Gamers familiar with Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures will have found that the Tower Defense mini-game, Republic Defender is a fun little game that scales up nicely in difficulty as you play through the different stages. Going through the different maps and the different droids and tank types thrown at you and the different towers you can build is actually quite challenging. With the latest update, SoE takes it one step further with their latest mini-game, Galactic Forces.
“Galactic Forces is a multi-player extension of Republic Defender,” said Game Designer Justin Dazet. “The game mechanic is the same. You gain energy for each unit you destroy and with energy, you build towers. Now however, you play against other players and your friends.”
In Galactic Forces you have an actual HQ as well as a number of bases to build your towers. Instead of waves and waves of enemy forces being thrown at you, you are now spawning units against your opponent, and each tower has a build time. There are four towers on your HQ, and your choices are a Power Station that gives a bonus to energy collected, two different towers that boost your armor, defense turrets, a Communications Tower to call in targeted airstrikes, and a Supply Center that raises your unit cap. Both the Separatist Droid Army and the Grand Army of the Republic are playable and the basic tower types are Infantry (droids and clones), Light Armor (walkers), Heavy Armor (tanks) and the Hero tower which spawns a named Jedi or Sith.
The Hero Towers bring in a great amount of flavor and fun as each named hero has their own quirks. I watched as Anakin ignored all the droids and made a bee line for the enemy HQ, dying ignominiously as they blasted him from the flanks and a tank did the coup de grace. Each tower has three tiers with the final tier a choice between a multi-target or single target unit, and the hero towers are no different.
The Separatists start with Savage Opress (he looks like Darth Maul for the uninitiated), move to General Grievous, and then choose between Asajj Ventress or Count Duku. The Republicans start with the aforementioned Anakin, then move to Obiwan before choosing between Mace Windu and Yoda.
With most tower defense games, you are playing from a top down or pulled-back angled view and it’s no different in Galactic Forces when you want to view the entire battle-field, but the wonder of this game is that you can zoom right into the action. You can only have one hero on the field at any time and when they spawn, they send a tell with text as well as voice-over. They are easily seen as you actually see the color of their light sabers and a glowing dot. Scrolling all the way in on them will let you watch the battle up close. Want to watch Mace Windu take out a tank, you totally can. Heroes will also gravitate towards one another if Jedi and Sith are on the battlefield at the same time.
I seldom step into Clone Wars Adventures without being challenged to a game of Light Saber Duel, and with Galactic Forces, the game uses simple matchmaking to find you an opponent to play against. Real opponents always give you a better game as playing against the AI is pretty predictable. In a manner similar to Republic Defender, strategy is still key although play styles can be accommodated. Do you prefer building as many Tier One towers as you can and many infantry and light armor units before building the heavy tanks which take more energy or do you prefer saving your energy for the heavy hitters? It might depend on your opponent’s strategy but luckily, you can sell towers and build others in its place. Clone Wars Adventures is a subscription based game with a free to play model as well, but the best features, like Galactic Forces are for subscribers only.