Empire at War: Persistently Cool

I’ve been playing Star Wars: Empire at War on a semi-daily basis ever since it released last month. It had a fairly steep learning curve for me, which is kind-of odd considering it is ultimately a real time strategy game (something I’ve played a lot) within a larger conquer-the-galaxy style game (another genre I’ve played a lot). I also continue to be frustrated with the lack of documentation of unit abilities. However, on the whole, the game is growing on me every day.

The thing that has me hooked is the persistent nature of the game universe. In most real time strategy games, you go from one unrelated mission to another, earning only a sense of accomplishment that you “knocked another one out.” But in EaW, the decisions I make on the larger, strategic scale make a difference at how the real time battles go.

Its interesting. Levi is a great RTS player, but weaker on the strategic level. So he tends to press his way into battles where he is equal or even at a slight disadvantage, ignoring the subtleties of his options on the strategic map. I, on the other hand, will try to manipulate things on the strategic level until I have a clear advantage when I go into an RTS battle.

Whenever a game encourages and rewards mutliple styles of play, that is usually a sign that it is going to be around for a while.

Very cool, this game is.

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