The Game: Darth Vader, forever vigilant in his quest to destroy the Rebel Alliance, has apparently enlisted some new help – and it’s up to you, a lone Rebel pilot, to brave the odds against enormous flotillas of a new breed of TIE Fighters, blast your way through entire platoons of armored stormtroopers, and bring home the details of the new Imperial plan – and then return to the fray to defense the galaxy against this nearly-invincible threat. (LucasArts, 1996)
Memories: I have to hand it to ’em – Lucas Arts finally came up with a game set in the Star Wars universe which won my heart. Rebel Assault II is somewhere between a video game and a movie. There’s a lot of action and forwarding-of-the-story in the game’s numerous well-produced cutscenes, and the whole thing honestly does feel like an untold, yet worthy, entry in the Star Wars canon. There is a straightforward plotline, a set goal you’re trying to achieve, which rings true to this long-time fan of droids and Jedi Knights.
The graphics are outstanding, and the game utilized many cues from the scores of the classic trilogy films, which have now almost been memorized by everyone. The game play is simple enough, and I like the option of being able to see the view from above and behind the ships, or from the cockpit. If there’s one thing that bothers me, it’s the big change in the game’s entire control scheme when you go from piloting a ship to entering the Imperial base on foot. If you don’t have the two very different command sets memorized, you’re toast.
So I feel comfortable recommending Rebel Assault II to any game-playing Star Wars fans. When you leave out the annoying swooshing-camera effect of the Phantom Menace game, add some brand-new cinematic elements which are produced well enough to “feel” like part of the movies’ mythology, and make a good game that doesn’t insult the intelligence of either fans or players, this is what you get – a pretty good entry.