Star Wars Corruption
Product: Star Wars: Empire At War: Force of Corruption
Company: LucasArts
Date: 05/13/2006
Avaliable On:

LucasArts demoed a new expansion to the hit RTS game Empire At War. Empire At War: Force of Corruption will allow users to not just play as the Empire or the Rebels, but take on an entirely new third faction, the corrupt.

This third, underworld, side of the Star Wars galaxy is sneaky, stealthy and will do whatever it needs to in order to get its way into all of the dark corners of the galaxy. As Tyber Zann, a new character developed for this game, you are trying to spread your influence as far as possible. You will have to deal with Hutts and the Black Sun as well as bribe both Rebel and Imperial alike. Since you are the most dastardly of the universe, you have no qualms about poisoning the land you are trying to take, betraying your "allies" and using other factions to your own means.

In one scenario, you can have a Jedi use Force Confusion to disorient all of the enemies around him or her and then use IG-88 to destroy the land they are staggering around on. In the end, the purpose of the game is to build up the biggest fleet and have your finger in every pie in the galaxy. Once you have forces on a planet, you immediately gain some influence, and once you have enough corrupt influence over a planet, you will earn a cut of that resource's money and be able to pass through it without engaging in a battle, though you will have to pay a bribe to move from planet to planet.

Since the underworld doesn't have any real alliance to either side, your faction can help or hurt each side at the drop of a hat in order to advance the main character's agenda. Because you spend the campaign putting underlings in various positions, you can do things like use the Death Star II to fire upon Darth Vader's flagship (with a sufficient amount of influence, of course) and help out the Rebels, and later, once you have used the Alliance to your ends, you can betray them as well. Helping the corruption faction's stealth and underhanded feel, their ships can also utilize cloaking abilities and pass through asteroid belts and debris fields without taking damage.

Another added feature is the ability to call in an orbital bombardment when you find yourself outnumbered on land and you still have a ship in space. What that bombardment does is dependent on the ship you use to attack. For instance, one ship could fire off two shots, the first one being an ION blast that disabled all electronics followed by a powerful plasma shot that decimates everything in the affected area.

The other factions also get a few upgrades. Both the Imperials and Rebels get a few new classes and vehicles. One of the new character types for the Empire is the larger, tougher ground troops, the Dark Trooper. New Heroes like Luke and Yoda join the ranks of the Rebels and now there are 13 new planets including Mustafar, Kamino, Mandalore and Utapau.

The developers of Empire At War are also enhancing the level editor allowing players to now decide where they want to place the buildings instead of relying on the game's preset designs.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2