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Prologue: Lord Vader's Command



What is it ? : As an Imperial Pilot, you are being sent under the command of Squadron leader Lindon Javes to stop survivors of Alderaan spreading dissent throughout the Empire. Javes wants his squadron all in Tie Fighters, so after reviewing your vessel you power it up and launch, flying around the Imperial fleet and getting used to the controls. After a while, Javes orders you to dock with a Gozanti class transport to be carried through Hyperspace to Fostar Haven.
Fostar Haven is a pirate station, and you begin scanning transports as they depart, most yield to the scanning, but one GR-75 attempts to escape and you are forced to open fire and disable it. However this enrages the station master, who activates the defensive weapons and you must destroy the turrets.
After the station has been disarmed, one of your wingmen, Kerrill, thinks she knows where the Rebels are hiding, and as you head towards a cave at the back of the station a group of X-Wings emerge.
After these are dispatched, the Tie Fighters enter the station and locate the refugees from Alderaan, but their fighters are disabled by an Ion Missile fired by Lindon Javes who intends to defect. As he and the convoy of survivors begin to depart, they are cut off by the arriving Imperial fleet. . . .

High Points : Well it's a training mission, so much of it is spent just learning the controls. But it does throw you straight into the action and into the story, without spending time learning to trust Javes, he immediately becomes a traitor to the Empire, and you're hunting down your former commander.

The environment of Fostar Haven is quite interesting as well, a space station built into a group of asteroids, allowing you to fly inside the station and it's caves rather than just around the outside.

Low Points : The scene does seem quite on rails, as no matter what you do, you always get caught up in the ion blast and disabled temporarily, and there's no way to take out Javes, making him feel invulnerable. And rather sadly, these are imposed by the game, rather than by clever writing and scripting.
So rather than making you fly to a mission objective too far away to catch Javes, you can catch him, but just can't effect him. Which really does make the game feel gamey, rather than telling a story.

So what do you really think ? : A decent start to the game, but one which doesn't show off the games best to get you hooked, rather it displays the games weaknesses and some fairly weak storytelling for a game.
But it's kind of fun, as long as you don't get frustrated at losing, as the game forces you to lose this level by watching Javes escape.

Final Words : I forgot to mention in my overview of the entire game, that when you are choosing your pilot for this game, all of the options are Human. unless you spend points earned through play, or purchased separately to the game. And even then, the options are few, with only 2 alien species flying for the Empire (a Zeltron and a Pantoran), and 3 for the Rebellion (an Abednedo, a Duro, a Sullustan and a Twi'lek), compared the the 8 different humans you can choose free of charge.
Which is going to kind of set the tone for the game (well it is EA after all).

Score : 8/10






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