Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption Preview

Petroglyph’s upcoming expansion pack Forces of Corruption is already shaping up to open the dark side in all of us. The plot surrounds the adventures of Tyber Zann, the leader of the Zann Consortium underworld faction. A demo was released yesterday, which samples one level from the game. Some of the new additions the demo showcases are three new planets (out of 13 new ones), Mandalore, Felucia and Kamino, the ability to transport units (in the demo, it’s showcased in a somewhat humorous/evil type of way). The demo also showcased Zann’s cloaking devices, construction of mobile defense platforms (on MDU’s), and the new Zann Consortium faction and corruption system.

The level opens up with some background on Tyber Zann, who after breaking out of jail starts to work with Jabba the Hutt. After spending most of his fortune on an artifact, Jabba is pretty anxious on keep his artifact safe with him. This, of course, peaks Zann’s interest, and Zann wishes to nab it for himself. The first order of business is to corrupt the nearby planet of Mandalore which, in turn, will open up a black market on Nal Hutta. The Zann Consortium can build Defiler units, which handles your corruption duties. On the galactic conquest map, you drag your Defiler unit to the planet – in this case it’s Mandalore – and you choose what type of corruption to reign down. Each type of corruption has requirements; in the demo you’re limited to one type on Mandalore, which is Piracy. Piracy is essentially a tax on all enemy ships that pass through the system. Piracy also opens up the ability for the Consortium to gain access to specific enemy ship types that vary per piracy ring. Another corruption type is Bribery, which halts all production of enemy units. The corrupted planet will also notify the Consortium of enemy troop movement.

Once you start your piracy ring, the game jumps to the galactic conquest game play mode. Once here, you have to take over the Mandalore’s Supreme Strategist. After taking out his protection ships, you disable his ship’s engines and send your transport to dock with the ship. During the ship battles, an ability the Consortium has is to deploy buzz droids, which cut through the enemy ships’ hull. It’s very useful to take out the smaller ships without spending too much time and resources to take them out. Once you’re victorious, the planet is corrupted, which is emphasized by a sickly yellow haze around the planet. With a piracy ring set on Mandalore, you’re now able to open up a black market on Nal Hutta. A black market ring keeps the Consortium up to date with technology, by acquiring new abilities for Zann’s ships and vehicles. After setting up the ring, you learn that Jabba is planning to sell the artifact on Felucia. This is where you can sample the standard skirmish combat game play on a world.

Landing on Felucia, you can sample base defense units with your MDU’s. For the demo, you can only build a missile launcher. When your MDU’s have a defense unit built on top of them, they can’t move. As for your units, Zann’s bodyguard, Urai Fenn, is very adept in melee combat. Both Zann and Fenn can cloak, which is useful later in the mission. Felucia is a toxic planet, which one squad of your units find out pretty early on when they’re sent to their deaths while you’re exploring the planet. This showcases new types of terrain; later in the level, there’s terrain that can only be crossed by infantry, not vehicles. Zann then breaks out a transport ship for your units. After some relatively easy combat, he acquires the artifact and gives it to Fenn to hide. Zann ends up getting captured and being sent to Kamino, and Fenn is in charge to break him out.

The expansion looks to provide plenty of discrete deaths, espionage, and betrayal to satiate our evil appetites. The Rebels haven’t been sampled in the demo, but new hero units for them include Yoda and Luke Skywalker, while the Empire gets Thrawn, IG-88 and Silri. The visuals were noticeably better compared to Empire at War, and the maps are larger, as well. Empire at War: Forces of Corruption is set to release on October 24, so stay tuned to GamerNode for our review in the coming weeks.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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