Review by Drunky

"Being a Jedi is no longer what it use to be..."

As many of you know, Star Wars is a series of films revolving around the exploits of the Jedis and the Dark Side. As almost anyone knows, if the movie is a success, a game must be made! Well that's been done and done with the Star Wars franchise. The final movie (actually the 3rd) in a 6 movie series, Revenge of the Sith is not yet out in theatres as I write this review, but its already a game. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Sadly, its most likely a bad thing. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith really isn't all it was hyped up to be. This game is probably not going to stand much on its own merits, the deciding factor will probably be just how much you like Star Wars. Sadly this game did not live up to its full potential, it fell short in several ways. The amazing thing is, even though it is a bit disappointing, its still one hell of a game.

Story: Like I said, this is the final movie in a series of 6 movies. It technically is the third if you go by the order. The first 3 movies revolved around a young Jedi Knight named Luke Skywalker, and his battle against Darth Vader. Now without getting into the obvious spoilers, this game/movie, Revenge of the Sith, precedes that storyline. It revolves around… okay I guess I have to spoil it, Anakin Skywalker and his transformation into the evil ruler, Darth Vader. The game revolves around Anakin's struggle in deciding his own path in life, whether to be a Jedi and obey the JedI Council or to obey his own instincts. Without ruining the highly anticipated movie, the game basically features clips and scenes from the actual movie mixed with their own animated cut scenes in order to show Anakins struggle in making his own choices.
The storyline is the main selling point of the game, as usual it lives up to the expectations of all the sci-fi fans out there and builds up the hype for the movies release.

Gameplay: The games weakest points without a doubt. This is basically the most linear game imaginable. There is no free roaming, all the paths are planned out, even Force Jumps are planned out. You don't aim where you land, the game does it automatically for you. Which I guess is a good thing, because no one wants to miss the landing area and go hurtling off into space, but you see my point. During your missions there is usually only one path that is available, with the exception of a few small rooms here and there. There is absolutely no free roaming, everywhere you go, you go for a purpose.

Seeing as this is a Star Wars game there is bound to be fighting, which is of course done with lightsabers. The added use of Force powers is a great addition. For the most part the game is a straight hack n' slash. You go down your predetermined route and just slaughter the hordes of enemies thrown at you, occasionally stopping for power-ups and health. There are a lot of JedI combos available to you, which really adds to the gameplay as you try and find the coolest way to pull of your JedI moves. The Force adds a little bit more complexity to your battles as you mix the Force and Combat moves (which are both upgradeable through the experience you gain by fighting) . You can use the Force to push enemies out of your way, fling them about, shock them or stun them. Both useful and entertaining, yet not enough to distract you from the repetitiveness of the game.

You can play as both Anakin and Obi-Wan, both of which have, pretty much, the same arsenal of moves. You can get more moves the more you upgrade a specific category of your skills. The two categories are of course, Force and Combat. While Anakin should focus more on the Force side, Obi-Wan is just a straight up brawler. There are several unlockables you receive as you beat the missions and you can even unlock things such as concept art and duelists. The duelists you use in the duel arena which you can pick your fighters and go nuts, the two player is especially fun.

Nevertheless, it's a good game in terms of action, dismembering the Droid enemies are a great way to pass the time, its just the lack of depth that really makes it sub par. I think the focus on action is really what made the game worse than it should have been. The game gives a major sense of urgency as it rushes you to kill anything that moves, but if the game had been slowed down a bit more and allowed some free roaming where you can make your own encounters with the enemies, it would have been much better.

Also note the severely annoying camera angle. Its fixed at the bottom of your screen. It's a nuisance in the beginning because you cant see who's shooting at you, whether you're missing a hidden item in the level, or even if there's anything down there to begin with. After awhile you grow to become use to it, it still gets annoying at times, especially when all you see are red lasers being fired from an enemy you cant even see and end up fighting a hidden enemy. Of course a simple lightsaber throw quickly solves that problem.

Graphics/Sound: The graphics are decent, but not really anything special. There are serious frame rate problems. At times in the game its just amazing how choppy and laggy the game gets, it looks like its about to freeze, but alas it keeps on going. Not many instances of it happening, but when it does, boy do you notice. I'm amazed the game can even continue. Other than that and the clipping problems (Such as fighting an enemy covered in a solid wall if you get a little bit too close together) the graphics are very nice. You can see the parts of the druids fly off as you slice them up, and the enemies overall look very well done, as well as the cut scenes and the interactive environment. The main characters look a bit edgy, but not enough for it to matter. On the bright side, you do get a nice collection of concept art for beating the missions.

The sound effects are very nice, the druids, the light sabers, the clanging metal as you slice through your enemies are all very well and good. Except for one little problem, the voice actors are not the actual cast. Not a major problem, but for the people who notice these things (The Star Wars fans), its just not the same.
We want to hear Anakin and Obi-Wan the way they were meant to be! I guess I'll settle for the Battle Droids telling me to drop my weapons. (Like that's really going to happen)

Replayability: Ugh. Too, too short! Some people can beat it in just a few hours. The missions take several minutes each, but there are not that many of them. There is little reason to play it again, seeing as there is a level select and nothing really to collect, except maybe gain some extra experience that you didn't quite get or maybe a secret you missed. Everything is unlocked on the first play through, and nothing much changes. If you enjoy quick hack n' slash games, or even just pulling off amazing combos with a very cool weapon, it's a good game to play. The duel arenas are a nice addition, and the two player mode is exceptionally great if you have someone to play against.

Recommendation: This game will probably not be able to stand on its own merits. It has its own good points, and its own very bad points. The decision will probably be more affected by your love of Star Wars than the game itself. If you are a die-hard Star Wars fan, you should get the game. If only to add to the collection. If you simply like the game, rent it. Its not worth the money. Renting it once or twice should be enough to get the maximum enjoyment.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/07/05

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