For those unfamiliar with Empire at War (EaW), here’s the background context – nearly 14 years ago on Feburary 16th, 2006, Petroglyph Games brought Star Wars to the RTS scene with sprawling land-based fights, and glorious space battles. Later in the same year, they returned on October 24th, 2006, with it’s highly anticipated expansion Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. These titles accrued strong long-term fanbases that have been playing and modding the game since.
I had played dozens, if not hundreds of hours of EaW post-launch, and as most of us tend to – eventually moved onto other titles. But I’m back in 2020, over 10 years later and I’ll be damned if, EaW’s gameplay doesn’t still hold up. With the lively and still active modding community, why should we be restricted to what it was, and not what it could be? There are so many incredible options at our fingertips, why not experience the best Empire at War that a PC can offer?
That being said, let’s detail a few of my favorite total conversion mods available for Star Wars: Empire at War, and Forces of Corruption.
Disclaimer: Have a massive preference for space battles
Empire at War Remake: Galactic Civil War
First up, and in no particular order we have the EaW Remake. This mod brings Empire at War into 2019/2020 with a clean modern look. The remodeling presents updated, more detailed textures, tied to a larger scope and scale. Hull, unit, shield and attack animations have been overhauled, and look fantastic.
Though it’s not a direct remastering as some units, like Tyber Zann, have different models, stats and abilities. Additionally both in skirmish and galactic conquest, super capital ships are on the table. And damn, are they glorious. Unit capacity has been raised to 200, so battles have far more grandeur. Along with updated models, the remake mod also introduces both new, and modified older units such as Vindicator heavy cruisers. There’s also tonnes of quality of life changes, from rates of fire, to a visual movement path (which is really nice to have).
Overall this one’s a solid mod that breathes new life, and brings longevity back into EaW in the year 2020.
Empire at War Expanded: Thrawn’s Revenge: Imperial Civil War
Thrawn’s revenge is an EaW expansion mod that feels angry – and on steroids. Ships have more weapons and they fire much larger volleys, it’s just so satisfying to delete your foe with clusters of brightly refracted death. This conversion mod is more like a massive expansion, introducing 6 new factions while reworking both the Empire and Rebellion for a total of 8.
And if that’s not enough, Thrawn’s Revenge has (since launch) received additional expansions, ontop of it’s already chunky amount of content. Though this mod is most enjoyably played in galactic conquest to make best use of it’s new mechanics, it’s just as fun in short battles; both in land or space.
As per the description on Steam:
In Empire at War: Expanded, the traditional Empire at War tech level is traded for an era-based system that impacts different story events, factions, unit rosters and heroes are available, with the galaxy set up to recreate various conflicts within the Star Wars Legends lore after Endor.
Republic at War
Then we have Republic at War (RaW) set during the Clone wars, where players take control of either the Republic, or Confederacy (CIS). This is a classic mod I’ve come back to repeatedly over my years with EaW – and not just because the clone wars are my favorite era in Star Wars. Effort was clearly made to nail the details accurately, it’s a fanboys dream. Nothing is more gratifying than dropping a fleet of canonically correct Venator-class capital ships on your unknowing enemies.
Unsurprisingly, super-captial ships are also available for deployment, and look at all those hardpoints! This here, is a mighty fine conversion mod. With such a large focus on lore-realism, players can take control of known legions such as the 501st, or 212th. Recreate legendary scenarios of the clone wars with incredible precision, or play around in different land/space skirmishes.
Battlestar Galactica: War of the Colonies
And finally (though dozens of other mods deserve recognition) we have a Battlestar space-only mod that brings us fleet battles between the Colonials and Cylons.
Command fleets of Battle/Basestars with tech and units from the original and 2004 shows. This includes (with the heroes setting on) the iconic Jupiter Class Battlestar – Galactica herself, and even the Mercury class Pegasus. Battlestar nerds rejoice, we haven’t been forgotten.
What really intrigues me about this mod in particular is the combat redesign, that accurately aligns with how battles took place in BSG. Most ship weapons are broadside, and missiles are a major backbone of warfare. The unique part is the way battlestars utilize and shoot flak fields, thus eliminating enemy missiles and fighters caught. There’s also abilities that scramble the guidance of missiles before impact. It’s accuracy is satisfying and it’s execution is glorious to play. Any die-hard fan will absolutely adore War of the Colonies.
What did you think of the aformentioned mods? Do you have any favorites of your own? Share them with us in the comments, and stick around Any Button Gaming for more.
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