Arcade 3D space shooter and racer in the SW universe
Star Wars: Rebel Assault is a space shooter game and a racer featuring the planes and the spacecrafts, with the lineup lifted straight from Star Wars. You are going to have to complete a number of races in space, while shooting enemies, rocks and other space debris, you are going to race your way through crevice fields close to the grounds of the diverse lineup of planets that are featured in the game and you are going to be part of a story, delivered to you through the missions via conversations and movies. The graphics are a nice blend of high quality photographic textures applied on crude 3D models, which makes the game look rather funky. Also, the feel of the control is very arcade like, as you can speed up, turn up, down, right, and left but you will not be able to turn 180 degrees, unless the game script the mission that way. So, the game will mostly appeal to arcade racer fans and maybe to Star Wars aficionados, but make no mistake the game is no jewel, it has its edges and jaggedness, though it is playable.
A Slice of Star Wars
Rebel Assault was one of the first CD-ROM games to come out when the entire idea of games on CD was young. It's a small side story of a random pilot in the rebel alliance. You're not a jedi, just a regular soldier. The game begins with training in Beggar's Canyon and then participating in some battles, like systematically taking down a star destroyer, raiding an imperial base, and flying through an asteroid field. The graphics are an innovative (for the time) full motion video, played out over computer generated backgrounds. You'd better have a joystick for the piloting segments because I could not do well at all using the keyboard. Even then, it's not easy. I like the opening level a bit too much. It was my first taste of an expanded universe. When Luke said, "Just like flying through Beggar's Canyon back home" and I first saw Beggar's Canyon, it was a treat. So, for everyone's Star Wars bucket list, tripping an AT-AT, flying the Death Star trench, using Force powers and a lightsabre, you can now cross off Beggar's Canyon.