Star Wars: Rebellion
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|Star Wars: Rebellion|
|Genre(s)||Real-time strategy, 4X|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Although an RTS in the wider sense of the term, it belongs more to the genre of 4X games resembling Master of Orion. There are elements of turn-based games as well, as the events of each 'day' of game time are processed at the end of that day. The player commands the manufacturing of facilities, troops and starships, resources, fleet deployment, and mission assignments of units and characters (60 in all: 6 major, 54 minor, 30 per side) around the (up to) 200 available systems.
The player assumes the role of a military administrator and takes control over either the Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance. The game interface consists of a map of the Star Wars galaxy and an advisor droid (this position is taken by C-3PO for the Rebellion and IMP-22 for the Imperials). The map consists of sectors of 10 systems each (the number of sectors is customisable to be either 10, 15 or 20), all known from the Star Wars universe. Some of them belong to 'unknown' regions and need to be explored while known systems can be either under control of one of the two main factions or neutral at the start of the game.
The player has to take care of his or her faction, which involves colonization, diplomacy, creation of buildings and units, supervising of mines, refineries, and stockpiled resources, building and commanding fleets in a tactical mode, conversion of systems to one's own side through various means, recruitment of characters, and dispatching characters or units to systems or fleets, and finally the assigning of missions to characters and special forces.
There are two kinds of characters in the game: Major and minor ones. Major characters will always be available at the beginning of the game, while most minor ones must be recruited. Only major characters can embark on recruitment missions. The major characters for the Alliance are Mon Mothma, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, who is referred to as Leia Organa. The Empire's major characters are Darth Vader and the Emperor.
Minor characters will sometimes randomly be generated Force sensitive and can be trained by certain Jedi characters (Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader) to augment their abilities (Luke must be a Jedi Knight). Characters can also enhance their abilities by conducting missions. Characters with higher Force ratings are better at diplomacy, espionage and combat, and can therefore conduct missions with a higher chance of success.
Some characters can be given military ranks by the player to put them in specific roles.
- An Admiral increases a fleet's performance in both tactical battles and orbital bombardments.
- A General increases the performance of troops and reduce the likelihood of successful enemy missions on a friendly planet.
- A Commander increases the combat efficiency of starfighter squadrons.
There are several kinds of buildable units. Each kind can be constructed by one of three construction facilities.
- Installations are buildings on a planet's surface or in orbit. They can be construction facilities or defense installations.
- Mines produce raw material from planets, while refineries refine them into processed materials that can be used for construction. Both increase maintenance and thus allow for larger military forces.
- Construction Yards build other installations.
- Troop Training Facilities create troop regiments and special forces.
- Shipyards construct starships and fighter squadrons
- Planetary cannons attack assaulting or bombarding starships and troop transports or defend units escaping a blockade
- Shield generators defend everything on the planet from orbital bombardment
- Troops are used to conquer and defend planets, and to claim uninhabited systems.
- Starships can blockade systems, unleash orbital bombardments and be the platforms for planetary assaults. They can carry troops and starfighters up to their respective limits and an unlimited number of characters and special forces. Ships are grouped together in fleets. When opposing fleets meet at a system, the battle between them is fought at the beginning of that 'day'.
- Starfighters can be stationed on planets or capital starships and are built in squadrons of 12 apiece. They can fight in fleet battles, and have bombardment power and detection ratings.
- Special forces include spies, saboteurs, and long-range reconnaissance teams.
As research progresses, new units and facilities become available for construction. Research can be sped up significantly by ordering characters with the corresponding ability to conduct design missions. Characters can have the ability to research facilities, starships or troop designs.
Every element of the game has its own encyclopedia-like 'card' with a short description and abilities sheet. This amounts to a total of several hundred encyclopedia cards.
The standard objective set of each game is to take the HQ of the enemy (Coruscant or the mobile Rebel base) and capture the two leaders of the opposing side: The Alliance must capture Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine while the Empire must capture Luke Skywalker and Mon Mothma. Before starting a new game, the player may select the alternative objective set which only requires the destruction or capture of the opponent's HQ.
Most of the game is played in the Galaxy view where you can manage your different systems. When two enemy fleets meet, the game asks you if you wish to switch to the tactical interface, which allows you to control your fleet in a real-time space battle. It suffers from poor graphics, but the fan community now offers a large array of ships that can be used to replace the original ones.
The limited interface and lack of orders to give your troops mean that the issue of the battle is often decided by numerical advantage. This has not stopped development of strategies, but these often only work against the AI.
The game starts right after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the Death Star. The Galactic Empire is ready to strike back against the Rebel base of Yavin IV, while the Rebel Alliance is readying to move to another system.
Apart from the given time of the beginning, the game stops being story driven, and the scenario expands freely. Although events of the later movies might occur (like the capture of Han Solo by bounty hunters and the construction of a second Death Star), or are even scripted to happen, (like the Jedi training of Luke Skywalker), the player can change or avert some events of the canonical timeline, including such things as not migrating to Hoth after Yavin, creating more than one Death Star, having Luke become a Jedi Master before he even meets Vader or the Emperor, or even lead the Empire into victory.
For gameplay purposes, many elements of the game are randomized at the beginning. For this reason, troop, fleet, and resource locations, as well as the allegiance of most planets, do not reflect canon information.
A patch for version 1.01 of Rebellion was released in June 1998.
Rebellion Editors (RebEd and SWR:E)
One of the main problems of Rebellion and surely one of the reasons of its poor success was its rather limited gameplay. An attempt to solve this problem was made when a player named Revolution released his Rebellion Editor (or RebEd). This program allows one to easily edit many aspects of the game, going from ship power to ingame interface. These modifications could be saved as 'cards' which could then be loaded by any other person who had the Editor. Thanks to this, a solid community has been growing, which offers over a thousand cards to download freely.
The last RebEd version to ever be released was 0.26. There has been speculation and suggestion about Revolution having written a 0.27 version; since this version was never found, this is believed to be conjecture. The source code for the editor was never released.
Before RebEd, there was SWR:E which could only change very limited stats.
Rebellion was criticized despite ambitiously depicting diplomacy, espionage, and fleet movements within the Star Wars universe. Critics argued that the game failed to provide an interactive experience because it placed too much emphasis on space battles, with ground battles resolved automatically. Criticism was also levelled at the game's user interface. LucasArts' 2006 game Star Wars: Empire at War was seen as a successor to Rebellion, but it also failed to provide the desired ground battle experience.
- McDonald, T. Liam (April 8, 1998). "Star Wars Rebellion Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Star Wars Rebellion (Supremacy)". LucasArts. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Star Wars Rebellion for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Star Wars Supremacy Review". Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Ocampo, Jason (April 7, 1998). "Star Wars Rebellion". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on November 6, 2003. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Holt, Chris (June 3, 2010). "Star Wars: Empire at War". MacWorld. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- SWRebellion.com (Fan site for Rebellion Editor and more)
- Star Wars: Rebellion (video game) on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki