Star Wars: Force Commander
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Assault On Ruul: Part 1
Take the bunker to the north of your starting point. Get an auto turret generator. Fire at the enemy troop carrier which appears and then take out the troops that jump out of it. Build some turrets around the area, mainly infantry ones. Call down some ST-PTs and AT-STs. Place them near the bunker. Form an assault team and send them northwards. Take the supply bunker you come across.
Call some AT-PTs and stormtroopers. Send them east and you'll get to a mining structure, which you must take. Create another attack group and move it to your bunker in the north. Take your AT-PTs and AT-STs north, avoiding the turret as you go. Take out any resistance that you come across. Take over the turret that you passed a moment ago. Go back to the Command Center and build up a group of AT-STs and AT-PTs. Use the edge of the canyon to the north to lead you east. Take out the troop turrets with your AT-PTs and then take over anti-vehicle turrets. Man the turrets. Go back east with your troops. Take all your vehicles, bar a couple to defend your base, and send them to the supply bunker you captured earlier. Don't forget to take Dellis as well. Capture the other supply bunker you find. Take out the infantry turrets with your vehicles. Go south and take out the Rebel Command Center there. Capture the computer complex by taking out any resistance and sending in Dellis.
Assault On Ruul: Part 2
Call down some AT-STs, along with stormtroopers and troop carriers. Keep Dellis in your Command Center after setting up a beacon. Get an auto-turret generator. Defend the base from all l attacks. Build some turrets around your base. Go west with half of your troops and capture the bunker you find. Buy some more AT-PTs and AT-STs. Send them west until you get to another bunker. Capture it and reinforce it with extra troops.
Explore the map with speeder bikes. Once you've uncovered as much of the map as possible, get together a group of AT-STs and AT-PTs and take the mining structure. Now quickly call down several AT-STs and send them (along with some AT-PTs) to the right of the mining structure. Use these units to take out the turrets near the communication building. Call down some more AT-PTs and extract Dellis from your Command Center. Move him and some AT-PTs carefully up the right-hand side of the canyon and place a number of beacons. Use AT-PTs to guard the beacons from enemy attacks. Once all the beacons have been placed, you've completed the mission.
Crisis On Sarapin: Part 1
Get together some AT-PTs, AT-STs and stormtroopers. Take out the airspeeders. Call an auto-turret ' generator and some speeder bikes. Take a group ofAT-PTs north. Head east with your AT-AA and troop carrier. Use the AT-STs and turrets to defend the base. Buy some more speeder bikes.
Man the speeder bikes and go northwest to the Rebel base. Storm the base and get your stormtroopers into the turrets and Command Center. Once you have control, return to your base. Get a group of AT-STs, AT-PTs and AT-AAs together and capture the collection facility to the north. Take Dellis to this position.
Call some AT-STs and speeder bikes and send them to the Rebel base. Take the turrets and attack the airfield. Now capture the Command Center, replacing lost units if need be. Take the energy collectors. Get some AT-STs and AT-PTs from your base. Take out the turrets to the north. Then capture the energy collector.
Take some troops from the Rebel Command Center and head east. Capture the energy collector there. Take Dellis to all of the energy collectors. Before sending Dellis into the last energy collector that you capture, move all your troops away from the first one you captured.
Crisis On Sarapin: Part 2
Get a group of AT-PTs, AT-STs and AT-AAs together. Get an auto-turret generator and build some turrets around your base. Take half your forces northwest and take out any rebel troops as you go. Capture the energy collector east from here. Go to the southwest where you can capture another one. Order some more AT-PTs, AT-AAs and AT-STs. Send them east. Take out the airfield to the southeast.
Build a flight control building and a landing platform. Purchase some TIE fighters. Take out the rebel units near the drill with the TIE fighters. Take your group of AT-PTs and AT-AAs to the middle of the map and capture another energy collection facility. After this, take out the rebel troops on the volcano. While this battle rages, capture the drilling platform with some stormtroopers and then send in Dellis. Send your TIE fighters to reconnoitre the enemy base. Take out the turrets and Command Center with them, calling in more TIE fighters if need be. Because you can still build troops, it's only a matter of time until you overrun the enemy base.
