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Friday, 14 August 2009

Star Wars: Empires At War

A long time ago (1837), in a galaxy far, far away (Denmark), an evil Sith Lord (Darth - sorry... Hans - Christian Anderson) wrote a tale called The Emperor's New Clothes. If you're not familiar with the story, it's about a vain ruler, obsessed with fine clothes, and more importantly, showing them off to his subjects. One day, two scoundrels decide to try and sell him a suit made of a material that appears invisible to those too stupid to see it.
Naturally, the Emperor himself cannot see the suit, yet unable to admit it, to save face, allows himself to be dressed in the clothes for a parade through town. The townsfolk have all heard of the special properties of the cloth, too, so are quick to praise the finery of the Emperor's new clothes, as they too were afraid of being denounced as stupid if they admitted they could not see the cloth. It is left to a young child to point out the obvious ("But he has nothing on!"), and shake the Emperor and townsfolk from their pretension. In case you're wondering where I'm going with this opening, have patience. Star Wars is a setting accustomed to the presence of Emperors, and the moral of this fairytale is an appropriate one for this game in particular.

I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a huge Star Wars fan. What it pains me to admit, however, is that barring the release of LEGO Star Wars and Knights of the Old Republic in the last couple of years, there arguably hasn't been a truly great Star Wars game since X-Wing Alliance; or some would even argue back as far as TIE-Fighter. Indeed, RTS fans have found very little joy in the Star Wars cupboard, with barely a handful of titles being made in the genre, and either being rather unappreciated, or rather rubbish. Empire at War tries to redress this balance of the Force. However, as Master Yoda himself says, there is no try. So does Empire at War do, or do not?



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