Star Wars: Republic Commando
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
LucasArts
Developer
LucasArts
Genre
FPS
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Nice strategic elements
• Excellent audio
• Great looking graphics and level design
• Online and multiplayer modes

The Bad

• Short story mode
• AI is not always consistent

 
Grade
A-

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 generation.

- - Kinderfeld

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