The Trap At Yavin 4
Build up a group of AT-PTs, AT-STs, AT-AAs and stormtroopers, along with mobile artillery units and an auxiliary control. Send out a probe droid and scout to the west. Head north with your MAUs and half of your other forces and take out all rebel resistance. Send the probe droid north again. When you see the enemy turrets, use your MAUs to take them out. Then find the airfield and take it out.
Order down an air control building and a landing platform. Build TIE fighters, scout with them and take out as many enemy units as possible, especially near Colonel Veer's location. Pick up the Colonel in an AT-ST.
Go back to the airfield you destroyed earlier. Reinforce your attack group if it has become depleted. Take out anti-vehicle turrets and the shield generator. Take out any remaining anti-aircraft turrets and then send in the TIE fighters to scout out the rest of the area. Take out the Rebel Command Center. Clear the path to the landing site with the TIE fighters and then send the Colonel in his AT-ST to the landing site. Get him out and send him to it on foot.
The Battle Of Hoth
Get a force of AT-AAs, AT-PTs and mobile artillery units together. Take out the Tauntauns as soon as they appear. Head northeast. It's extremely important to remember that you only have the units you start with in this mission, so don't be wasteful. Destroy the enemy base's turrets and generator. Capture the Rebel Command Center. Send Vader into the base.
Surprise At Endor
Beware of the Ewok traps in this mission. Head north through the forest. Use your AT-STs to take out the Ewok catapult and your stormtroopers to take out the Ewoks. Then take out all the buildings. Go south and take out the Ewoks, their catapult and the buildings. Head west and do the same again. Set up the shield generator in the site nominated by General Bashin.
The Massacre Atabridon: Part 1
Group together some AT-AAs, AT-STs, mobile artillery units and stormtroopers. Head south to the Rebel base. Take out the turrets with your artillery. Capture the Rebel Command Center and hospital. Order an Auxiliary Control and defend the base at all costs. Send a probe droid to scout round the map. When you find the shield generator, destroy it with your MAUs. Now find turrets and the Rebel Airfield with your droid. Again, use the MAUs to take them out. Direct your probe droid southwest until it finds the Rebel base. Take out the resistance and capture the Command Center. Go northwest and when you come to the bridge, scout across it first and then take out the enemy with your artillery. Attack the Government Center taking out the turrets first. Capture the Government Center.
The Massacre Atabridon: Part 2
Select your most experienced and powerful units and get yourself an Air Control Building. Guard your Command Center at all costs and be careful of the heavy enemy attacks from the north. Once you've fended off the attacks, bolster your diminished forces and build turrets to protect your buildings. Take half of your forces west, use an AT-ST to pick up the dignitary. Take them back to your base. Capture the bunkers. Send a probe droid north and then follow the mountains east. Once you see the Rebel base, take out the turrets from afar with your MAUs. Using your AT-AT to take out the remaining turrets, launch an assault on the enemy base. Explore the rest of the map and send any dignitaries you find back to your base. Go to the east of the map and into the town there, where you'll find Luke Skywalker. Return to your base and herd your captives into the Star Destroyer.
The Massacre Atabridon: Part 3
Head west and link up with Colonel Tulon. Take out all of the Rebels that you come across. Form a group of AT-AAs, AT-STs and mobile artillery units. Follow the road downwards and cross the bridge. Take out the nearby Rebel tanks. Keep going down until you get a message. You must now stop Tulon's AT-AT. Gather together as many AT-STs as you can. Now give chase. If you're attacked, try to use your artillery and other units which are not chasing the AT-AT to destroy the attackers. Don't use the AT-STs, which must not stop until they get to Tulon. When you catch him up, take him out.
Return to the other units and go west. Use your stormtoopers to capture the bunker on e far west side of the. Hold this position inst Rebel attacks, irthis, get to the road ith of you and head ttothescanner-ler. Take it out. To an attack on the Rebel uaoc, send in your heavy units first to take out the infantry turrets and then distract the other rebel units while you capture the anti-vehicle turrets. Take out the shield generator. Using the turrets you captured earlier as cover, take out the airfield with your artillery.
Call in reinforcements. Go east and capture the anti-vehicle turrets. Use the same tactics as you used with the first Rebel base to catch this one.
