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Have You Played... Star Wars: Force Commander?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

May the Force Commander not be with you.

Oh, I knew it was going to be a stinker. The screenshots looked bad. Almost everything I’d read seemed unimpressed. But I couldn’t resist. I bought it anyway.

Star Wars does Command & Conquer? It’s still the dream for Nerdly Men & Women Of A Certain Age really, isn’t it? Even after Force Commander. Even after getting so burned by it.

I didn’t make it past the first few levels. It was miserable. Annoying, buggy and boxy: a far cry from the slick action I’d hoped it would somehow have despite all that I’d heard.

It’s a banal observation I realise, but Force Commander’s key problem was that it looked awful. Even AT-ATs aren’t cool when they look like they’ve been assembled from a cut-out cardboard model on the back of a cereal packet. If Force Commander had looked better – epic rather than blocky – its sludgy pace and irritating interface would have been easier to take on the chin.

Perhaps it was just made too soon; perhaps it should have waited a little longer for the technology to catch up. Boxiness aside, I see screenshots of it today and something about the scale and the camera angles seems so much more Star Warsy than the later, better Empire At War or Galactic Battlegrounds managed.

I just want a solid RTS with a worm’s eye view of big stompy AT-ATs. Is that so much to ask?

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Alec Meer

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Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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