Star Wars: Empire at War PC


Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 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.
  2. A colossal game from the geniuses that brought us all "Command and Conquer."
  3. Finally a Star Wars strategy game that got it right. Everything works the way it should, and that is no mean feat.
  4. Not only is this a great game but like most Star Wars videogames, the production values are beyond reproach. The game looks fantastic.
  5. Third time is the charm for LucasArts as they hit a grand slam with their new Star Wars real-time strategy game.
  6. Computer Games Magazine
    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]
  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. Pelit (Finland)
    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]
  9. 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.
  10. The gameplay is smooth and streamlined, making it easy for noobs and deep for veterans.
  11. PC Gamer
    Empire at War finally delivers a truly satisfying Star Wars strategy experience. [Apr 2006, p.62]
  12. 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]
  13. 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.
  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. 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.
  17. 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.
  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. Game Informer
    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. By far the best strategy released under the Star Wars banner and a real success for Petroglyph Games.
  23. 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.
  24. 80
    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.
  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. 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.
  27. 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.
  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. 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.
  31. PC Format
    Visual splendour, but we find its lack of (3D) space disturbing. [Apr 2006, p.92]
  32. Sure, you could find a deeper or better-tuned strategy game—but this one has AT-ATs.
  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. 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.
  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. The game starts out fun, but after awhile it can become very boring.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  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. Empire at War hits all the right notes if you're a Star Wars fan, but be prepared to grind out your victories.
  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. AceGamez
    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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 58
  2. Negative: 3 out of 58
  1. Apr 3, 2014
    This game is one of the best RTS games I've ever played, and gives you a satisfying Star Wars experience. While the initial game isn't tooThis game is one of the best RTS games I've ever played, and gives you a satisfying Star Wars experience. While the initial game isn't too large in scale by today's standards, the great modding community gives us even more depth into the Star Wars canon, and gives us a truly fantastic experience. The only fault i could give for this game is that there isn't more of it out there. Full Review »
  2. Apr 14, 2014
    A strategy game in real-time seems like the perfect genre for Star Wars, and Empire at War sort of nailed it in a certain sense, by that IA strategy game in real-time seems like the perfect genre for Star Wars, and Empire at War sort of nailed it in a certain sense, by that I mean this game does feel like Star Wars, and I feel like I am actually commanding either the rebels or the empire, and that feeling is one of the best you can have while playing a video game. Despite that Empire at War has it's flaws. There are two factions in this game, Rebels are Empire, and two modes of battle, those being in land and in space. Space battles are where the game shines, since they look great, and never seem to get boring, I have started up a game countless of times to play a single space skirmish battle, and it will always be a blast, going from star fighters to giant capital cruisers battling it out is legitimately great. Despite that there is a unit limit, and that takes out some of the scale of the battles. Things in land aren't so great however, they look quite ugly actually, and can be relatively boring at times, when I wanted to conquer a planet I actually found myself playing and enjoying the space battles and then simply auto-completing (a feature that I should note for single-player) the land battles in order to avoid them, I did find myself enjoying certain land battles in the campaign modes however, but that is mainly because that mode made sure the battles were more unique. Talking about modes, apart from the two campaigns, there are skirmish battles and a mode called galactic conquest, where as the name suggests you'll have to conquer the galaxy, and this is an interesting part of the game, for a good portion of this mode you won't be in battle, you'll be viewing the galaxy and the planets you control as well as your enemies' planets, training both ground and space units and making buildings, as well as transporting troops and strengthening your economy, and this galactic conquest mode can extend and get really tense thanks to all of that, however it can get tedious after a while. Multiplayer is LAN only, which is a shame, since some online battles would definitely have been very interesting. A feature that this game has that is very noteworthy is the movie camera mode, it lets you see battles as if it was a movie, it can be a little distracting amidst the action, however when you can put the camera and relax it is great, but as I said it shines way more in space than land. Also, strategy-game wise it isn't that deep, there are few hotkeys and options that you would use in other strategy games like Starcraft 2. Overall I think it's a good game, but some issues lead it to not be great, I'd say download the demo (which is a good demo by the way) and judge by yourself, as for me, I think my purchase was good, but the potential that Star Wars has still wasn't used to it's fullest. Full Review »
  3. 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 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 »