Escape From Kalaan
Find the ten stormtroopers with a yellow tinge. Send Brenn into the TR-MB. Use your stormtroopers to capture the anti-vehicle turrets. Liberate Skywalker from the nearby Command Center and send him into the TR-MB. Take out the mobile artillery unit with your stormtroopers. Rendezvous with the Kalaanites and use them to capture the enemy turrets one by one. Use the turrets to gain control of the crossroads you come to, by using them against the enemy troops. Work your way up the canyon using the Kalaanites to take each of the turrets consecutively. Now get to the evacuation point.
The Ruul Missions: Part 1
Rescue the prisoners and recruit some Ruulian rebels. Call for reinforcements, namely units with grenade launching capabilities. Rescue the Ruulian official who is being escorted by stormtroopers. Once again, call down reinforcements and hide your troops as the Imperial escort moves past you. Then use grenades from the rear to take them out. When Tulon defects, take him away from the battle. If need be, send in some troops to cause a diversion as you do this. Now get Tulon to the excavation area as quickly as possible.
The Ruul Missions: Part 2
Stock up on heavy troopers and use Tulon to recruit Ruulian rebels. Your forces will come under attack, so weather the storm. Take your troops to the middle of the map and find the hijacked vehicles. Once you've joined with the Ruulians, return to the TR-MB. Call down plenty of reinforcements.
Following the upper edge of the map, send your men into the first base you come across and capture the turrets. Get the Command Center in the same way. Head south to the next base. Again capture the turrets, but expect heavy losses. Capture the anti-vehicle turrets guarding the computer complex and then capture the main building. Set up a ring of defence and then send Tulon into the complex.
The Walker Gambit: Part 1
Form a squad of infiltrators, some heavy troopers and a medical droid. Set up the defences for your base and then bring down several Y-wing fighter craft. Defend your base against all attacks, calling in reinforcements when the need arises. Afterwards, scout the map with your fighters. Head down the map with some troops and then turn east where you'll find anti-aircraft turrets, which you can capture or destroy. Use the cleared path to get your Y-wings to attack nearby enemy forces. Stop the AT-ATs with the Y-wings (use their ion cannons), and then capture them with infiltrators.
The Walker Gambit: Part 2
Make sure you look after Tulon and your infiltrators. Defend your base from the waves of enemies who attack it. Before this battle is over, make sure your air defences are set up to take out the TIE fighters that attack you. When the AT-AT force attempts to storm your base, take out the AT-AA, then use the Y-wings to take out the other units. Capture the AT-ATs with your infiltrators.
Head west with your AT-ATs and take out the turrets. Then take out the enemy units. Follow the path and take out the platform with your fighters. In the northwest of the map, take out the turret control centre. Using your Y-wings as your main source of attack, take the base and the ion cannon.
Redemption At Abridon
Get together plenty of attack tanks and set them up to guard your base. Hold off the enemy attacks. Bring in an airfield and build some Y-wings. Use your fighters to scout the map. You can also use your scanner-jammer for this. When you uncover the enemy bases, hit them with long-range torpedoes. In the southeast is another base with a landing platform. Bomb this with your Y-wings. Capture the Command Center. Reinforce your defences for the impending enemy onslaught. When you find the second enemy base, take out all anti-aircraft turrets and AT-AAs with missiles, then send in your Y-wings. Take some infiltrators and rescue the hostages at the prison camp using the Y-wings to take out any resistance before you move in.
Redemption At Abridon
Stait off with a relatively small force then build it up once you've landed. Get out into the open. Go via the park to the T-junction. Use your infiltrators to capture the enemy artillery. Get to the shipyard and unload the pilots and capture the shipyard building. Bring in heavy reinforcements and defend your position from the Imperial attack.
There's an enemy base with a hospital to the east, so take out this building first with long-range missiles. Send in some units to reconnoitre the base and then use your missiles to take out the building you find. Now go and do the same with the base to the west. Use your scanner-jammer to uncover the airfield and take it out with missiles before launching a full attack on the base.
