View Full Version : Star Wars Republic Commando

24th May 2005, 09:21 PM
Side note: This review is based purely on my experience with the demo of the game. As I only had access to it.

Synopsis: You play the leader of an elite commando unit for the Republican army. Your duty is to lead your team of specialists to your objective.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics arenít exactly phenomenal but they werenít horrid either. The detail for the one level the demo was placed in was done quite nicely, if you would allow your computer to be cranked to the max settings. The only reason why it gets an 8 is because they didnít quite do the same for the Xbox. Rather, when you compare the screenshots, the graphics seem to have been downgraded significantly compared to those of the PC version. However, the lighting, texture, and overall environment created was enough to convince me that the developers were really using the best technologies available to them. The effects of the various weapons you can use were wonderfully animated as well.

Sound: 9/10
Overall the sound was done in high quality. The music helped to create an interactive experience with the game, which is an excellent plus considering this game is designed to be interactive with your team and environment. The music changes depending on whether or not your cover is blown, or when you charge into a room full of enemies. One criticism is that there wasnít a whole lot of music in the demo, but nevertheless they were placed at very appropriate times. The voice-overs were good in the demo, and I believe they really were into their roles. There were no monotonous tones, or really fake acting. They also managed to get the actor who played as Jango Fett in Episode 2 to be part of the cast, as the voice of your character which was really neat. The other members of your team donít have his voice though, although they are clones, but that is explained through some background stories and such. The sounds of weapons fire was nicely done. If you really want, you can actually put headphones on and jump around firing in a blaze of glory, and you can actually tell where the firing is coming from around you (you could also do the same if you crank up your speakers).

Game play: 9/10
This is where the game really shines. The whole point of the game is not like any other FPS game where youíre the best shooter amongst your allies and you single handedly save the day. Rather you NEED your team. This is a really dependent game, and hence extremely difficult to complete on your own. For one thing your character doesnít have that much health and the enemies can be pretty accurate with their shots (I only played on the hard and medium difficulty setting so Iím not sure about easy mode). However that does not mean youíll be restarting at a lot of checkpoints. Each of your team members has the ability to resurrect a fallen ally, and that includes your character as well. So as long as one member of your team is alive the mission can still continue. Although it may seem like a hamper on the game for those who prefer the traditional FPS this allowed the whole uniqueness of the game to show itself. Your team is essentially your weapon, and they are an embodiment of yourself. You can interact with the environment with them so that you can be in various places at once. There are various spots in the environment that allow you to tell a team member to do something with it. As the commander you must execute plans and exploit advantages the environment provides before and during battles. That is not to say that this game is completely linear. You must be very careful with the way in which you organize your team, and what you tell them to do. For example you may tell one of your members to scout ahead and take a sniper position, but then he could be discovered by a hidden enemy and alert the others. Other times some of the options you have may do nothing at all. So again itís all about choice.

The weapons are also another matter of choice as well. You are only allowed to pick up one extra weapon amongst your original set. Ammunition is also limited, and you can only carry so much at one time. You must be careful and have trust in your team for their ability to handle hostiles on their own fire power else you may find yourself stabbing enemies with your melee weapon katar. This adds somewhat of a realistic approach to the FPS genre. Much like Halo the designers have come to terms with the fact that you canít carry a pistol, shotgun, machine gun, assault rifle, rocket launcher, 500 grenades, etc. on your character alone. However that doesnít necessarily limit your firepower though, as your original rifle can transform into a grenade launcher, sniper rifle, and automatic plasma rifle. How you use each extension is up to you though.

AI: 9.5/10
The AI is another gem in this game. My favourite part about it is that your allies arenít stupid, even if you play on hard mode. They wonít get in your way, as much, and they are constantly on their toes. They are extremely interactive with your character. You can do various things from organizing certain formations, to securing areas. Each member of your team has a specialty, and depending on what theyíre doing they may need extra cover. So because your allyís AI is designed with different ďthreatĒ levels at different parts of the game they may be targeted by enemy AI, which allows room for you to take position and provide cover fire. Hence even in hard mode all the attention is not placed solely on your character. Your allies, however, will follow your orders unquestioningly. If you choose to leave your team behind and scout ahead they will stay behind as you take several devastating hits. Your team is also designed with extra quirks as well; from scrambling around when surprised by an enemy, to refusing to resurrect you when you decide to shoot them in the back of the head. The AI provides many challenges and avenues to fool around. You can tell when you really get to mess around with the AI that the development team really put some time into making the NPCís of this game as real as possible.

Although this was a great game overall, there are some things to consider before you purchase this game. One main flaw is that the retail version of the game is extremely short by most standards. On average it will take about 10 hours to pass. The short game play is quite understandable considering that the game takes place between Episode 2 and 3, and thus it was difficult to throw in a whole lot of content without stepping into Episode 3, which had yet to be released. This reviewer finds that rather tragic, as the game is overall well designed. There is a multiplayer aspect of the game, however it is notable that you do not have your interactive team with you when you do play, so you do solo it. I do not know if youíre health has increased or not as the demo did not provide a multi-player aspect, but if you really enjoyed the weapons and environment designs, then you can give that a shot. Another criticism, which I have stated before, is that this isnít your regular FPS game. You are considered fairly weak, and can only take so many shots before you are down. If youíre into FPS games where you can go Rambo Rushing, or throwing grenades everywhere then youíll end up dead a lot, and with very angry allies. Having said that this game is rather complex, and provides a lot of options during game play. It is rather difficult to get into the swing of things when you immediately begin. During various times I had to read what was on the screen before I understood what the various symbols meant. However you can rush through it and pick things up as you go along, or take it slow and understand what each functions does. In either case I got the hang of the controls and how the game is played rather easily. For those who do not enjoy a complex FPS this may not be the game for you; but for those who are looking for a challenge, you may want to consider picking this up.

Overall rating: 8/10
I would still recommend this even though the game is fairly short.