About the Product
- Travel to 8 diverse environments from Geonosis to the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk in 14 deadly missions
- Innovative squad combat utilizing intuitive and accessible smart squad command system featuring squad markers and stances
- Challenging combat with incredible enemies - Super Battle Droids, Droidekas, Geonosian Warriors and Elites, Trandoshan Slavers and Mercenaries
- Access more than 12 weapons from the Star Wars films -- from a standard DC-17 rifle to the Trandoshan Slaver Shotgun and Geonosian Elite Beam Weapon
- Multiplayer action with up to 16 players - deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag
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Over the years, we have sliced through Imperial forces with twirling lightsabers, given in to the tantalizing power of the Dark Side, and destroyed the Death Star more times than George Lucas has worn his favorite flannel. With a setting that Tom Clancy wouldn't mind endorsing, Republic Commando emerges as a great departure for Star Wars gaming, and a breath of fresh air that fans have been dreaming of since they first watched a squadron of storm troopers obliterate a hapless crew aboard the Tantive IV blockade runner.
There are no backdoor drafts in the Republic. Born of the genetic stock of the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter, you were created with the specific intent of serving your people through bloodshed and war. Your appearance is identical to that of your brethren, who number in the millions, but your physical prowess has been heightened far beyond theirs. You are the best of the best. You are one of the Clone Trooper elite. Assigned as the leader of an upper echelon Republic Commando division, you must lead your squad to victory in the face of unyielding adversity.
As you unload countless rounds into a Separatist onslaught, you can send your sharpshooter to a sniper point, tell your hacker to open a door, and order your weapons expert to light up the droid forces with a well a placed Thermal Detonator. The on-the-fly squad control may sound fairly complex, but the system that LucasArts has developed couldn't be easier to use. With this said, you won't have complete control over the actions of your cohorts. Outside of simple commands like "form up" and "attack this target," you can only send them to areas that are assigned to specific tasks such as sniping or hacking – all with the click of a button. If you take on too much damage and go down, you can even signal to a teammate to revive you with a quick resuscitation. Thanks to impressive AI, you never really have to worry about your troops doing something stupid. The only flak you can send their way is for being too cowardly when an enemy is clearly not paying attention to them, and for not being able to recognize the greatest threat on the battlefield unless you point it out to them.
Although the controls fit as comfortably as Master Chief's glove, the targeting system is too demanding of precision, especially when you are required to unload dozens of rounds into certain enemy types. If you don't have armor-breaking rounds, a Super Battle Droid can be just as annoying as the new dance number in Return of the Jedi. Airborne foes are also quite difficult to tag at a successful rate.
While not a sure-fire marksman, Republic Commando still has enough kick in its firepower to knock you off of your feet. From explosive scripted events on the battlefield to harrowing battles that are almost too intense to comprehend, each mission is filled with relentless excitement and moments that you'll cherish for a lifetime. Whether you watch a Wookiee physically dismantle a Super Battle Droid or hold your breath as you rely on your troops to provide over a minute of cover fire as you hack a security terminal, Republic Commando seamlessly blends breathtaking spectacles with uniquely styled and highly contagious gameplay. The sound (sans the metal during the end credits) is remarkable as well.
At the same time, however, you can't help but criticize the game for its limited number of enemy types (I seriously felt like I destroyed at least 10,000 Battle Droids), noticeably absent story breaks, and lackluster multiplayer deathmatching. Furthermore, why didn't LucasArts do online co-op? It's a perfect fit.
It does tie into the upcoming Revenge of the Sith movie, but the Episode III content is more of a lightsaber tease than anything. General Grievous is literally in the game for two seconds, and just as you are about to join the pivotal battle of Kashyyyk, the game comes to an end, basically saying, "This looks awesome, doesn't it? Buy a ticket to the movie and you'll see how it unfolds."
No lightsabers? No problem. A Star Wars game without Jedi may seem like a Jar Jar-sized disaster, but I don't think even Master Yoda could dodge a nicely placed sniper shot by this incredible Republic Commando unit.