The Alliance Strikes Back
Head west and get some Ewoks. Use the gliders to take out the AT-STs. Head east with your troops. Follow the side of the map north. Get some more Ewoks together. Go northeast to the village. Take the bikes. Send Leia northwest and gather more Ewoks. Go back to the village. Take Han Solo northeast with a large contingent of men to the shield generator. Take out the AT-STs with the Ewok catapults. Use Han Solo to blow up the bunker. When the AT-ATs attack, distract them while getting Chewbacca to one of the AT-ATs. Use him to capture it. Use it to destroy all of your attackers. Take the AT-AT and some infiltrators and go to the Tydirium. Go northwest from here with all your troops. Use your infiltrators to capture the other AT-AT. Go around the rest of the maps with your AT-ATs and take out all of the remaining enemy units.
The Siege Of Coruscant: Part 1
Take out the group of Imperial units to the east, using long-range missiles. Use your infiltrators to capture the antennas. Head for the centre of the map. When you near the Command Center, use your tank's missiles to take out the turrets, or if you prefer, use infiltrators to capture them instead. Bring down an airfield and stock up on plenty of Y-wings. Defend your base against all attacks and then go scouting with your Y-wings. In the northwest you should find a group of enemy units, which are easily disposed of with your bombers. Then take out the landing site. With air superiority established, use your Y-wings to finish off the Imperial ground forces.
The Siege Of Coruscant: Part 2
Stock up on infiltrators and some tanks. Troop carriers and a scanner-jammer will also prove useful. Set up your base defences, making sure you've got anti-aircraft turrets to stop the enemy TIE fighters. Use your infiltrators to capture the AT-ATs. Use your hover tanks to take out any TIE bomber attacks. Use the scanner-jammer to uncover the anti-aircraft turrets in the city and take them out with long-range missiles. Stock up on Y-wings and fly them into the city to take out the landing sites. Use your captured AT-ATs to knock down the city walls. With your Y-wings in support, capture the required buildings within the city with your infiltrators.
The Siege Of Coruscant: Part 3
The Imperial forces will attack your base throughout this mission, so fortifying your base properly is of the utmost importance. Do this with plenty of turrets and make sure you keep calling down reinforcements. Getting some bombers in at this stage is also a good idea. Use infiltrators to capture the advancing AT-ATs. It's best to distract them with an attack while doing this. Once you've steadied the flow, start concentrating your attacks on the enemy Command Centers. Start with the ones closest to you. With several AT-ATs at your disposal, you can build up a formidable strike force. Just make sure you give it plenty of air cover with your Y-wings and that before this happens, you take out the anti-aircraft turrets with your ground forces. When you launch an attack on the palace, take some hover tanks to stop you getting bombed by the TIE bombers.
With a combination of long-range attacks, your AT-ATs' chin guns and Y-wing bombing runs, take out the turrets around the palace. Then take out the landing platforms and use your Y-wings to eliminate any artillery fire. Take out all of the Command Centers. Get rid of the last few turrets. Infiltrate all of the buildings that the mission specifies, with the palace being the last of these, to complete the game.
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This is what everyone's been waiting for. Ever since the world got excited by Command & Conquers strategic deployment of units, people have dreamt about controlling legions of stormtroopers and sending out speeder bikes on scouting missions instead of NOD soldiers or wizards and goblins. And now, at last LucasArts has gone and done it - with the first Star Wars RTS. Or, as they would put it, real-time ground combat. But we'll get to that in a moment. The most important thing you need to know right now, if you didn't know already, is that the game is based on the original trilogy and spans events for all three films. Oh, and it's also rather good.
Nice Ewok If You Can Get It
It's difficult to approach Force Commander (or any other Star Wars title for that matter) without regressing into an impressionable child, ready to worship whatever comes up on screen as soon as the music starts sending that familiar thrill up your spine and you begin to read the great big yellow text scrolling up into the star-dotted infinity. Like X-Wing Alliance, FCfocuses on the fate of a couple of individuals picked out from the masses you only get to see fleetingly in the films. In this case, two brothers enrolled in the Imperial army, working their way up the stormtrooper ranks.
As one of the brothers, you are given an enormous amount of responsibility in the Empire's effort to wipe out the rebels once and for all, after you have proven your worth as an able commander in the training levels. You're thrown right into a familiar setting and given the task of finding a crashed escape pod somewhere in theTatooine desert, which apparently contains a couple of droids holding valuable information. Once you've found it (you'll never guess this bit), you discover the pod is empty and your objective changes to tracking down a gigantic Jawa Sandcrawler that might have taken them, killing Sand People who are riding banthas along the way.
