reviews\ Mar 17, 2005 at 7:00 pm

Star Wars Republic Commando - PC - Review

It seems that nowadays you can’t kick a chunk of bantha fodder without hitting a Star Wars game.  While some of them are excellent titles that expand upon the Star Wars universe by providing great stories and compelling gameplay, others are, well, Super Bombad Racing.  Luckily for us, the long-awaited Republic Commando is not one of the latter.  While the single-player campaign is quite short, the game offers intense gameplay and an easy to grasp interface that FPS fans should have no problem picking up.  All in all, Republic Commando is a good game that puts gamers successfully in the helmet of a Clone Trooper.


In Republic Commando, you play as the leader of a group of four Clone Troopers as they fight through a variety of missions during the infamous Clone Wars.  You’ll face off against the Separatist Droid Army and their allies on familiar battlegrounds as Geonosis and Kashyyyk, the Wookie home planet.  The battles are fast and furious, with your squad mates providing much needed support from all angles and utilizing each of their individualized traits.  One member of your team is a wily demolitions expert, another is a computer hacking expert, and the other is a gung ho ultimate warrior who is skilled at sniping.  Each of these characters come in handy in their own unique ways and proves to be an asset in many pinches on the battlefield.



Commanding your team around is very streamlined thanks to the PC’s keyboard layout.  Whenever a hotspot appears indicating that your team can perform an action like slicing a computer terminal or manning a gun turret, a green hologram of them completing the action will appear on the screen and then you only have to push a button to get them to perform the task.  Doing this, you can position your team in sniping positions or on gun turrets before a big fight so you can have the upper hand.


Your team can also heal you should you fall in battle and vise versa.  You never truly die until each member of your team is out of commission, as you can regenerate each other indefinitely.  Also there are many strategically placed bacta tanks throughout the game that allow you and your team to heal up before and after big conflicts.


For hardcore fans of the Rainbow Six series and other team-based action strategy games, the tactical elements of Republic Commando may seem a little on the light side.  You have options at the hotspots that you can’t really change around and you can’t do things like queue up other commands the way you can in the Tom Clancy games.  While the squad elements are certainly there and very well implemented, but not quite as deep as other strategy games.



That said, Republic Commando is a very intense action game. The battles are fast and extreme, with hordes of enemies swarming your team at one time.  Unfortunately, the game is also over very quickly, and most gamers should be able to complete the single player campaign in less than ten hours.


The graphics are fantastic on the PC.  The game makes great use of bloom lighting and pixel shading, resulting in one of the most graphically impressive Star Wars games to date.  The character models are nicely detailed, making each member of your team distinguishable from the others (um, even though they are clones).  There are also some great little touches, like blood and oil splattering on your character’s visor and then being wiped off with a laser wiper, that add a lot to the overall aesthetic. The environments are great looking too, providing great representations of some of the beloved worlds in a galaxy far, far away.



The sound is also great.  The game features some familiar Star Wars tunes, as well as some new themes that seamlessly add to the game’s Star Wars atmosphere.  The voice acting is also very well done, with each character having their own unique personalities that come out during the game.


Even though Republic Commando is light on the strategy elements, something that might turn off the more serious squad based gamer, it is still a fun game that no Star Wars fan should miss out on. 


Review Scoring Details for Republic Commando

Gameplay: 8.8
Republic Commando pits you and your squad against enemies in several real locations in the Star Wars universe.  The action is very intense and the tactical interface is very streamlined, making easy for anyone to pick up and get into.  The single player campaign is very short, however, and can be completed in about ten hours or so.

Graphics: 9.5
Republic Commando has some of the most impressive graphics of any Star Wars game yet, with realistic character models, great environments and some superb lighting and texture effects. 

Sound: 9.0
The game has some great music, both new and familiar, and the voice acting is very well done.

Difficulty:  Medium

Concept: 9.0 
Republic Commando borrows heavily from other games, like Halo, Metroid Prime and Ghost Recon, and does so with a lot of polish.

Multiplayer: 8.5 
The multiplayer elements aren’t quite as good as the single player aspects, relying on familiar staples like Deathmatch and CTF to get the job done.  A co-op campaign would’ve kicked serious butt.

Overall: 8.8

Republic Commando is a blast, albeit a short one.  The action is very intense and the tactical elements, while light, are easy to grasp.  Fans of the Star Wars franchise, or action FPS games, shouldn’t miss it.


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