Not only is this the long-awaited fifth installment of the Rise of the Empire series, but it is also PR-0927's (Majin Revan) final map for Star Wars Battlefront II. Yeah, it's sad, but perhaps what's most sad is that his final map is also one of his weakest...
The map takes place on Tatooine under a starry night sky. The rebels (who mostly consist of droids now) are scavenging the site of a brutal ambush that occured during the Clone Wars for old machinery and weapons that they can use to further their cause. It just so happens that a clan of tuskens has set up camp in the middle of the wreckage, hence complicating things further. The Empire catches wind of the rebel's plans (they must have been bored) and sends a large group of Clone Commando's to ambush the rebels, thus paralleling the ambush that occured several years before.
The map looks and feels like Tatooine. It was like being in the scene from Episode II where Anakin sneaks into the tusken camp to rescue his mother. The only thing that could have made it perfect would be those dog-like monsters the tuskens kept as pets. The map is littered with Republic vehicles; mostly partially functioning AT-TE's. The rebels start off with two CP's: one to the west of the camp and one to the north. The Empire starts out south of the camp with two UT-AT's. The actual layout of the map is rather unimaginative and boring since the command posts are perfectly aligned with one another rather than spread out. And the fact that there are only four CP's (two of which cannot be captured, I think) turns the map into a frustrating "CP goose-chase." And to top it off none of the command posts, other than the tusken camp or the little rebel mobile command center, are very exciting to look at. They're basically just empty patches of sand without any cover to use or make it interesting. This presents a problem which I'll get into in a second.
The rebel side consists of super battle droids, an engineer, and battle droids armed with that repeating sniper rifle. There are also a couple of dwarf spider droids helping out by they don't seem to hit anything. So as you can tell your choices of units are limited and rather boring. As for the Empire... well they strictly consist of Clone Commando's and nothing else. The only plus side to that is that they now come with cloaking devices.
Now I have to rant about how unbalanced the map. For starters, the rebels are limited in their selection of weapons. The only thing they can use against the UT-AT's are the engineer's det-packs, which don't do much damage at all. The super battle droids are very slow and very big which makes them easy targets, and the battle droids' sniper rifles aren't very useful against an army of invisible clone commandos. The clone commandos are always invisible. They have an unlimited cloaking device which makes it very easy for them to go around the map killing enemies while they fire aimlessly in attempt to hit their attacker. To add fuel to the fire the UT-AT's sweep into the rebel CP's, which as I mentioned before have no cover, and just spawn an endless number of invisible clone commandos that just tear the rebels apart. I remember playing as the engineer and every time I'd spawn while our CP was under attack by UT-AT's I'd be gunned down in a second by commandos. Not two seconds. A second. If you're lucky you'll be able to last a little longer.
It's no fun to play as the rebels because you're just absolutely raped by the commandos, and it's no fun to play as the commando's because you completely dominate the rebels without breaking a sweat. I got in more kills as a clone commando in one spawn-time than I did as a rebel in an entire match. That should say something.
Also, isn't it a little odd to send an army of handless super battle droids to salvage machinery from a wreckage field? I'd have thought that the rebels would have sent some actual humans to do that. They couldn't have anticipated such an attack during what is an essentially minor mission.
Overall I was pretty disappointed with this one. The map design is fine and all -- it's pretty. But the CP layout is totally bland and unimaginative. And, of course, the map is very unbalanced. I know it was PR's intention to make the map unbalanced but it simply isn't fun. There needs to be some sort of balance to make the map enjoyable.
It's a shame that this dud will be PR's last map. The series so far has been fun though and a unique gaming experience. But who knows, maybe he'll find time to do another installment in the future. ;)
PS: It should also be noted that PR himself states that this is his weakest map. Also I'll be taking over the Rise of the Empire project, assuming that PR doesn't kick me off for this ill-favored review. :p
Made by: PR-0927 Installation: Copy RE5 to the ...\LucasArts\Star Wars Battlefront II\GameData\addon folder. Uninstallation: Remove RE5 from the ...\LucasArts\Star Wars Battlefront II\GameData\addon folder. Description: Well, here we have Rise of the Empire #5: Shadows and Flames (Version 1.0). This map has been in production since way before the summer, and was repeatedly delayed. Everything is SO accurate. I don't think it could go any further. I even have the correct sounds! This map was hastily finished in order to let me wash my hands of RotE before I leave for college. This is the fifth map of my mod, Rise of the Empire. EraOfDesann will be taking over RotE now. Enjoy! I can't even name the special things this time, because there are SO many of them. So, I'll just credit everyone with what they did: * Credit goes to DooFi for the kick-butt skins. Every sweet skin you see is his! This guy is a great texture artist! He also made the UT-AT! * Credit goes to OOM-9/NeVaR for the DC-15S Blaster Carbine model. It's beautiful. * Credit goes to maxloef for the tons of help he gave me with sounds. He also helped me get ParticleEditor working! He also gave me some sweet effects! * Credit goes to Rekubot for making the sweet DH-17 Blaster Pistol! * Credit goes to Teancum, for supplying me with various models out of nowhere. * Credit goes to t551, for making some debris models for the battlefield. * Credit goes to TK-8252, who is my "accuracy mentor." He actually used to mod for SWBF, but got sick of it and left. He never bothered with SWBF II. I can't count the countless hours we spent figuring out accurate things, LOL. * Credit goes to Vyse and Teancum, who converted NeoMarz's Clone Commando model (made for JA) to SWBF II. They did a great job! * Credit goes to a great modeler, Qdin! He made the DC-17m ICWS, and helped MANY others with modeling. If he wasn't in existence, my maps would really suck. * Credit goes to Dragonum for making the handy DC-15s Side Arm Blaster! It looks great! * Credit goes to Psych0fred who spent hours helping me with anything and everything. He is the one who attempted to help me get custom sounds working in SWBF II (I figured it out the next day, using what he told me in crazy ways). He also finished getting the UT-AT in-game. * Credit goes to Pandemic and LucasArts for making an extremely moddable game... * Credit goes to Penguin who figured out how to make the "floating weapon icon" disappear...now if we could only add the icon back, LOL. * Credit goes to George Lucas, who created Star Wars. * Credit goes to me...because I felt left out of this list. * Credit goes to all the other mappers and modders who helped me in any way. I apologize if I forgot to mention you, but I think you might be able to see why I may have forgotten. This map can only be played in the Galactic Civil War Era. Imperial Transmission from Grand Moff Tarkin: "The Galactic Empire has intercepted transmissions made by the Rebel Alliance about scavenging weapons and technology from a destroyed Republic battle group on Tatooine. A special unit of Imperial Clone Commandos has been dispatched to take care of the scum. The commandos all are equipped with cloaking devices, so the job shouldn't be too hard. Beware of Tusken Raiders - a camp of theirs is right in the middle of the destroyed battle group. Also, be advised, it seems as if these Rebel scum have amassed a large army obtained old CIS technology via scavenging and buying on black markets." Glitches: Giving the "Follow Me" command to a dwarf spider droid will cause the game to crash. Legal Stuff: THIS LEVEL IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY LUCASARTS, A DIVISION OF LUCASFILM ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LTD. ELEMENTS TM & (C) LUCASARTS, A DIVISION OF LUCASFILM ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LTD.
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