Ewoks In Beauty Like The Night
And here lies the true beauty of the game, as you play through essential events in the films through the eyes of the dark side and discover what the Empire was up to while George Lucas's script concentrated on a small group of rebels. It does mean you have to perform a few tedious and thankless tasks, such as setting up a series of communication relay points across a map while constantly getting attacked by Alliance forces, or taking over some coal mines. In a controversial move, LucasArts has dispensed with resource management (normally an essential part of any RTS) and introduced command points instead. The move away from resource management is one all strategy games released in the near future seem to be taking, and very welcome it is too.
Instead of setting up a base and waiting for your collectors to harvest some radioactive weed or dig up ore in the rocks, you are awarded Command points for destroying enemy units and completing primary and secondary objectives. The game does cheat a bit by having supply bunkers scattered around the map, which bring a steady flow of points when you take them over, in the same way that mana zones work in TA Kingdoms or Magic & Mayhem. But the principle remains solid enough, especially when you consider how you order units onto the battlefield. Instead of pumping soldiers out of barracks and building tanks in special buildings, Force Commander assumes there are massive Star Destroyers orbiting the planet where units get shuttled from. We suppose the reason they can't just send you everything they've got is because they are supplying the war effort in other sectors at the same time.
Take Ewok On The Wild Side
"But what about the rebels? When do we get to play them?" I can hear you asking. Well, without giving too much of the plot away, we can say that the brother you play has a change of mind half-way through the game and defects to the Alliance. The decision to make you play most of the game from the Imperial side was taken for a very good reason: their units are cooler. The moment an AT-AT stomps onto the dusty surface of the planet you're won over, hopping around your mouse like an overactive kid. When you find out you can group them up with TIE-Fighters and TIE-Bombers as well, you're likely to giggle to death with pure delight. To make sure you don't lose that feeling when you go over to the Rebels (many of whose units have had to be designed for the game since there aren't that many in the films), there are special Infiltrator soldiers, who can take over enemy vehicles and use them. The only thing that comes close to stomping Ewoks with an Imperial Walker is taking one over and blowing up AT-STs with it. Thanks to the multiplayer game (there is also a skirmish mode), it won't be long before you start recreating your favourite scenes with your friends. Many of them are built into the campaign, and you're bound to play the Battle of Hoth a few times or keep returning to Endor's Forest Moon recruiting ewoks (with their rockdropping gliders and tree traps) to destroy the Death Star's shield. Especially when you consider that you can use actual characters from the trilogy (see box out).
Ewok In Progress
In spite of all this, Force Commander is far from perfect. The main gripe is with the graphics, the 3D view and, by default, the actual feel of the game. The terrains lack any detail and the units look like badly drawn entries in a Star Wars art competition, especially if you zoom right in. Stormtroopers have big, boxy legs and vehicles are angular monstrosities. The big frame boxes drawn around the selected units look like wireframe placeholders. Working out where you can set down units and turrets once you've spent your command points on them can be a nightmare, as you will sometimes spend whole minutes searching for that elusive green shadow. The 3D camera makes things even more confusing and it's almost impossible to get a good view of the action all of the time. Warzone 2100 used the 3D rotation to much better effect and the whole thing lacks the slick, professional quality you would expect from a first class title. Even the mission briefings pale to those in TIE-Fighter or X-WING Alliance.
If you're a Star Wars fan (and how many of us are not?), you'll be able to put up with all these problems and have plenty of fun, but the realisation will slowly gnaw its way to the front of your brain that this could have been so, so much better.
It was supposed to be out ages ago, and since its announcement we've had the small matter of The Phantom Menace. The film, the game and the merchandising were respectively overlong, over-hyped and overbearing, and the danger for LucasArts is that people are sick to the back teeth of Star Wars, or at least of its shoddy spin-offs. However, Force Commander is 'proper' Star Wars, as opposed to the glorified Muppet Show of The Phantom Menace, and it should be all the better for it.
Its missions span the Star Wars trilogy, and playing as either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, the game will offer you full-scale, ground-based combat over a vast array of fully 3D 'engagement theatres'. Let's hope you can kill Ewoks.