"Not quite Bantha Fodder, but not a Jedi Master either."

Ahh....Can you smell that? It's the smell of mediocre movie tie-ins! Revenge of the Sith is the years most anticipated movie so of course it's going to get a hack and slasher video game, right? Recent Star Wars video game have been surprisingly good with the likes of Republic Commando, Knights of the Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Battlefront all receiving critical praise. With the recent influx of good Star Wars games, I was hoping Revenge of the Sith would keep the streak going. Does it? Well, sort of.

I'll come out and say that Playstations 1's The Phantom Menace was a guilty pleasure of mine. While it didn't exactly set a new standard for Star Wars games(that came later with KOTOR), I did like the Role Playing and Exploring elements of it. So I was a little disappointed that Revenge of the Sith completely left those elements found in The Phantom Menace out in favor of a pure hack and slash. With the huge success of Knights of the Old Republic wouldn't it make sense to incorporate at least some RPG elements in? Instead of trying to copy Knights of the Old Republic, it instead completely rips off EA's Return of the King. Almost every gameplay element found in RotK can be found here. RotK gameplay elements such as, Combos, the character level up screen, Movie footage, unlockables from the movie, generic hack and slash action, and multiple characters are all present in Revenge of the Sith . It also inherits some of RotK's not so good features such as, annoying invisible walls, braindead AI, framerate problems and incredibly short length. While RotK is undoubtedly the better game, that's not say Revenge of the Sith is a bad game. It's definitely the best Star Wars game yet when it comes to Jedi Battling and lightsabre dueling(KotoR's turn based system just didn't do dueling proper justice).

There are basically three types of gameplay to be found in Revenge of the Sith. The main portion of the game is your basic hack and slash. You battle through dozens of droids and other enemies a stage, basically pressing the same buttons over and over again. Combos come into play here but they are not that neccesary when just hitting the square button works just fine. You also have some force powers at your disposal although like the combos, they are of very little use. Puzzles are incredibly simple. Find the lever, pull it and move on. Nothing creative to see in that department. The camera gave me some problems as well. It's a fixed camera and there were a few times an exit was very hard to see due to the camera placement so I would have to run around the room for five minutes trying to find my way out. All in all though, it's a decent hack and slash system and it is very cool to have that lightsabre twirling around instead of a generic sword.

The second portion of gameplay is dueling. This is easily the coolest part of the game and worth half the score alone. As you progress, the game will break up all the hacking and slashing with some uber cool duels. You will lock in on your opponent and star an epic duel. You have to time your blows right and block a just the right time. It's all very cool and there were times I wish I had a replay button so I could just watch the duel play out. While story duels come up, you also have access to a separate mode that let's you choose two Jedis or Siths and duel it out. My only real gripe with this mode is the characters. While there are two extremely cool character available upon completing the game(I won't spoil who though. Hint: There awesome.) there are only characters from Episode III(besides the two mentioned earlier.). You get Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Count Dooku, ect. But why no Darth Maul? Why no Qui-Gon? Luke and Yoda are absent as well. It's a shame too. It could have been an awesome way to re-enact some epic duels form the earlier movies.

The other form of gameplay is some First Person Turret action, ripped Straight from KotoR. Like in KotoR, it sucks here as well. When will Lucasarts learn we don't want these crappy turret mini games?

The graphics in RotS are decent at best. All the character models are done well and the flowing cloaks look pretty cool. One annoying little thing is the environments all look a little bland. It's all pretty generic. The framerate stutters as well at times but considering the amount of action going on on screen, it's to be expected.

Nothing really to write home about in this department.

As of this writing, the movie has not been released therefore I have not seen it. I'm not sure this game does a very good job of emulating it though. There are many times where I didn't know what the hell was going on. It gives you a bit of backstory to the level and some movie clips but all in all, the story is pretty hard to follow if you haven't read the book or watched the movie. So if you want to play this as an alternative to watching the movies; don't.

Lasting Appeal
There really isn't too much reason to play through it all again unless you are left feeling unsatisfied with it's short length. Unlike RotK, you cannot pick any character you want for a level. Because of this, there is very little reason to redo levels. There are a few extras to collect, but in the end, who cares?

Closing Comments
All in all, Revenge of the Sith is merely mediocre. It doesn't try very hard, but it doesn't have too. The fanboys will eat this up regardless how it scores. There isn't much for the non Star Wars fans here to justify a 50 Dollar purchase. Maybe it might be worth a 20 dollar purchase for a weekend playthrough but otherwise, stick to a rental.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/08/05

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