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The last 3 previews from EAW E3


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Gamespot - We had a chance to take an updated look at Star Wars: Empire at War, the upcoming real-time strategy game from LucasArts and Petroglyph (a developer composed of many members of the original Westwood Studios team). While we had previously brought you an updated look at the game in advance of the show, at E3, we were able to see some new features in action, such as the galactic map and the role of hero characters in the game.


The galactic map we saw resembled a computerized star map that included each major planet in the Star Wars system (including Alderaan, Tattooine, Hoth, and others), marking each one's current affiliation (either neutral or under the control of the Empire or the Rebel Alliance), as well as the location of trade routes among planets. While you won't be able to create trade routes yourself (they'll exist independently throughout the galaxy), you'll want to capture any and all planets through which trade routes pass, since these planets will produce a much larger supply of credits. As we've revealed previously, the game won't use any kind of traditional resource management systems; instead of mining for gold, you'll actually sit back and watch the credits roll in from the planets you control. And wealthy trade planets will give you much more, and will therefore be primary targets for ambitious commanders. The galaxy map will also be where you commission your armies, and it will serve as a sort of disembodied haven for any other units you don't have deployed, such as units you have retreated from battle to save yourself the expense of producing new ones.


We also had a chance to see heroes in action, or more specifically, the most infamous antihero in the Star Wars universe: Darth Vader. The dreaded Lord Vader appears on the ground as a relatively small-looking infantry unit, black robes and all, since the game will attempt to model relative scale between stormtroopers, snowspeeders, AT-ATs, and Imperial walkers. However, his fearsome command of the Force, which grants him such powers as Force push (which lets him blast a shock wave along the ground around him, thus flattening any enemy infantry units) and Force crush (which lets him lift most small and medium vehicles clean off the ground--with his mind, of course--before crushing them).


Empire at War continued to look very impressive graphically. The game seemed to do a good job of modeling the relative scale between different types of units and vehicles, and it featured spectacular explosions, complete with billowing smoke and heat shimmer effects, whenever a vehicle went down in flames. While exact details on the game's multiplayer modes remain scarce, Petroglyph is still willing to confirm that current plans include a quick-action skirmish mode for up to eight players, as well as a possible campaign-style multiplayer mode in which one player will play the Rebel Alliance while the other will play the Empire. We'll have more details on this promising strategy game as we near its release later this year.


By Andrew Park, GameSpot POSTED: 05/19/05 07:21 PM



:arrow: This seems to be all for today :)



Gamespy - You might think the last thing we need is another Star Wars RTS, particularly considering the genre's track record with this license. The less said the better. But LucasArts is giving it another go, this time with a developer with a proven track record, and a new approach that actually tries to capture the series' eponymous epic scope.


Petroglyph is a new developer, but they consists largely of ex-Westwood staffers, including Chris Rubyor, who's been involved in pretty much any game with the words "Command" and "Conquer" in the title. "The guys are getting back together again," he beams, running down the list of Petroglyph's RTS luminaries. Many of the team members worked on Battle for Middle-Earth and it shows. Empire at War features infantry controlled in squad-sized clumps, powerful unique heroes with special powers, and evocative cinematic graphics.


The demo begins on Tatooine, where a modest collection of Rebel troops are unwittingly serving themselves as snacks to a rancor. Rubyor then shows off a classic Imperial assault in which he calls down a squad of TIE Bombers to destroy a power generator. Once this drops a shield, he shows how it might be a good idea to retreat by calling his forces back into space.


And here's where it's clear that Empire at War isn't just another RTS with a Star Wars skin. The space over Tatooine is a whole other layer. Using a traditional drag select interface, he sends a bunch of TIE Fighters to attack a Calamari cruiser. By selecting hard points on the cruiser, he can target attacks on its weapons or engines. The ground forces on your ships at this level determine what's available when you switch to the planetside map. You're not building barracks and moisture vaporators and cantinas; you're simply calling down your units and getting into the fighting.


