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Force Commander

Score: 50%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Lucas Arts
Developer: Ronin Entertainment
Media: CD/0
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

If you have a Voodoo based card, sorry. This game runs 50% better (smoother and prettier) on any D3D based card. Still, the game looks good. Every item is in clear, full detail and color. I have to admit, some of the units are a little 'blocky', but overall I thought it looked great. Not only did I love the game graphics, but I also enjoyed the intro movie and the many cut-scenes. I thought the background textures were true to Star Wars quality. I found the units to be detailed and true to Star Wars form. I just can't say enough about how great the game looked. It was anything but scruffy looking.

I have always been a fan of John Williams (composer from Star Wars and Jaws). There's just something about the Imperial Mach that gets my blood flowing. Needless to say, I loved the in-game music. What sound could be better than the scream of a Tusken Raider after the blaster bolt of a Storm Trooper? How about the death of a Jawa? And who can resist the zoom of the ion engines on a Tie Bomber? I loved the way the game looked and sounded. The only thing about the sound that I disliked was the menu and briefing screen music. I don't know what happened there.


This is where things go south. First off all, it's a real time strategy game. Nothing wrong there. You know those kinds; gather resources, build, recruit, destroy. Well, the only problem is that you have no resources to gather. You have these command points. You gain a set amount of command points during the course of the game (something like 10 points every 30 seconds). Whenever you do something good (capture a building, kill an enemy, etc), you get extra command points. If you think about it, the person with the strongest army will get more command points, getting him a bigger army, giving him an even bigger advantage. Using command points, you 'order' troops, vehicles, and buildings from orbiting ships to deliver to you from docking bay 94. Other than the very unbalanced command point system, it plays just like any other game of this genre.

I found the game to be very one sided (a snowball effect of power for the guy in the lead), very slow, and very defensive. Because the command points start out slow in the beginning, you real can't build up quickly. Because of the slow start, you are forced (no pun intended) to play in a defensive style.

I did like the single player campaign. It had a great story and it's about time we get to play the empire and destroy the Rebels. The ability to destroy planets is insignificant next to the power of the Force. The Force is with the single player campaign. Unfortunately, the multi-player part didn't exactly make the Kessel run in enough time. The multi-player game just sucks. Because of this, the game is doomed.


The game itself isn't too hard. It's the stupid camera angles and command points that make it difficult. The fully rotating and zoomable camera helps you to get completely lost. The command points keep you from building up the army that you want. The length of the multi-player games drains your energy. The game is easy to play, but hard to like. This one has no patience, and I 'm too old to learn it now.

Game Mechanics:

Let's talk about this camera issue. The camera can move forward, move backward, move left, move right, rotate clockwise, rotate counterclockwise, pan left, pan right, raise, lower, tilt up, tilt down, zoom in, zoom out, and about face. Wow, that's great, right? NO! It's too much. It's almost impossible to control your forces in battle and play with the view at the same time. Not to mention the fact that you get lost on the planet way to easy with all of this rotating. Don't get me wrong, it's nice and everything, but it can really hurt you in the end. We don't have the advantage of the Force to direct our battles; we only have the mouse.

I found that the game ran smooth, but a little on the slow side. It is also reported to have many bugs (I didn't find any major ones). The point and click interface is just as good as all the other point and click interfaces associated with this genre. Nothing special here. If you're looking for a great Star Wars game, this is not the droid you're looking for - move along.

-Storm, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jeremy Kelso

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98, Pentium 266, 64 MB RAM, 454MB HD Space, 8MB 3D Graphics, 4x CD-ROM, 16-bit Sound Card, Mouse, Keyboard, DirectX 7.0a

Test System:

P2 450, Windows 98 SE, 128MB RAM, Diamond Viper V770 Ultra w/32MB RAM, 2 12MB Voodoo 2's SLI, 5x24 DVD-ROM, Monster Sound MX300, DirectX 7.0a

Windows Force 21 Windows FS Design Studio

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