User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 196 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 196

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  1. Apr 14, 2014
    7
    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 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 twoA 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. Expand
  2. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    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 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.
  3. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    This is one of the best games I have ever played, and certainly the best RTS. The game is fantastic on its own, with an excellent diversity of units and playstyles, but the fantastic modding community makes it all the more legendary. Due to the inclusion of both space and land battles, I would even go so far as to say that this game is better than the critically acclaimed Starcraft II, andThis is one of the best games I have ever played, and certainly the best RTS. The game is fantastic on its own, with an excellent diversity of units and playstyles, but the fantastic modding community makes it all the more legendary. Due to the inclusion of both space and land battles, I would even go so far as to say that this game is better than the critically acclaimed Starcraft II, and not just because EaW is Star Wars. Fanboys will cry about the canonocity (I know I did at first), but again, this can be fixed easily with mods, as can any other nitpicks you might come up with. Expand
  4. Feb 9, 2014
    10
    This 2006 game is still SO MUCH fun. The graphics are a bit retro but are so colorful the space battles still stand up BEAUTIFULLY! And all the sounds are completely licensed from Lucas Arts. I haven't seen such a balance between abilities and weaknesses of different factions (Empire, Rebels, Zann Consortium (criminal syndicate), since Star Craft. And both land and space battles requireThis 2006 game is still SO MUCH fun. The graphics are a bit retro but are so colorful the space battles still stand up BEAUTIFULLY! And all the sounds are completely licensed from Lucas Arts. I haven't seen such a balance between abilities and weaknesses of different factions (Empire, Rebels, Zann Consortium (criminal syndicate), since Star Craft. And both land and space battles require complex balancing of mixed forces. Generally, with few exceptions, you can't just build imperial star destroyers and expect to take on swarms on rebel fighters or proton frigates, they will surprisingly eat you alive without proper escorts. To say nothing of strategically managing the planetary map (balancing what kind of buildings you build on your planets). And the AI is quite good, both tactically and strategically. The only drag is the sometimes brutally repetitive nature of some of the attacks. Pro Tip: If you use auto-resolve, often times you will lose seemingly hopeless battles (or win some easy ones with ridiculous loses). BUT, if you begin the tactical combat and then use the Fast Forward button, and sit back and watch, you may very well win, and win with no or few losses. It takes 2-3 minutes but it's worth it (Advanced Pro Tip: If you do this, I think you still manually need to fire the planet based weapons, so un-FF and then fire, and re-FF).

    Example, being rusty at this game, as the all powerful Empire, I laughingly got my rear end kicked all the way back to Coruscant, was invaded, and almost lost the game, but was forced to think of inventive new strategies to claw my way back up, using a combination of land based hypervelocity cannons to secure my local space, and researching powerful new techs, which also opened up new "hero units" such as Captain Piett (with a suped up star destroyer) and Darth Vader (with an Executer Class Super Star Stardestroyer Command Ship), which turned the tide.

    I highly recommend this game for anyone who wants the ultimate RTS Star Wars experience done really well, even if the graphics (particularly the land battles) are a bit dated.
    Expand
  5. Nov 17, 2013
    7
    Simplistic RTS and if it wasn't set in the Star Wars universe then it wouldn't have has much appeal. The many mods make up for the games shortcomings and a few of the TC mods are like amazingly well done.
  6. May 9, 2013
    9
    One of the very best RTS games to ever grace the PC. Also one of the very best Star Wars games, sitting right next to Battlefront 2. This game is still a blast to play with others online, even today!
  7. Feb 22, 2012
    7
    Many bugs, and glitchs to date that i have found, and got mad at, but its their, seemingly a story taken from the movies, and the good stuff about it was controling the empire, and role playing the attack in the mind..... i liked it for fun, and it was good still
    fun-8, gameplay-7, upgrading-unknown( i dont know if it does), creativity- isnt really there its a star craft and CaC take for
    Many bugs, and glitchs to date that i have found, and got mad at, but its their, seemingly a story taken from the movies, and the good stuff about it was controling the empire, and role playing the attack in the mind..... i liked it for fun, and it was good still
    fun-8, gameplay-7, upgrading-unknown( i dont know if it does), creativity- isnt really there its a star craft and CaC take for star wars.
    Expand
  8. Dec 22, 2011
    8
    Great game. Not without it's flaws but still a must for any Star Wars fan. Good amount of content, 2 campaigns, galactic conquest mode, skirmish and multiplayer. Also there is a huge modding community around the game which will increase it's re playability.
  9. Oct 3, 2011
    9
    This is simply an amazing game! I just can't put it down! I really like how it is basically a strategy game for both beginners, and experts. The game play is very good, and it suits expert strategy gamers, without going so hard on beginners. I think that this could be the best Star Wars strategy game out there. Then again, I actually like Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds better, butThis is simply an amazing game! I just can't put it down! I really like how it is basically a strategy game for both beginners, and experts. The game play is very good, and it suits expert strategy gamers, without going so hard on beginners. I think that this could be the best Star Wars strategy game out there. Then again, I actually like Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds better, but that's not to say that this game is terrible. The one thing that's better from Galactic Battlegrounds is the graphics. Battlegrounds was 2D, while everything here is 3D. Not to mention that it has a game engine of its own, where Galactic Battlegrounds works on the Age of Empires engine. However, there is one thing that I don't like about Empire at War, and that's the space battles. The battles, when playing in instant action mode, last only a measly seven minutes, where the ground battles last up to thirty! However, that problem doesn't totally ruin the game. It's still a good game nonetheless. Expand
  10. Apr 5, 2011
    7
    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.
  11. Apr 5, 2011
    0
    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.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Empire at War hits all the right notes if you're a Star Wars fan, but be prepared to grind out your victories.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.