ⓘ Star Wars: Rebellion (video game)


ⓘ Star Wars: Rebellion (video game)

Star Wars Rebellion is a real-time strategy game released in 1998 by LucasArts and set in the fictional Star Wars expanded universe.


1. Gameplay

Although a 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 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 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 undertake 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 ones 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.


1.1. Gameplay Unit management

There are several kinds of buildable units. Each kind can be constructed by one of three construction facilities.

  • Installations are buildings on a planets 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.
  • Shipyards construct starships and fighter squadrons
  • Shield generators defend everything on the planet from orbital bombardment
  • Planetary cannons attack assaulting or bombarding starships and troop transports or defend units escaping a blockade
  • Construction Yards build other installations.
  • Troop Training Facilities create troop regiments and special forces.
  • Special forces include spies, saboteurs, and long-range reconnaissance teams.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.


1.2. Gameplay Encyclopedia

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.


1.3. Gameplay Objectives

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 opponents HQ.


1.4. Gameplay Tactical interface

Most of the game is played in the Galaxy view, where the player can manage different systems. When two enemy fleets meet, the player can switch to the tactical interface, which allows control over the fleet in a real-time space battle.


2. Story

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, having Luke become a Jedi Master before he even meets Vader or the Emperor, creating more than one Death Star 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.


3. Reception

Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "LucasArts should start looking more closely at what it slaps the Star Wars brand on, as consumers will eventually be less likely to forget or forgive."

According to PC Data, Star Wars: Rebellion was the United States 18th-best-selling computer game during the January–November 1998 period.

MacWorld saw LucasArts 2006 game Star Wars: Empire at War as a successor to Rebellion.

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