Reviewed on PC

STAR WARS FORCE COMMANDER

Reviewed By: Rick Casteel
STAFF REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Lucas Arts
Price Range: $35-45
Learning curve time: 45-60 mins.
Age level: 16+
Patches / Upgrades: Yes
System Requirements: P266, 64 RAM, 454 mb HD, 3d Accelerator

Genre: Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 2 of 5
   (poor)
Violence: 3 of 5
   (mild)
Adult Content: 5 of 5
   (none)

My oldest son is a Star Wars fan. If there has been a game based on the Star Wars universe, he has played it. From the good ("Jedi Knight") to the bad and ugly (“Rebellion”) we have seen Star Wars (SW) games come and go. He had been excited about “Force Commander” since he saw ads for it in the gaming press months ago. It promised to be the first Real Time Strategy (RTS) war game based in the Star Wars universe. Sporting familiar vehicles, scenarios and worlds, it seemed a Star Wars fans dream.

When he first loaded it up I said to him, "something's wrong with the video mode". We looked at all the settings and after some time determined it was configured correctly. That was our first clue this was not going to be our dream SW game. The graphics in the game are surprisingly mediocre. It's not that they are BAD but compared to other RTS games on the market, it's not state-of-the-art. The story line is above average and engaging. You play the part of Brenn Tantor, an Imperial officer who makes his way through the ranks as the levels progress. Halfway through the game, you realize you can't work for the Emperor any longer and start on a career with the Rebel Alliance.

The game takes place during the period of the first trilogy. You even get to command during the battle of Hoth. As with the graphics, the resource handling is awkward. Most real time strategies handle resources similarly, by gathering resources in your surroundings, you gain the items you need to support your efforts. “FC” has the player collect command points by killing and capturing enemies and bases and completing goals. Usually, your own units end up dying during the process of gaining command points, which means you end up spending the newly earned CP's rebuilding your army, which may have only been 10- 15 units in the first place. Furthermore, you lose command points if you grow your forces too big. Now I know that RTS are all about balancing resources, but the model used in “FC” makes this unusually difficult and managing resources monotonous. Units all work in basically the same way with slightly different strengths. It seems everything fires a laser, some move on wheels, some hover, some walk but they don't seem very unique in their functionality. They don't have any Gee Whiz to them at all.

Consistent with the Star Wars rated PG mentality; the violence is kept to a minimum. There is no blood or suffering on the battlefield, units are destroyed and the debris dissolves on the field, the cut scenes are on par with the films in their depiction of violence. We didn't notice any foul language or adult/sexual situations presented during the game. Jeremiah's word ring true for this game, Jeremiah 23:10b "the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right." This Force just doesn't seem right either.

Year of Release—2000



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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