Review by Skelator
"In A Galaxy Far Far Away Someone Made A Game That Rocked"
What do you get when you combine the visuals of Metroid Prime, the controls of HALO, and the tactics of SOCOM? Well if you guessed Stars Wars: Republic Commando then you would be a winner, well except the whole part about actually winning anything. Now unlike any other Star Wars game there are no Jedi's, characters whose first name is Darth, or large spherical objects called Death Stars. Instead we go back to Episode II and III and take control of an elite 4-man squad of clone troopers know as Delta Squad.
Since this is being written before the release of Episode III I'll give both a spoiler free version of the story and a version that includes spoilers, but don't worry the spoiler version doesn't give away too much info. If you are not a Stars Wars fan a lot (if not all) of this is going to sound like jibber-jabbish but don't worry even if you aren't a Star Wars fan you'll be able to get into the story and have a good time.
As stated earlier you are placed in the role of Delta 38 who is the leader of an elite squad of clone troopers known as Delta Squad. Delta 38 is joined by Delta 62 (a.k.a. Scorch) who is a demolitions expert, Delta 40 (a.k.a. Fixer) who is a hacking expert, and Delta 07 (a.k.a. Sev) whose specialty is kicking ass. As leader of Delta Squad you are the first line of offense for the Republic and are sent to various locale that range from Geonosis to the Wookie home planet of Kashyyk.
As stated earlier you are placed in the role of Delta 38 who is the leader of an elite squad of clone troopers known as Delta Squad. Delta 38 is joined by Delta 62 (a.k.a. Scorch) who is a demolitions expert, Delta 40 (a.k.a. Fixer) who is a hacking expert, and Delta 07 (a.k.a. Sev) whose specialty is kicking ass. As leader of Delta Squad you are the first line of offense for the Republic and begin your mission on the planet of Geonosis during the epic battle in Episode II where you must infiltrate and destroy a large-scale droid factory. The next place of interest is an abandoned Republic ship that has been overrun with Trandoshins and scavenger druids in which you must retake and find out what happened while doing so. And lastly you travel to the Wookie planet of Kashyyk where you must prevent an all out attack from Genoshins, Trandoshans, and the droids commanded by Episode III's new villain General Grieveous.
Not much separates this from other FPS besides the settings but it does incorporate a nice command system that allows give you squad mates four distinctive orders that range from Search & Destroy, where your men go all out to kill anything that moves, to Secure Area, which has your men stay in a single area and only kill enemies that go into that area. Level progression is implemented flawlessly by having an adviser who gives you a briefing before missions outlining what your objectives are and during missions whenever something unexpected comes your way. And believe me something unexpected always comes your way, this game is full of action so you can never expect a dull moment. Whether it is a room full of Genoshins (best described as flying bug men) waiting to swam on you or an open cliff side territory with only one very impressive spider droid standing in your way you'll always have a nice challenge when playing through any level.
The controls follow those of HALO but add of touch of Metroid Prime's directional pad setup to switch between all of your various weapons. The ability to issue commands to your squad mates is very easy which is a huge bonus during some frantic shootouts. The only real downfall with the controls is that it can be kind of difficult at times to do some of the actions if you choose to do them yourself instead of ordering your squad members to do them.
Absolutely amazing the guys at Lucas Arts have really got their stuff together when it comes to visuals. They even put in blood when you do close quarters kills that splatter on your visor and is wiped off by and electric squeegee. I only found one problem with the visuals and that is a 2D looking scene when you peer out of a window that looks really out of place in a 3D environment.
Again just like in the graphics department Lucas Arts is top notch in this section as well. All of the classic Star Wars sounds are here in this title and when using surround sound it really sounds as if you are in the midst of battle. The banter between you and your teammates can get a bit repetitive at times but some of your squads off the cuff add a nice break from the standard mundane conversations. As for music you will hear all of your standard Star Wars music so if you like orchestral symphonies you won't be disappointed and even if you don't like them you probably won't mind it here.
This is where the game takes a huge downward spiral for me. With the XBox console having four control ports and with the game having a four-man crew one would think that they would have included some sort of co-op mode, but there isn't and that really is a shame since most great FPS have co-op nowadays. Split screen however is great although it lacks the variety of game modes as seen in HALO.
Final Verdict: 8/10
With no Jedi as the main playable character Star Wars: Republic Commando threads in uncharted waters for such a high profile game (except for Star Wars: Battlefront) and is able to pull it off without any major disappointments. That being said I would recommend renting it since the playtime isn't that long and contains no noteworthy extras. However if you are a huge Star Wars fan you will want to pick up this title for it's different perspective on the Star Wars movies.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/19/05
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