I played Star Wars Commander for 5 weeks & didn’t spend any real money on it. I made it to Chapter 9 (The last one) with a base rating of 606. I also participated in several online matches & was regularly attacked by other players as well.
Star Wars Commander is a free to play strategy game set within the Star Wars universe using characters & locations from the saga. The game takes place between Episode 4: A New Hope & Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.
The game opens with you in control of a band of mercenaries who have landed on Tattooine. Led by Saponza & yourself you begin to build a base of operations before being attacked by Jabba the Hutt’s men. Seeking out contracts from either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance to get funds the base is destroyed in your absence forcing you to align yourself with either the Empire or the Rebels.
I chose to go with the Empire figuring it might be fun to be the bad-guys!
With the backing of the Empire you now have to rebuild your base while completing missions for the Empire & their allies. These missions come via holograms & text & are always pretty much:
• Attack a base.
• Defend your base.
• Upgrade or build something.
There is little variation in the missions except for the strength of the opposition. It’s not a big problem though as most of your time will be spent making your base as fortified as an operational death star (one without a hole that means you can be destroyed in one hit).
Building your base is fun & at first everything moves with speed & the games initial generosity with funds comes as a hell of a surprise. Admittedly it does make the pay walls so much higher when you do eventually hit them but it’s hard to be annoyed as there is so much given free.
Star Wars Commander comes with 3 currency variations. The main 2 are credits & alloys. Both are used to build a variety of buildings with some needing credits to be built or upgraded & others needing alloys. You, yourself don’t level up…your headquarters do. This is your main building & the one you must protect at all costs. Through this you can build your defences & other buildings. As this levels up you can build more & more things for your base. Be warned, it can get extremely costly but necessary if you are to progress.
You see you can only build a certain amount of buildings per headquarters level & certain attacks from the enemy side require some serious defences. I’m currently stuck on a defence of my base in Chapter 9. I need more turrets to protect my base but can’t buy anymore until I upgrade my HQ. However that will cost me 225,000 alloys but I can only hold 150,000. I first need to upgrade my alloy depots (upgrading 1 takes 24 hours at this stage) which will allow me to collect & hold more alloys. Only then will I be able to upgrade my HQ…if I don’t pay real money I won’t be making any progress for the next couple of days at least.
That is unless I speed up the builds with the premium currency…crystals. They can be used to speed up buildings, troop/unit purchases as well as other things of which the most important is buying a new droid. Droids build your buildings & the more you have the more you can do at once. I have pretty much suffered through the game using just 2 as another would have cost me 500 crystals & I’ve never had even close to that much.
As always you can spend real money if you so choose with a shipment of 14,000 crystals costing £69.99 or 500 crystals costing £2.99. You can also buy credits & alloys for crystals with filling your entire alloy storage costing 136 crystals. No real surprise with those costs & you never feel pressure to spend, even if being stuck with 2 droids is frustrating.
As well as completing missions for your respective side you can also join a squad…a public team basically were you help each other out by providing troops upon request. I joined one & it is filled with everyone asking for help…and no-one actually helping. It might be a great idea if you’ve got a group of friends but publically it didn’t seem to work.
It’s a pity there isn’t more variation in the missions as it is always exciting going to see what you’re up against. You get to choose what troops you bring with you limited by your bases development & any you take with you don’t come back even if you don’t actually deploy them. That is a bad decision & clearly designed to force you to spend more.
Another couple of bad decisions come during an assaults & defences. Once your troops/units are deployed you have no control over their movements & often they will attack a section of the enemy base in full view of the enemies’ turrets getting decimated. While defending your base you can’t deploy any troops except tie-fighters who range in their usefulness. It is incredibly stupid & frustrating to have a transport full of AT-AT’s & not be able to use them in defending your base.
However there is a nice feeling of success when you realise your base is strong enough to withstand other player’s attacks while you’ve been away.
Finally Star Wars Commander uses the movies music & it is incredibly authentic fitting the scene wonderfully. The game looks good & it feels like Star Wars…I would love to see a sequel that expands on this idea opening up more worlds than just Tattooine.
A really good free-to-play game that, for a while, gets past all the usual problems associated with them. In fact Star Wars Commanders problems are more based around the lack of control during missions & the lack of variety within the game. 9 Chapters of pretty much the same thing hinder it a lot.
Star Wars Commander