And so it begins. The marketing push for Star Wars as we inch closer to the next movie is upon us. What better way to take up your day than a mobile game that is essentially Clash of Clans for Star Wars fans. I’m not hating on it. Personally, I like the the game. Then again, I’m also beyond pumped for the next Star Wars installment.

Star Wars: Commander released today on the iOS App Store, and Android users will get a taste of Star Wars in the coming weeks. Players get a choice of joining the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance. Empire players will get the bonus of having AT-ATs and TIE Fighters at their disposal. Rebels have their own perks, with Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Han Solo making appearances. None of the actors did voiceover work for the game, so it’s characters only.

Star Wars: Commander is based on the free-to-play model with microtransactions. Yeah, that was the sound thousands of voices letting out a groan. Disney, the developer, is insisting that the game can be played completely for free, but let’s be real. Our attention span lasts about 12 seconds on a game with the option to cut through the time sink.

Executive producer Nathan Etter commented on the game’s economy. “You can install the game, you can play through all of the content that we produce for free. You get access to all the story content, you can play the PvP campaigns, you can play the time-limited campaigns and unlock the special rewards…all of that’s free for our user.”

Crystals are available for purchase and act like Clash of Clans jewels. It speeds up the development process. Sure, you can play it straight up, but you will be still leveling come time for the actual theatrical debut of Episode VII.

One area where this mobile game seems to shine is the story. Most tactical strategy games lack a decent story. If you ignore the prequels, Star Wars has never been without a great story. This holds true for Star Wars:Commander. Sure, it won’t blow you away with storytelling, but at least it offers up serious added value for a free-to-play game.

The timeline of events take place during the Galactic Civil War covered in Episodes IV-VI. All events are considered canon, except for player initiated events in the game.

Combat is the direction Star Wars games are heading in the interim. Battlefield Developer DICE is working on Battlefront set for release in 2015. Think Battlefield with Star Wars. Plus amazing graphics. This title is confirmed for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Judging by the cross-marketing of Star Wars in the past, it wouldn’t be a shock to see this titled ported to the last generation of consoles.

EA has also poached Amy Hennig from Naughty Dog to work on an open-world Star Wars title. Naughty Dog veteran plus Star Wars? Shut up and take my money.


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