reviews\ Dec 21, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - PS2 - Review

Star Wars. When you hear those two words what comes to your mind? Hearing those words, people think of the magnificent movies, soundtrack, and books. This is one of the single most lucrative franchises in history. Honestly, can you think of a series that has survived this long, and still has such a strong cult following? Since the latest movie hit the theaters there has been a new string of Star Wars related items. The newest entry is a game called Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and takes place shortly after the events of the latest movie. Does this game hold the huge product value of the movie, or will it be a flop?

The game takes place after the events of the last movie: Attack of the Clones. Players will take on the role of three of the Jedi's most powerful people: Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to help the Republic to win against their newest enemies. The main goal of the players is to prevent ancient Sith people from taking over the current government at any cost. Players will get to see many different planets to prevent this tragic event from happening. Are the gamers educated enough in the arts of the Jedi to win, or will the Sith destroy the universe? The answer is in the hands of the players.

Here is a list of some of the vehicles the gamer will use during the course of the game: Speeder Bike, Fighter Tanks, Gunship, and Mobile Assault Cannon. The Speeder Bike is extremely fast, and allows people to get from one end of the battlefield to another in no time. It is armed with a laser gun and a speed boost. The tank is likened to the Starfighter of the ground, it is quick, has tons of armor, and has heavy firepower. This machine has two laser cannons, missiles, and a speed booster. The Gunship is primarily a transport unit, it is slow, but it has good maneuverability and excellent combat weapons. It is armed with multiple laser cannons, missiles, and laser turrets. This is just a small taste of the many different vehicles that players will pilot throughout the entire game.

There are four multiplayer modes in the game: Duel, Conquest, Control Zone, and Jedi Academy. Duel is when two players battle it out to see who is the best in the universe. Each time a person dies, they can choose to keep their old vehicle or get a new one. Conquest is played between the Republicans and the Separatists. The Republicans team uses the TX-30 tanks, and the Separatists use the GAT's. The main objective is to destroy the opposing base. Control zone is similar to King of the Hill. One person controls the zone, until they die; when they do the other character takes control, and must hold onto it as long as possible. Jedi Academy has two different versions: play with or without vehicles. Both characters are on the same team, and they must destroy the opposition. The game finishes when the last player alive is killed. Score is not dependant on who was the last to die, but who killed the most people.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is rated T for Teen for violence.

Gameplay: 8.2
The game's controls will take around fifteen minutes or so to get adjusted, then you will be playing like a pro. The game can be played in either first or third person. What makes this game extremely unique is that it offers many different types of missions that will require you to do different things. For instance, in one battle, the players start off on foot, then they chop off any droids that prevent getting to the space ship to battle it out in the air. Other mission's players will use a tank or even ride a speed bike like vehicle to race to some special destination.

The game is extremely fun to play and provides hours of fun. The action is always high tense, and extremely enjoyable. To help with the replay value, each mission has a set of bonus quests to be accomplished. The more bonus quests you successfully complete the more items will be unlocked.

The game gives players an extreme feeling of action when in the heat of battle. There will be gun fire from all sides, and players will have to be good at maneuvering, conservative of ammo, and know when it is the right time to use your valuable force powers. Each level has multitudes of enemies to "play around with." This gives the players the sense that they are really in a war zone, and have to be cautious and reckless at the same time if they are to win.

Graphics: 8.5
This game has an exceptional graphics engine! At times, players will see infantry, ground vehicles, as well as flying ones. Whether players are on the ground, or in the air, they will always get the sense that they are really in a huge intergalactic war.

All of the vehicles are highly detailed and look like something straight out of the movies. Each of the ships are extremely textured and have a very high polygonal count. Every environment the player's battle in also has the Star Wars theme and feeling that the players are actually battling in a place from the movies.

The special effects are also outstanding, keeping the high level of product one would expect to see in the movies. At any given time, players will see numerous battles taking place all over the map, burning remains of vehicles, and tons of laser fire. It is extremely awe-inspiring to see all the battles going on all over the place, and players might forget that they are playing a game, instead of watching a movie.

All of the graphic horsepower went into making the vehicles and the high enemy count on screen. Once players have to do some ground combat, they will see how poor the character models really are. Everything looks horrible, and has an extremely low polygonal count. It looks like something out of the PSone era. Thankfully there are very few ground battles like that, but it really doesn't ruin the experience.

Seeing all of the enemies, laser fire, and everything else on the screen at once has to affect the frame rate. At times the frame rate will drop to a sluggish crawl, but it is nothing to get worked up about. I ran into a little slow down during the game, but it never made the game distracting or not fun to play.

Sound: 8.7
Like all the movies before it, Star Wars: The Clone Wars has an awesome soundtrack. Once players boot up the game, they will be treated with the familiar Star Wars theme. All of the laser fire, explosions, and sounds of each vehicle sound like they were taken directly from the movies. This helps immerse the player into the game. The development team got John Williams to supply the music (the composer for all of the movies) and each of the tracks played are tastefully done, and bring the players into the Star Wars atmosphere.

Difficulty: Medium
The game can prove to be extremely challenging, especially on the highest difficulty levels, but it never feels like the AI is being cheap. The game will make players try to find the short cut to help get to places faster, and make players think strategically like they are actually in a war. Other than the infantry ground battles, which didn't seem that too much development time went in there, the game is extremely fun to play and understand.

Concept: 8.6 
This type of game has been done numerous times over the past few years, but this time it was done with the mighty Star Wars license. The thing that makes this so special is the fact that there are numerous mission types. In some missions players will be flying an air vehicle, ground tank, or even on foot! This mission variety is seldom seen with this type of game, and LucasArts did an extraordinary job on this!

Multiplayer: 8.5
Since there are a variety of different modes to play, players will have lots of fun trying to see who is the best of the best in the entire galaxy!

Overall: 8.5
If you are a Star Wars fan, you should try to get your hands on this game this holiday season. It will provide hours of playtime, with a multitude of bonus items. You will not regret it! May the force be with you!


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