For those of you who loved and enjoyed the Galactic Battlegrounds RTS game then you will enjoy the enhancements made by Lucas and the rest of the Star Wars gang with Clone Campaigns the Expansion to Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds. They have added two new races bringing the total up to eight, they have also added 14 new campaigns for you to enjoy. Also you now have the ability to have armies of up to 250 which is a staggering number of units for any game. As you may or may already know Galactic Battlegrounds is based on the Age of Empires engine which makes for a great building block for the game. Also the new units that come along with the two new races are units from the Star Wars II attack of the Clones movie. Thus making Clone Campaigns one of the most immersive Star Wars games you can play.
So let’s look at the enhancements and how the game plays. Obviously the expansion was inspired by Episode II’s release. With the added Confederacy and Galactic Republic there is a definite move to allow the players to enjoy the units from the new movie. This concept works and means that many more choices for playing. The concept of more is better is also very true in this game. With massive numbers of troops and unit choices you will be destined to spend many hours just trying to figure the best way to advance to the next mission.
The game play is very similar in fact it has not changed at all from the original game. As it is an RTS game you will have to match your wits against the computer or online in multiplayer mode. So if you liked the original then you will find the Expansion very similar and quite the same. The great things are the new units and abilities that come with them. The one truly great enhancement to the game play is the increase in numbers. Allowing for the construction of true clone armies this upgrade in the number of units means more bodies and more strategies for you and the computer to build upon.
The new units and new terrains look and feel great within the game. As before the game has not changed except to add more options to use within the old game. I always enjoyed the way the Vehicles are able to fly in and the mechanic robots look fantastic. The Maps are also extremely well designed and the campaigns allow for some great visuals and not to mention the ability to lose men on the field when getting large numbers of units. Thank goodness for the minimap.
The sound is still as amazing as the orchestral sounds of the Star Wars world can be. With Great gun fire and robotic glitches can sound the units have their own audio flare that makes the game that much more enthusiastic however this is not new and there truly is not a lot added in the Sound arena for the game. However it is still a great feeling to be listening to the unit’s blast through the walls and enemy units.
Technically the game played fine and there are a number of fixes that were included with the Expansion making for a stable and fun playing environment. Also they included new tiles and textures for the map editor. SO they have done lots of good things with the expansion.
I have to go back the new units and new campaigns for those of you who have enjoyed Galactic Battlegrounds you already know that it was one of the most impressively large games I have ever played. It has tons of units and now they have added two more races all with their own tech tree and specialized units. The Single player campaigns are also well adjusted and fit into the game perfectly. Also you can now take on the original Single player missions with the new units. There has been a lot added to an already huge game and with the Age of Empire engine backing it all up I would have to say that the expansion has increased the fun factor of the game tremendously.
Final Thoughts – I truly enjoyed playing the new campaigns and the two new races were enjoyable especially after seeing Episode II. Also the ability to control 250 in an army is almost two many of course that is what makes it great is the ability to have gigantic battles that truly bring out the galactic conflict that is underway. I think that overall the enhancements make the experience as a whole better however there is nothing drastic about the changes other than just more of the same and a little bit tougher.