wars "Rebellion"

Force Feedback?

Star Wars Rebellion (released in some places as Star Wars Supremacy) is LucasArts’ latest star trek and is a very sophisticated strategy game in which you may find yourself hard pressed to keep up with all the planets, people, and resources you’re trying to balance.

Set in a time of upheaval (what Star Wars tale isn’t?), you find yourself living after the first Death Star has been blown up, but before the Emperor has been destroyed. Your job is to take command of either the Rebel or Imperial forces and eliminate the "bad guys" (whichever side you don’t choose to lead!) by killing the leader and/or taking over the enemy’s home planet.

Your minions can be sent to take over unaligned systems, start revolutions on enemy systems, open diplomatic relations, or just bombard the heck out of systems. Oh, and you can also send in spies.

You can take total control, or let C3PO help you manage your resources. We found it very helpful to let the droid have his say, ‘cause there’s so much to keep track of you can easily get lost.

Most of the familiar Star Wars characters, settings, and technologies are at your fingertips, and they all have their own parameters (for instance, some are better diplomats than fighters, etc.)

We found the learning curve for Rebellion to be a steep one – and there’s a thick and intimidating manual to help you get over that curve. We never did get over the curve, but figured if there were more hours in the day we could have gotten caught up. Still, despite constantly being taken over (in effect wiped from that galaxy far, far away), the game was an enjoyable – if frustrating – experience.

Graphics and sound are fine, and the space battles (you can either have the computer manage them or take command yourself) are particularly interesting.

Rebellion is played in a real-time environment, though you can also speed up the rather leisurely default pace, and of course you can have multi-player games over a network, via the Internet, or direct connection.

Keeping track of all the information is made easier thanks to the very comprehensive Encyclopedia, which has data on everything from characters to planets to spacecraft. It also lets you know the relative strengths and weaknesses of the game’s various aspects and components.

Rebellion is interesting, fun, and you can bet you’ll lose a lot of time in front of your monitor. We had expected a game more along the lines of Warcraft II or StarCraft, but that’s okay. And, while we prefer StarCraft, that’s purely a personal choice and not a commentary on the quality of this LucasArts game. And, to be fair, it's a little like comparing apples to oranges. A better analogy, perhaps, would be to compare Rebellion with Master of Orion, in which case Rebellion has to get full marks for its execution.

In fact, you can always bank on LucasArts to give you your money’s worth, and with Star Wars Rebellion, they’ve done it again.


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January 31, 2006