Star Wars Empire at War: Forces of Corruption updated impressions

This fall, Star Wars: Empire at War gets its first expansion pack, and it won't just add clone troopers or droid soldiers to the real-time strategy game. No, this time publisher LucasArts is adding a whole new faction to the mix: the Underworld, a seedy interstellar mafia that's always been lurking at the edges of the Star Wars universe.

The expansion, titled Forces of Corruption, follows the story of a small-time crime lord named Tyber Zann. Just released from prison and hounded by his rival, Jabba the Hutt, Zann's ambition is nothing less than to dominate the galaxy. To do it, he'll need to build an army and take on both the Rebels and the Empire with brute force, superior strategy and a whole lot of underhanded dealings.

We got ourfirst glimpseof Forces of Corruption during E3 in May, and the developers have added a lot to the game since then. Our latest peek began with the first mission, where Tyber - just released from prison - has to escape Jabba's hitmen by recruiting fellow prisoners and bribed Imperial units to his side.

Of course, Tyber is a bastard and doesn't give a damn about his new followers. While they distracted Jabba's men, he abandoned them to make a beeline for the Millennium Falcon, where Han and Chewie were waiting to give him a lift.

Once free, Tyber's options were much broader than those available to either main faction in the first Empire at War.