Star Wars: Republic Commando

by Tracy Whitelaw
author awarded score: 90/100

Star Wars: Republic Commando
Published by: LucasArts
Developed by: In-House
Format Reviewed: Xbox
Review by: Tracy Whitelaw

Star Wars, most people either love it or hate it. I was one of those people who pretty much didn't like Star Wars or should that be I tended to simply avoid it at all costs and I was pretty indifferent to all the games, movies, action figures and merchandise that seemed to continue to grow and grow and grow.... So, imagine the surprise when Star Wars Republic Commando was placed sweetly in front of me accompanied with a grin and a 'fancy taking a look at this?'. See, usually Star Wars games are snapped up and reviewed by people who love the movie, so this is going to be slightly different for you, the lovely readers.

I have played Star Wars games before, the huge sprawling catalogue of Star Wars games seems to cover every single aspect of the movie and beyond so as someone who loves games it's easy to assume they'll cross my path every now and again. My last adventure with Star Wars gaming was Star Wars Battlefront which I have to admit I strangly enjoyed even though it really wasn't all that good. It was addictive and fun and a hell of a lot better than Knights Of The Old Republic which I just couldn't really get into. So, would Republic Commando be any better?.... well.... yes. It's SO much better and it's bloody great fun too.

Star Wars: Republic Commando review

When you first load the game you are treated to a friendly voice over telling you your destiny as a republic commando, making you feel like the centre of the universe for quite some time. You're shown around the game and you will be mightily impressed with the graphics which are quite frankly beautiful. They are top spec with plenty of subtle lighting effects and beautiful contrasts which really highlight the strengths of the Xbox combined with good game design. The commandos are finely detailed and they have brilliant suits on which look fantastic and really authentic. The backgrounds mingle seamlessly with the action in the foreground and there are gorgeous little effects such as your weapons ammo bouncing off poles etc or leaving indents in backgrounds. Your commandos first person view is really cool because your vision is through their HUD which gives you the rundown on the majority of things you need to know, health, ammo, teams health, location etc.

One of the most surprising aspects of this game for me was the gameplay. So many Star Wars titles just haven’t lived up to the hype for me but this one is spot on. As an FPS you have the usual progression of making your way through levels by completing objectives and shooting enemies. The good thing about this title is that it requires a little more to it and isn't quite as straight forward as you might think. You are in charge of an elite team of commandos and it is your job to order them around, get them to do certain tasks and take care of their health. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Well it is! The team have numerous responses and you will learn that certain team mates are better for certain tasks. You have the brilliant choice of re energising yourself and your team mates so if you die, don't lose all hope. You can command one of your team mates to revive you.

Star Wars: Republic Commando review

The enemies you face range in difficulty and at times a few shots from your lovely pistol will suffice when at other times you'll need to be far more tactical and command all team fire power to target on the baddy. The helpful navigation tool which appears on your screen will tell you the right way to go and your team mates will also help you out with this so don't worry too much if you generally have bad navigation skills when playing these games. There are also helpful hints on screen which tell you what to do next and you can play with or without these.

You will get to do all kinds of cool things in this title such as blowing up objects, killing nasties, repelling down buildings and so much more. The gameplay is flawless and it smoothly moves between scenes and action areas without any major problems.
With FPS games, sound can often have as big an impact on the overall enjoyment of the games as graphics and the sound on this game is once more top class. The epic Star Wars type theme continuously plays in the background which gives you outstanding ambience and atmosphere. The sound effects are extremely effective from the noise of the gun to the screeching of the enemies. Of particular note is the voice acting. Brilliant. Not overly clichéd but just cheesy enough to sound like a movie. The scripting is fantastic and there are some really good one liners throughout. Now, the deaf gamer is going to miss out on this and that's a real shame. Although subtitles come up on the screen at important goals or aims, they are not present when your squad are talking to you so this could be a problem. Overall though it's hard to fault the sound because it is really just so good.

Star Wars: Republic Commando review

There's a common misconception that female gamers aren't really into Star Wars titles because, well, it's Star Wars. I have to tell you, although this is a heavily male slanted title, I am really confident that females will enjoy it too. If this genre is something you're interested in then it will appeal to the female gamer as much as the male gamer.

I am stunned. I didn't think I'd like this game but I was completely addicted to it from the getgo. The controls are good and pretty much every button on your Xbox controller will be in use at some point. You'll become completely immersed in the action because it throws you into it pretty much head first. You find yourself caring about your squad members and you always want to heal them and make sure your health is topped up as much as possible. There are enemies a plenty which will keep the most ardant FPS fan happy. The levels become increasingly difficult but not to the point of being frustrating. You will find it very difficult to find faults with this title, however I have one, a major one. If you suffer from motion sickness this game is going to make you want to throw up within half an hour of playing it so be prepared to take breaks often. Other than that, buy this game. Trust me, if someone who doesn't really give a monkeys about Star Wars can get completely into this then it's good. Infact it's so good that I think I prefer being on the dark side.