In a time where the Empire's grip on the galaxy is still tenuous, take command of early Rebel luminaries or the Emperor's closest advisors in an epic struggle to define a galaxy still smoldering from the Clone Wars. Assemble your faction's war machine from dozens of asynchronous lines, then augment it with hundreds of potential upgrades. Transform aspiring heroes into legends to provide intangible leadership to your military and government. Leverage entire planets and civilizations to their greatest potential through base building. Then, when everything is in place, plot your conquest vector. This is a four-decade strategic simulation of warfare across 120,000 light-years.
This review may contain spoilers
Certainly one of the most complex mods out there for Empire at War, Phoenix Rising has lag problems because of the sheer amount of STUFF it does. Like a few people have already pointed out, Phoenix Rising mostly messes about with the game itself. While it DOES add a metric tonne of new units, buildings, and planets in GC, most of its changes have to do with what's going on behind the scenes.
I really enjoy the degree to which Phoenix Rising makes the player feel more like they're actually managing an empire, rather than buying dudes with which to kill the other guy's dudes.
Phoenix Rising introduces a much more intricate system of galactic income in Galactic Conquest, meaning that the player can't just make one planet their army/navy production planet and just fill everything else up with Mining Facilities. Another aspect of the GC income overhaul is that Phoenix Rising adds space units whose almost sole purpose is to boost the economic power of whatever world they're orbiting (for example, the Galactic Empire can build Lamba Shuttles which add +4.5 Credits/day each [I think its +4.5, anyways]).
Let's be clear: Phoenix Rising is very much focused on Galactic Conquest. Yes, it does add some content for Skirmish but its really not the mod's primary focus.
In the most generic GC scenario ('A Galaxy Far Far Away'), you start JUST after Palpatine's Declaration of a New Order which created the Galactic Empire and JUST after Darth Vader's cybernetic reconstruction. Alderaan is still there and Luke Skywalker hasn't even been discovered by the Rebel Alliance yet. To unlock the more iconic Empire At War units (for example, Imperial Star Destroyers for the Empire and Mon Calamari Cruisers for the Alliance) you need to, first, research them. That means dumping a LOT of time and Credits into R&D AND making sure that the enemy doesn't find out you're doing it 'cause they'll try to attack and destroy your Research Stations/Facilities if they do!
Heroes are...complicated. They spawn on whatever planet they originate from in Star Wars Legends cannon (for example, Grand Moff Tarkin spawns of Eriadu and Admiral Akbar spawns on Mon Calamari). However, there are a few exceptions. Emperor Palpatine spawns on Coruscant (rather than Naboo), Darth Vader spawns on Vjunn where he built his personal fortress of Bast Castle (rather than Tatooine), etc. You can upgrade certain heroes into better versions of themselves from Legends cannon on certain planets (for example, you can give Emperor Palpatine a very powerful early-game space unit, the Star Destroyer Majestic, by 'building' it on Byss while he's in orbit). However, Phoenix Rising's game manual PDF (included in the download) doesn't list all the heroes you can get in GC or on which planets you can acquire new heroes or upgrade old ones. Phoenix Rising's GC hero system relies on the player having some immersion in the greater Star Wars Legends cannon to get the most out of heroes.
The heroes also have a new stats system (which is so dang complicated that I won't even bother describing it, just read the mod manual PDF file) that makes some of the more useless heroes from the vanilla game (such as Mon Mothma and Emperor Palpatine [at least in space combat]) very VERY powerful because each hero's unique set of stats provide potent bonuses to all of your other units present in that battle. Some heroes are so powerful that you can deploy them, alone, against a heavily fortified enemy world safe in the notion that they will be able to absolutely annihilate every living thing in their path (Emperor Palpatine with Eclipse and Thrawn with Razor's Kiss, in space combat, and Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in ground combat being really good examples of absurdly powerful heroes). So, if you're looking for a mod where heroes take a backseat in large fleet maneuvers or grand planetary invasions, this mod might disapoint you.
Its GOOD but you can get better.
Highest Rated (9 agree) 9/10
A solid mod, to put it simply. Instead of aiming for balance, like the vanilla Empire at War did, this mod aims for accuracy according to Star Wars lore. So yes, your Imperial-class Star Destroyer will indeed be stronger than almost any similar cruiser the Rebel Alliance can throw at you. However, that makes it all the more satisfying when that star destroyer is crushed by a more strategically built force. The mod is far from complete, but the team actively works on it and produces quality news…
Dec 20 2011 by OseronPhaer