Star Wars: Galactic Conquest
On it’s own power, Star Wars has taken every facet of media and branched out, spawning countless editions of books and comics, television shows, cartoons, even commercial endorsements. From there spawns the sub genres, and Star Wars is no less a stranger there than it is to the hordes of gamers out there. Puzzles, role playing, chess, card games, hybrid board games, and of course, video games.
True, we’ve had the lion’s share of first person shooters beginning and ending with Jedi Knight (Jedi Academy looms ever closer), but where is the team base play? Where is the Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat style play between the natural enemies, the Rebels and the Imperials? Where is BattleField 1942 on Hoth. WHOA! THERE IT IS!!!
Many of the best games out there are modifications of games that already exist, adding a depth and variety that proffesional video game developers often don’t insert into their games. Leave it up to the fans with a lot of time and talent to really bust out with an awesome game. In this case BattleField 1942 is huge, allowing for vehicle piloting, a strong teamplay aesthetic and a well developed engine to handle it all. MODs like Desert Combat have boosted it’s popularity, with weapons, vehicles and locations decades into the future. Galactic Conquest takes us into the past, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and I for one am loving it.
The preview release I played is version .01b, a far cry from being finished, but who cares, it’s Star Wars. Stormtroopers, rebels and the ability to take a chicken walker (AT-ST) out for a little spin is just way to tempting to pass up just because it’s a preview release. As to be expected, GC has a ways to go. Missing graphics and hokey vehicle animations prevent a total immersion. Piloting an AT-ST for example is easily done although it rocks back and forth like a penguin and just as slow. In addition, just a few hits from your average rebel trooper will end your joyride. Dropped weapons especially pull you out and send you back to 1942 as they have yet to replace them with proper models.
For the most part though, audio and visuals are right on par with any Jedi Knight game. Snowspeeders, Tie Bombers, AT-STs and even the legendary Millenium Falcon are all functionable and easily the most stand out part of the game. Player skins are authtentic, right down to the clan-like hoods of the snowtroopers on Hoth. Unfortunately Hoth is the only playable map, but there are plenty of servers already running GC, so it won’t be difficult to find an open one. Hoth is a very roomy map, so playing with anything less than 32 people can feel a bit lonely.
Sound effects are not perfect, they lack stereo seperation and can be a little on the tinny side, but film accurate. I was impressed to find that there was a variety in blaster fire too, from pistol to semi-auto rifle, even the rocket launcher replacements for the anti-tank class of troops have very distint sound effects to keep your ears happy.
It should again be noted that this is not a finished product. Speaking all around, GC in it’s current state doesn’t hold a flame to Desert Combat, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. This is an alpha, not even a beta, but it’s already gained a following that I’m going to stick around for.
If you are a Star Wars fan and a Battlefield 1942 player, this is a download for you, no question. Visit interview with Liam, a mapper and coder for the project. Keep an eye on our news front for updates and patches.