Star Wars: Republic Commando Review
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Official Site:||Star Wars: Republic Commando|
|Release Date:||March 4th 2005|
|Reviewer:||Shane Lacey (Felon)|
|Buy now at Amazon|
Where to start with Star Wars games, there must have been dozens of them over the years. The latest addition to the Star Wars family comes in the guise of Star Wars: Republic Commando, and following a recent trend, it's a squad based shooter where you not only control yourself, but also a small team under your command. Sounds good so far yes? Star Wars, shooter, squad based, can it go wrong? Well, while I'm a massive fan of the George Lucas films, I've never really enjoyed any of the games, I'm reliably informed that's because I missed the early ones, X-Wing, Dark Forces and more recently the first Knights of the Old Republic game seem to pop up again and again as examples of quality PC Star Wars games, but still, I haven't played a good one and as I began to play it, I was hoping Republic Commando would change that.
The graphics in Republic Commando are by no means bad, they are however not in the same league as most recent PC first person shooters, they are probably not even as good as the now almost 2 year old Call of Duty. While everything runs very smoothly it just seems a little dated, the shadows and lighting effects do a decent job throughout the game but there is just no WOW factor at all and I actually thought the texture quality was quite poor, it seems that the PC version of this game shares rather too much with the now quite dated current generation of consoles. While this is understandable for cost reasons, we review PC games, not console games on the PC so can't fully forgive it.
However, there are a few good things to say, one touch I did like was that in battle, blood would smear across your visor and would be wiped clean like an on-board race car camera. There are certainly other small things like this that really add to the games' polished feel, typical of Lucas Art's games really.
Foggy out today
Can't stop sneezing
Come fly with me
He's up there boss
The sound is actually very good in Republic Commando, the various blasters, grenades and droids all make familiar Star Wars sounds and the game certainly sounds authentic, thumbs up there.
Whilst the witty remarks you get from your team mates are fun to begin with, they get very tedious after a while and it gets to the point when you just know what your squad will say in every given situation. The background music is a different matter though, it's great, if they had of put as much effort into the graphics as they did in to the background music we would be halfway to a very good game, the score is superbly paced, the music generally reaches a cresendo as the end of each battle nears, impressive stuff and yet another example of extreme polish.
My only gripe with the sound was the almost non-existant enviromental sounds, in particular weather effects seemed a little poor.
Shall we dance?
Spot the difference
Nobody told me about the disco
I come in peace
Now we get the bit that matters, how does it play?
In Republic Commando you play a Clone Commander to be prescise and you are in charge of a team with 3 other's, yourself, Deltas 07, 40 and 62 or Sev, Fixer and Scorch to give them their proper names. Controlling your team is usually very simple which is good but in most cases just doesn't matter as they can't actually die, they just get knocked out and need to be revived by another squad mate, the same goes for you, should your health reach 0, you can command your squad to revive you to 50 percent. One thing that did drive me mad was the fact that a nearly dead squad mate would not replenish their own health unless you ordered them to.
One of the good things about this game is its simplicity, no need to read the manual at all, the ingame help is great to begin with and lets you jump straight into this game. The in-game help comes via a series of pop ups which give you the opportunity to turn it off each view. Again, this probably comes form being a console game but in this case it isn't bad.
The weapons are also basic enough to not get confused with, you obviously have your pistol and your main Blaster rifle which turns into a handy sniper rifle when you collect an attachment further into the game. You can also aquire an Anti-Armour attachment for this gun, handy. I think the gun I had most fun with was the Wookie Bowcaster with it's scope, impaling droids from distance and watching them struggle is fun. You also get to collect various types of detonator throughout this game but primarily you only have the basic thermal detonator. A futuristic grenade basically.
The enemy A.I. in Republic Commando is actually not too bad either, if you try to shoot them they will dive for cover and hide behind rocks, but, if you get up close to them or behind them they get confused. For example, if you can get behind or flank them with your squad laying down cover, they then to go for you every time which makes it a bit simple to have your squad cause serious damage while you are a distraction. However, some of the droids in this game are really hard to destroy, indeed the super battle droids were a real challenge, unlike your basic droids which took 1 or 2 simple body shots to destroy.
Yet another quality little feature that made me chuckle was shooting a droids head off and watch it walk in circles aimlessly, or even if you shot their legs off they would try and crawl to you still shooting. More examples of high quality production values.
The added multiplayer options are not really worth disccussing much, this game was clearly designed for a single player console market and it shows.
Republic Commando actually plays pretty well, it does however lack variety and is incredibly short, to represent good value for money, this game would need to be at least twice it's length in my opinion, the extra levels would also need to add that little extra, that missing something. Whatever that something is, it's sorely missed.
Is that the Starship Enterprise?
Laser surgery is not good
Help me look for my contact lense
Don't wee in the corner Sev!
All in all an ok game for a night or two, indeed I finished it in 2, roughly 6-8 hours of repetitive gameplay, it has pretty much no replay value and no longevity at all. It feels very much like a console game and a lot like playing a much shorter version of Halo in the Star Wars universe. If your a Star Wars game fan, you should probably buy it, it's not all that bad, but I'd wait till this one hits the bargain bucket if you like good value.
- Great music
- Easy to control
- Highly polished
Not so good stuff
- Extremely short
- Dated graphics
- Over priced
- And dare I say it, a bit boring
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