Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Finally a Star Wars strategy game that got it right. Everything works the way it should, and that is no mean feat.
  2. Not only is this a great game but like most Star Wars videogames, the production values are beyond reproach. The game looks fantastic.
  3. Third time is the charm for LucasArts as they hit a grand slam with their new Star Wars real-time strategy game.
  4. A colossal game from the geniuses that brought us all "Command and Conquer."
  5. Who would have guessed that some of the most seasoned real-time strategy veterans on the planet would take one of the most well-worn licenses in gaming and turn it into one of the most inventive game in years? [May 2006, p.45]
  6. Empire at War has everything. The graphics, sound, and overall presentation are each near perfect. Gameplay is fast-paced and fun, with very little repetition, and fans of the setting will be amazed with the attention to details.
  7. If you're into AT-ATs stomping around battlefields, Darth Vader knocking over 20 soldiers with Force push, or space battles thick with dozens of fighters swarming in between gargantuan capital ships, Empire at War will deliver all that in a fun, compelling package.
  8. It is the first strategy game to really capture the feel of Star Wars, and is a must buy for anyone who is a fan of the classic trilogy.
  9. The gameplay is smooth and streamlined, making it easy for noobs and deep for veterans.
  10. The best Star Wars strategy ever, which, actually, is not much of a merit. Thanks to the strategic metagame and the good space battles, it is also a lot of fun. The ground battles are only so-so, but they are also short enough. Good job! [Mar 2006]
  11. Empire at War finally delivers a truly satisfying Star Wars strategy experience. [Apr 2006, p.62]
  12. For the Star Wars fan, this game quite easily shakes the shadow of Force Commander, and stands as a serious, fun strategy game in all gameplay modes.
  13. Yes, Empire At War boasts almost everything a Star Wars and RTS fan could hope for. There's innovation, excitement, intrigue and enough tension to give you an aneurism, but those pesky land battles just manage to sully an otherwise top-class piece of software. [PC Zone]
  14. Even hampered, however, Empire at War is a great game with exhilarating visuals, and fun gameplay that any true RTS fan should enjoy.
  15. 85
    Star Wars Empire at War is the RTS Star Wars fans have been waiting for. Not only will those that loved the movies be impressed, but the game also offers a great deal of engaging play that should please any fan of the genre.
  16. Gamers who are out for classic real-time strategies, might be repelled by the overwhelming Star Wars lore and the relatively steep learning curve. Still, once you get the hang of it, you're sure to find the game a rewarding experience, both in single-player and multiplayer.
  17. The only problem with this game is that it could have been so much better. The game's land battles tend to get repetitive but thanks to the wide variety of missions and options, this game will be playing in your PC for a very long time.
  18. A very good real-time strategy game and the best that has featured the Star Wars franchise (regardless of what I said about Galactic Battlegrounds).
  19. It's not every day that a licensed game actually makes its source material cooler, especially when you are talking about Star Wars. [Mar 2006, p.114]
  20. A surprisingly charming title. It’s simple enough to be liked by casual gamers and deep enough to have some appeal for the hardcore player.
  21. Its pure size is its greatest asset, but because it occasionally loses focus, its greatest liability too. Even with the inconsistencies on the ground, the galactic map and thrilling space battles fill in the gaps.
  22. For me, this was like having the world’s biggest Star Wars play set and getting to play ‘army”, only with cool special effects and explosions and authentic sounds.
  23. By far the best strategy released under the Star Wars banner and a real success for Petroglyph Games.
  24. There's no denying that there are a number of features implemented in Empire at War that separate the game from any other RTS title, and the excellent interconnection between strategy and tactics creates an enthralling experience; it's just a shame that certain areas, cannot match the enjoyment provided by strategically taking over the galaxy in the galactic sections.
  25. 80
    In short, to make the game more accessible to Star Wars fans, the RTS elements -- while innovative and fun -- lack the depth that can define genre greats. Nevertheless, the Force is strong with this one.
  26. You’ll have worked out by now that our earlier reference to the quality of the three parts of the game refer to the space battles being pretty good, the campaign map being reasonable, and the ground battles being a bit limp.
  27. While the ground stages don't quite match the rest of the game's quality, there's still something superbly delightful about marching a group of AT-ATs into battle, or commanding a fleet of star destroyers, or chopping up stormtroopers with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Empire at War captures these emotions perfectly, and backs them up with a robust large-scale strategic game and no end of single and multiplayer content.
