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Previews

Music 4 Games
Release:
12/28/2005
Snippet: Our game takes place just before Episode 4, A New Hope, so I stuck with the original trilogy music direction. Obviously with John Williams' soundtracks, it was easy for me to sort out which themes should go where, and I used as much of the OT soundtracks as I could with very few prequel selections. Mainly for environment types - for example, the desert planets play Tatooine music, icy planets play Hoth music, etc. But for some environments where we're not as familiar, like swamp or volcanic planets, I would choose these environments to add in my own themes, as well as in space. With the amount of space battles we have, I really needed to create more themes to round out space for as often as you're battling there.

1Up
Release: 12/22/2005
Snippet: Their counterbalance to the Death Star is an ability to blockade run a small force (up to four units) bypassing orbit and landing directly on a planet. It's sort of a guerilla warfare tactic that forces the Empire to devote a number of its forces to holding the planets it occupies, and it feels exactly like something you'd expect the Rebels to do.

GameSpot
Release:
11/30/2005
Snippet: The population of a planet, once you've taken control of it, can be put to work for your cause (and even used as cannon fodder in battles), while terrain and weather will actually affect the performance of your units (some units will struggle with hilly terrain, and ballistic weapons will suffer in accuracy in stormy weather, for instance)

PC Gameworld
Release:
10/27/2005
Snippet: This game is definitely on my to-buy list for February 2006 game releases. I think it's safe to say that this game is going to score big with Star Wars fans and strategy game enthusiasts as well as catch the eye of the general gaming community. Although the movies are all gone the force has not abandoned us.

EAWFiles
Released:
08/18/2005
Snippet: the role of land and spaces battles coupled with their transition between the two. After all, the game may have the “look”, the “sound” and the resource management but without the right “feel”, this title could go the way of the Death Star warranty. For a game that could class as “ground-breaking” a new engine seems right, Petroglyph have worked hard on their new technological prodigy and from the look of the screenshots it seems to be paying off. Space and land battles take place in the same engine; they have made sure the game glides in and out of both phases with ease. In an interview they used Rome: Total War as an example, where the battles are in real-time while the campaign or empire map used an entirely different approach in technology and appearance. Petroglyph have stated that their engine is capable of handling the land, space and a campaign view while feeling as “one whole” and not sectioned off, or at least that’s what’s implied. Regardless, right now both the battles on the planets and skirmishes in orbit look mightily impressive just from the screenshots.

GameSpot
Release:
08/19/2005
Snippet: You'll see this represented onscreen; units firing on their favored enemies will kick up noticeably larger explosions--a clear visual cue that you're doing something right (or, if your units are getting hit by their counterunits, a clear cue that you need to change up your strategy quickly). These combinations should be largely intuitive; tanks crush infantry and artillery units decimate tanks, though there will be at least a few unique counterunit setups. For instance, the mighty Imperial walkers can be brought down by tying up their legs with cables from speeder ships, again, just like in The Empire Strikes Back. To give you a better sense of what works and what doesn't in battle, you'll be able to select a camera view that locks onto specific units and intelligently follows them into battle, focusing on both the units and the enemies they fight

Action Trip
Released:
02/03/2005
Snippet: Other aspects of this game promise to be as complex and immersive as its visual side. The thing is, Empire at War is a massive, and very ambitious project that hopes to put you in the middle of the battle for the fate of the galaxy. Other titles have attempted to capture that feeling and they have mostly failed, as they couldn't bring back the fun of the original movies. Empire of War will allow you to be an active part of the great conflict letting you experience first-hand how the epic events in the game are shaping the Star Wars universe.

Gamespy
Released:
01/28/2005
Snippet: Picture a galactic map populated by 20 or 30 planets (the exact number is yet to be finalized). At the outset of the campaign mode, their distribution is markedly uneven between the two factions, with the Empire, naturally, controlling the bulk of them. You have your entire army at your disposal to deploy to all corners of the galaxy -- you can send a group of Mon Calamari cruisers to engage the Imperial fleet orbiting Planet X, for instance, while in the meantime dispatching land forces to overrun the modest defenses of Planet Y. You won't start from scratch after every mission, either; the units you amass throughout the course of the campaign mode stay with you as long as you keep them intact. As a matter of fact, go ahead and shelve the notion of "missions," as they apply to RTS games. Think of Empire at War's missions as you would quests in an RPG.

PC IGN
Released:
01/26/2005
Snippet: Rather than relying on scripted missions and story points, the developers have decided to let the story develop dynamically. There are no missions here; players will simply fight from planet to planet in a freeform galaxy. The persistence of units and bases will give a sense of continuity to the whole affair. So while the game doesn't feature a Death Star attack on Yavin or the Rebel's fighting retreat from Hoth, those scenarios can come up as a result of how you and your opponent are playing the game.

Computer And Videogames
Released:
01/21/2005
Snippet: Star Destroyers? Acclamator assault ships? That can only mean one thing. Space and planet-based missions bundled together in one strategic package. In fact, a quick scan (go on have a look...) over these pages confirms that the game is promising to be the first ever strategy game to meld the epic 3D space-based battles of Homeworld with more traditional ground-based RTS missions. This
is something which, if done right, could just propel Petroglyph's project into a new real-time strategy game dimension.

Games Radar
Released:
01/13/2005
Snippet:The full range of troops and ships from all the films is also to be included, stretching from the immense Star Destroyers and tiny A-Wings, to rarely seen craft such as the TIE Crawlers. These units will also understand how to stick together rather than marching off at their own speed, while neutral forces and foes get involved in defending their home planets against the invaders.

1Up
Released:
01/11/2005
Snippet: The space battle can resolve itself in a couple of ways. The Rebels could repel the attack and hold the planet, but they might still be pummeled by another wave of invaders, if the Empire breaks through, it's another story. If the Rebels stop enough troop transports, you've got to wait for reinforcements to show up. In the meantime, blockade the planet to cut off any income that it generates for the enemy.

Tosti gave an example of one strategy that ran through his head during the demo: "I may start a battle that I'd lose. Why? Because it's straegically advantageous for me to slow down the ground assault. In the meantime, as I keep the Empire fixated on my planet, I can sneak over and take an unprotected world.

Gamespot
Released:
01/19/2005
Snippet: Fortunately for both sides, each faction in Empire at War will at least command a grasp that extends past planets and into space. That is, you'll not only wage war on the face of different planets, but you'll also battle in space with the many different fighter ships of the Star Wars universe (along with bigger targets, like capital ships and space stations). These major targets will be outfitted with hard points, which are specific areas along the chassis that have different upgrades slotted into them, like engines, shield generators, and weapons. Because these large vessels are either immobile or slow-moving at best, space battles will resemble naval battles with ships maneuvering to fire broadsides at each other. You may find yourself trying to destroy all weapons on one side of a large ship so that it can't fire on you. Even if you succeed, you'll have to take advantage of your enemy's inability to attack before the ship comes about and opens up a broadside with its undamaged row of weapons. Likewise, you may find yourself targeting the engines of a ship to stop it from escaping or from advancing to the front lines for reinforcements, or you may find yourself targeting the shield generators of a ship with proton torpedoes to open the enemy up to laser fire from your fighters.