| Blood and Gore, Violence
| The Good
Nice strategic elements
Great looking graphics and level design
Online and multiplayer modes
| The Bad
Short story mode
AI is not always consistent
In recent years, it seems that LucasArts has tried their
hardest to augment the release of the movies with games that
either bring the player into the world of the movies or tell
another part of the story. Such is the case with Republic
Commando. As a part of the clone soldier program, Jango
Fett initiated a Commando program, where the clones were given
advanced, team-based training for special missions. The game
follows three missions carried about by the four man Delta
squad, who start off on Geonosia during Episode II and end
up on Kashyyyk during the time of Episode III.
Republic Commando, at its core, plays like your everyday
first person shooter. Your character comes equipped with DC-17m
Modifiable Rifle Blaster, and later finds the sniper and anti-armor
attachments, which can be swapped out with the D-Pad. When
you run out of ammo with your Rifle, you'll automatically
swap in your standard issue pistol, which may not offer much
punch, but it never runs out of ammo. You can also pick up
enemies dropped weapons (but you can only equip one at a time),
ranging from shotguns to rocket launchers to beam weapons.
While these weapons may have their own failings, the readily
available ammo usually makes them a good balance to your DC-17.
Along with your rifle, you'll find multiple types of grenades,
each of which geared towards taking out one type of enemy
or another. Thermal Detonators are great for living enemies,
while EC Detonators does wonders against droids. Using grenades
in combination with your various rifle attachments actually
helps in dealing with many of the more challenging enemies.
While you're certain to get a lot of corridor shooting in
(along with a few melee bashes for good measure), LucasArts
has certainly gone to great lengths to adding a good bit of
tactical elements to the gameplay. Since you play as the head
of the squad, you are in charge of positioning your team,
ordering them to slice terminals or set up explosives. Since
you spend a lot of time fight through tight quarters, it's
in your best interest to order you team to set up sniping
or anti-armor positions as you push forward. Unlike most games,
you're actually rewarded with some quality AI that assists
you. Since you'll have to rush out to set up explosives during
the heat of battle, it's nice to have your team throw down
some decent covering fire.
While holding the A Button, you can use the D-Pad to order
your team to form up on you, secure and area or rush forward
into combat. Since you're in charge, you have to be sure to
order them to recharge their health at nearby bacta tanks
and when an ally drops in combat, you can either revive them
yourself or order one of your team to do it. In many areas
of the game, you'll find gun emplacements and rocket launchers
that you can commandeer and even order your team to use in
the face of some large odds.
Outside of the excellent singleplayer mode in the multiplayer
mode, which allows online, system link and splitscreen play
of deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag and assault
game modes. These modes are good fun, especially if you have
a lot of people available to play or access to Xbox Live.
From a graphics standpoint, Republic Commando delivers.
While the levels aren't overly detailed, they do fit into
the style that's found in the Star Wars movies. Having
been designed from a more "down-to-earth" perspective, the
game shows a far more intense and darker view of the Star
Wars universe. Even though there are a limited number
of enemy types, they're designed and animated well enough
that it doesn't affect the game all that much. Where the game
really excels is in some well planned out level design that
works to the benefit of the strategical team-based gameplay.
When the gunfire and explosions get rolling, you're really
going to feel like you're in the heart of a sci-fi themed
war. The visual effects are pretty solid and the framerate
tends to be pretty stable. The only time I found issue with
the game was the rare occasion when textures managed to pop
up after you arrive at the location.
While the graphics prove to be nice, the audio portion is
just outstanding. The music is filled with classic John Williams
themes along with more than a few similarly styled tracks
that work wonders with the mood of the game. When you enter
the derelict ship in the second mission, the dark, moody theme
really sets a nice tone. The sound effects are spectacular.
Instead of just using canned effects, they've brought in real
foley artists to create real effects, not unlike a CG animated
movie. And, then there's the voiceacting, featuring Temeura
Morrison (Jango Fett), Andrew Chaikin, Jonathan David Cook
and Tom Kane. Since the script really shows a nice personality
for the characters, the voice acting proves to be entertaining
throughout the whole game. Canned lines are present, but there's
such a wide catalog that you don't hear them all that often.
If there's anything that can be held against Republic
Commando, it's that the main story is short and doesn't
have all that strong of an overarching story. Fortunately,
the gameplay and audio package makes the overall experience
worth the time and effort. Republic Commando is certainly
one of the better Star Wars games to come out this