But once a battle's won or lost, you're into the strategic map and all its planets. It runs in real-time and you're earning credits and unlocking techs based on the planets you control. You build starbases to defend planets and crank out spacecraft and ground forces, which you then move along hyperspace points (if you're one of the disappointed fans pining for a better version of Star Wars: Rebellion, consider this your new hope). When you meet the enemy's forces, the strategic game pauses and you're dropped into the RTS. This makes it possible to support two-player matches in the grand strategic mode; up to eight players can participate in more limited skirmishes. By keeping the money management at a higher level, Empire at War doesn't remove resource management so much as segregate it.


Of course, this higher level also allows for certain weapons of mass destruction. As Rubyor demonstrates the space battle, a Death Star slowly heaves into view. Once it's in position, a switch appears at the bottom of the screen.


"If we want, we can blow up Tatooine" he says.


"Can I pull it?" I ask.


He moves his hand off the mouse and I reach in to take over. A quick swoop of the cursor and a left click later, and Tatooine is a bunch of glowering debris under the Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters, and now homeless Y-Wings. You'll get your turn later this year when Empire at War is released



IGN - May 18, 2005 - The hubbub at the LucasArts booth is undeniable. In addition to the most excellent Battlefront II, we also had the chance today to check out the latest build of Star Wars: Empire at War. Not much has changed since our last preview of the game but things are getting more and more polished and new bits of content have been finding their way into the game.



When you consider the quality of previous Star Wars-themed RTS games, Empire at War seems to be getting a lot of things right. We got a good look at a few different battles today and the sense of scale and the pace of the game still impress us. The first battle raged across the surface of Tatooine. As the battle began, we zoomed in to see a rancor wading through formations of troops laying waste to anyone he could get his hands on. The rancor is a neutral unit on the battlefield, unaligned with either faction and is willing to attack both your forces and those of your enemy. The Jawas on the other hand are an uncontrollable group that will fight in the service of the Rebels.

Sadly things went badly for the Rebels once the Empire brought in the heavy artillery. A massive AT-AT lumbered across the sand, blasting away at everything in sight. Though the Rebels were able to take it down (it collapsed beautifully, by the way), the fate of the Alliance was sealed when the Empire called in an air strike of TIE Bombers to blow up their shield generator. The fact that Darth Vader made an appearance on the battlefield helped to push the advantage further into the Empire's favor. He not only swings a mighty lightsaber -- he also has an awesome Force Crush power that can make short work of enemy tanks.


The action then shifted to space where an even more impressive battle was going on. Star Destroyers and dozens of TIE Fighters were mixing it up with Alliance cruisers and X-Wings. Though we had seen this kind of space battle before, there were two new treats in store. First, we got a chance to see the new battle camera. This camera offers a very cinematic view of the action, switching to a chase view as a Star Destroyer exploded and then transferring to a view of an Alliance cruiser as TIE Fighters swarmed around it.


The second new treat was the appearance of the Death Star. A timer counts down as this Imperial super weapon drifts into position to attack the planet of Tatooine. When the timer reaches zero the Death Star powers up and unleashes a devastating attack that completely obliterates the planet.


Those of you who have been following the game know that each of the planets play a role in the larger strategic side of the game, providing significant bonuses and resources that can be used in the battles themselves. When Tatooine is destroyed, it's effectively removed the game and replaced by an asteroid field. Fleets can still battle with each other if they meet in this field, but the victor won't gain any bonuses or resources for winning.


This one's looking mighty sweet at this point. We can't wait to get our hands on our very own copies.

- The Trivium Organization - Community Manager -

- Petroglyph Fan Forums - CoAdmin & Human Resources Manager -

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:arrow: Cool - BTW did you see Mikes last email from Petroglyph ?! (*GD Pinned) We should start working on the intervew fast ! :wink:

- The Trivium Organization - Community Manager -

- Petroglyph Fan Forums - CoAdmin & Human Resources Manager -

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