Release Date: 2nd Half '99
The Star Wars Legacy continues...
Lucas Arts' next foray into the Star Wars world is a real time strategy game called Force Commander. Although the idea of sending X Wings, snow speeders, and other troops into combat against AT-ATs and AT-STs sounds like a can't miss, consider Lucas Arts' track record with previous Star Wars games. Although Jedi Knight and Rogue Squadron were moderate successes (Slight understatement on Jedi Knight.. it was game of the year; but, the rest of the games were so-so), games like Shadows of the Empire, Masters of Teras Kasi, and the Rebel Assault series were rather, shall we say, uninspired at best. Their only try at a strategy game (turn based), Rebellion, was an unqualified flop with the critics due to bland game play and a frustrating interface. While some say Lucas Arts "can do no wrong" with the Star Wars license behind them, their track record suggests otherwise. The fact that Force Commander will REQUIRE a 3D accelerator card will only serve to shrink their market. With all that in mind will Lucas Arts be able to up their batting average with Force Commander? Let's look at what it has to offer.
As we mentioned already, Force Commander requires a 3D accelerator, so all the terrain, units, and buildings in FC will be 3D objects. What's nice is that the added power of the 3D card helping with the rendering will allow players to rotate, zoom, and tilt the view of the battlefield as they please. This is a welcome feature, although it's not as innovative as they claim. Myth has had this feature for a while now, along with its sequel, Myth 2. The soon to be released Homeworld will also have a similar interface. At any rate it's still quite an improvement from the fixed viewpoints offered by today's hit RTS games.