  28. The thing of it is, though, all but the most hardcore RTS junkies will play only one-fourth of the game (only the Empire half, and within that half, only the space battles). That doesn't mean the other three-fourths of the game is wasted content, but if LucasArts had balanced things out a bit more, there's little that could've stopped this game from being a must-buy.
  29. 76
    Star Wars: Empire at War definitely scores big in terms of style. Gamers who are looking for an authentic Star Wars experience will not be disappointed with this one... What really stinks is that the actual gameplay isn't exciting enough to support the setting.
  30. Visual splendour, but we find its lack of (3D) space disturbing. [Apr 2006, p.92]
  31. If you are looking for an RTS that doesn’t get too in-depth, or if you are just looking for a cool new Star Wars game, look no further than Star Wars: Empire at War.
  32. The $50 price tag might seem somewhat high for a game that takes one idea, tweaks it a bit, and calls it a whole new play function. However, when one takes into consideration the extensive replay value that the multiplayer functionality brings to the table, that price point seems less intimidating.
  33. The day-to-day ground conflicts that make up most of the game are not particularly inspiring. The full-on space wars are a real thrill to behold.
  34. Sure, you could find a deeper or better-tuned strategy game—but this one has AT-ATs.
  35. While Empire at War does have an overall decent gameplay system that requires a mix of strategies, as well as a story-based campaign that can be played from the side of either the Rebels or the Empire, there's just not enough here to pull you away from the many great strategy games that are available today.
  36. The computer AI doesn’t cut it, the units do retarded things sometimes, and the multiplayer game is either too long, or too uninteresting compared to other RTS games available out there – I would much rather play "Warcraft 3" or "C&C: Generals."
  37. Ultimately, there's no single aspect of the game that really demands your interest.
  38. I don’t want to give the impression this is just another lazy Star Wars game, because it’s clear a lot of love has gone into the game. But there’s a lack of ambition at the heart of Empire at War that is the ultimate reason for its failure to be a really great strategy game.
  39. The game starts out fun, but after awhile it can become very boring.
  40. 70
    It's trying something completely different, and even when it doesn't work, it's true to its license and it's making bold choices. There's a lot to be said for this approach.
  41. Its conquest content is thin and its RTS content is rudimentary, but the interplay between all these elements makes for an extremely immersive and convincing experience.
  42. Empires at War is a poorly designed RTS that would have been laughed off the Gamestop shelves without its Star Wars skin.
  43. As much I hate to say it, Star Wars: Empire At War isn't worth the entry fee. This is a terrible shame, since it had such promise from the pre-launch screenshots, but sadly the repetitive and shallow gameplay, combined with the below par presentation and ludicrously high difficulty level, simply can't compete with the best of the genre.
  44. 60
    Ultimately, Empire at War isn't just RTS-lite--it's RTS extremely lite. Hardcore RTS fans will rapidly grow bored, and even fans of the franchise are better served with Battlefront for its galactic conquest games, or Galactic Battlegrounds for a Star Wars RTS experience that's actually an RTS.
  45. Empire at War hits all the right notes if you're a Star Wars fan, but be prepared to grind out your victories.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 54
  2. Negative: 3 out of 54
  1. KneelB4Zod
    Dec 13, 2006
    Da Gameboyz hit the nail on tha head; this game's biggest positive reinforcement, it that it come from the Star Wars Genre and has all that cool star wars stuff. If it had been any other space oriented game it would have fallen on its face and bit off its tongue. Honestly, the game isn't terrible, its quite fun. However, once you beat the game, its sucks a fat one.... i had had more fun popping pimples than continuing playing this game. P.S. idk what all you critics are talking about, that was incredibly easier than you make it out to be. "grind through the game" my ass, i bet you can't play a video game for sh.... PWN..... yea it makes me feel like a bigger man. Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2011
    This game wasn't too bad. The close up camera of the battle was really good and the maps were okay. I was however disappointed with the lack of variation within vehicles and infantry, and all the buttons and menus in the battle were too visually confusing. I'm sure someone who likes playing tactically would like this game, but for me, I moved onto a different game after about 10 minutes. Full Review »
  3. JC
    Aug 11, 2007
    Probably the best strategy game of the Star Wars series since Rebellion. This game makes for both ground and space based warfare, making it an interesting change from past games. The Single Player Campaigns were interesting. 1 Con about this game is its A.I. The AI of this game is pretty bad and easily defeatable. Online play is ok, but generates loads of lag and poor online design. Full Review »