Fire at will, Commander!

On Friday I released that I had missed the release of the Empire at War demo - so I quickly hopped over to Mininova to grab a torrent. I am an RTS junky - I can trace my RTS roots back to Dune 2 from Westwood Studios (and so can some of the team over at PetroGlyph) in fact I think that the originals for the game are still sitting in my closet at my parents house.

Empire At War Demo Screenshot
Since it's just a demo Lucasart's is only including one campaign which can only be run as the Rebels. The rebels start off with a small force on Hoth - with a small asteroid belt and then Tatooine as your main targets. They were nice enough to include Han Solo and Chewie as the hero for this campaign. By sending Han and Chewie over to the asteroid belt you can smuggle credits away from the Empire operation and also see what forces they have stationed there. Your first mission is to defeat the Empire forces in the asteroid belt. The space battle is very well done - it captures the feel excellently - but it isn't in 3D so the vastness of space is lost. It's more like a land map with space ships.
Empire At War Demo Screenshot
Once you have destroyed the forces in the belt it's time build up your ground forces and move in to liberate Tatooine. The ground battle comes off just as you'd expect it. An RTS with a Star Wars theme. I for one enjoyed the space warfare much more. The ground battle is by no means a walk in the park. With AT-AT's, shield generators and even Boba Fett against you - it's a pretty good fight.
Empire At War Demo Screenshot
The demo was short and really only serves to whet the appetites of Star Wars fans. In an effort to extend the demo a little I did some poking around with the configuration file. Through a little bit of trickery and a handy-dandy hex editor I was able to start the game with a Corellian Gunship (see screenshot below) and make a few more modifications but I was unable to unlock any of the other missions or the locked buildable items. :(
Empire At War Demo Screenshot
I do wish the demo had some more meat to it - it was just too short. They could have at least given us two or three more missions to do. I'm definitely putting this game on my wish list though. Someone better buy it for me for my birthday in February...