Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
March 18th 2004
Introduction:Star Wars: Republic Commando capitalizes on the over saturated Star Wars market with a shooter that resembles a toned down Rainbow Six with Storm troopers.
The Game:If you have played any shooter on the Xbox then you should be ready for Republic Commando. The gameplay is straight forward and as linear as any shoot em' you have played. Of course they do try to muddy up the visor with the illusion of squad combat, but in the end it seems unnecessary. Republic Commando has more in common with last years Goldeneye then Rainbow Six: Black Arrow.
Star Wars: Republic Commando starts off with some cool visual cut scenes of you're evolution from clone baby to the super unit you are today. You quickly start the game fighting in the war on Geonosia and are then one by one hooked up with your squad mates. There are four commandos' that make up the Delta Squad unit (Four-0h "Fixer", 0h-Seven "Sev", Six-Two "Scorch"), including you (Three-Eight or Boss). Each is colour coded and has their own specialty. You eventually fight your way off of Geonosia and end up landing on other planets in the galaxy and my favorite Kassack. It's cool for a while seeing the Star Wars universe from another perspective, but I think everyone can agree we like it the old school way. With great Star Wars games like Knights of the Old Republic , Lucasarts really has to get more creative with their license.
Republic Commando doesn't offer up much in the gameplay variety and you'll basically be doing the same thing over and over. No Warthog here, just a blasting overload. From the internal press sounds like it's going to be a tactical shooter much like Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. Although when you get down to it Republic Commando doesn't really give you freedom to approach the situations how you want and basically tells you to press 'A' and watch you're team work. The squad in Republic Commando is pretty much useless, unless the retrieve you if you fall in battle. I don't know how many times they walked infront of my blaster in the heat of battle. Don't expect the intense strategy and combat of Rainbow Six or the tactical brilliance of Ubisoft's new WWII shooter Brother in Arms, compared Star Wars: Republic Command is playschool.
It's not all bad for The Boss and his friends. If you approach the game with an itch to go all out gun blazing and frag some people for a bit, Republic Commando can accommodate you with its three campaigns. There is also a familiar multiplayer mode which can also take some time in the mindless fun category. It's not what you probably are expecting, but try to enjoy it for Republic Commando for what it is.
Graphics & Sound:In the graphics and sound department Republic Commando flourishes. This game looks good, and the ambiance of the levels really matches the mood of the Star Wars universe. What else would you expect from LucasArts themselves? Republic Commando has a fair level of detail and everything will match up with the movies presentation. You can tell the game has been planned out to the final stage and everything shines through. The game has a polished look which is a little too perfect, but overall there is not much to gripe at. The musical score is dynamite and really helps push larger than life epic feeling towards the game. Musically and visually you'll be opened eared and mouth as you venture into the world of the clones, bugs and spaceships.
Innovation:I was expecting something new out of Republic Commando in the terms of the gameplay; with the amount of hype around this game you would think it was going to be revolution in gaming. In the end the gameplay is as basic as push a button and watch him duck behind a barrel. Push a button and watch him hack the computer. Unfortunately the game usually verbally tells you what to do while it marks the spot showing you what to do. The need for tactics is gone, and the decisions in the game basically hover around deciding withers or not you want you squad to heal or take cover. The lead character could have done this by him without the help of his skittles friends. Besides the characters cool changing weapon (DC-17m), Republic Commando fails to impress.
Mojo:The mojo has been drained and I think I need a Bacta refill. Republic Commando doesn't live up the high standards that the last few Star Wars games. It's great that Star Wars is back and building for its finale with episode three on its way, but what is Star Wars without the Lightsabers and the Force?! Uh, yes. Just another rerun of Battlestar Galatica.
Lowdown:Star Wars: Republic Commando is worth the price of a rental first. Find out what you are getting into before you purchase this game. The hype has made it out to much more than it, Rainbow Six its not! If you love the new Star Wars movies and you just want to fire it up then I gather Republic Commando won't disappoint you like it did me. Now, where did I put that Star Wars Battlefront disc?
Gameplay: 7, Graphics/Sound: 8, Innovation: 5, Mojo: 6. Final: 6.5