Suit up as an elite commando and pulverize Battle Droids as you bark out orders to your Power Ranger-colored squad
There are few visuals more satisfying than the vibrant green splattering of Geonosian blood on your visor
Why do clones have different voices? And what's with the cheesy hair metal at the end? If John Williams hears this, batons will be shoved in uncomfortable places
Targeting with the DC-17m is a bit suspect, but the squad commands work well, and the weapon selection is balanced nicely
Has the uncanny ability to rock your world and make you cry like a baby at the same time
Rated: 8.25 out of 10
Editor: Andrew Reiner
Issue: March 2005
While there are some recognizable technical issues that mar the glossy sheen of Republic Commando, they are only noticeable because everything else has been done with such finesse. Painting Star Wars in a dark and gritty light results in visuals that are both believable and deeply involving. The action sprung to life around me, and the squad mechanic was one of the most enjoyable and flexible I have yet encountered, even if the ally AI was occasionally frustrating. With only a few different enemy types, there really should have been more variety in their tactics, which brings the otherwise gripping combat down a notch in my mind. The voicework and visceral Foley sound effects are uniformly fantastic, and the Episode III score had me chomping at the bit for the big May release. The ending induced in me near physical pain, as it brought me right to the brink of something I'm not going to see until after the opening text scroll of the movie. Regardless, this is a unique take on that most beloved of fictional universes, and true fans would be remiss not to play it in its entirety. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Wookiees in battle are indeed ridiculously sweet.
Rated: 8.75 out of 10
Editor: Matt Miller
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Top Customer Reviews
First, I have not yet finished the game, but after an evening of play I have enough impressions to provide some pretty solid feedback.
Republic commando takes a fresh look at the Star Wars universe and tones down the lighting and (finally!) adds some wit. Rather than describe the game again I'll give you my impressions on gameplay environment, and features I found good and bad.
The controls take a little getting used to, but after about an hour or so they feel pretty natural. weapons are changed through use of the D-pad. Orders are issued to your commandos through the D-pad as well, but with the addition of the 'A' button being held. I found issuing orders to be fairly intuitive and easy to do. I found the commandos to occaisionally disregard my "undo" commands in order to get them to leave their sniping perch or the turret they were manning. This was rare though and although slightly annoying, easy to overlook.
Shooting is pretty standard. THe default look sensitivity is just about right for my style...true FPS players will probably ramp the sensitivity up a bit, but find that it's a steeper scale than say Halo 2. My only gripe with game play during the "campaign" mode is that they dump you immediately into the "geonosis" encounter (think of the end of Episode II) and with little to no time to get used to these controls you must shoot down flying (and rather agile) geonoshans. THis was a fairly steep learning curve, but not insurmountable.
Gorgeous visuals. I can't say enough about that. The only "environmental" inconsistency that bugs me occaisionally is that the commandos are all clones...but they all have very different voices. In some respect I get WHY this is...the commandos all have very distinct personalities (except the one named FIXER...I have trouble figuring out what makes him unique) and the variety of voices helps in that distinction.
The AI responds intelligently and isn't over the top. And so far the environment has seemed dynamic enough to provide intense moments where you wonder where the next "baddie" may pop out, and then shifts into the natural FPS Chaos quite nicely. The fragility of your own health and those of the commandos requires you to keep them involved throughout the game, and that makes the game more cohesive for the feel they were going to. The "On-air" chatter that the commandos keep up is entertaining as well.
Features, Pros and Cons:
Pros: I like the use of the bacta healing stations that are interspersed through the environments. THis makes a nice departure from the "instant use" med kit. But better than this I like the ability to issue orders while on your death bed. If the bad guys kill you, the action doesn't stop. A menu pops up on your reddish blurry screen allowing you to tell the commandos 1. Keep going with current orders, 2. Stop what you're doing and revive me or 3. Load a previously saved game. In one instance I was able to allow the commandos to complete a level objective before they came to revive me...and then continue where I left off. This was cool. If your other commandos drop...you have the option of reviving them as well.
Another Pro is the dramatic difference in 'bad guy' units. Standard droids are as flimsy and weak as they are portrayed in the movie. The Droidica (rolly droids) are just as scary when they pop open and unleash a hail of gunfire. THe Super battle droids are as tough and imposing as they seemed in the movie and more than once I foundmyself wondering if perhaps a Jedi Lightsaber intervention might not be a bit more helpful in taking these guys down.
Then the genoshans who fly enter the picture...drawing a bead and successfully shooting a fast moving flying ..."stick bug" is HARD! but not harder than it has to be.
Occaisionally I find myself managing the behavior of my commandos more than I'm actually working with them as a unit leader. My own shooting can contribute but when the commandos are not on the "same page" this can be a little frustrating. Over the course of the evening I developed an idea of when to apply a "move to waypoint and defend it" option vs. the "search the room and destroy the bad guys" option...one is more tightly controlled than the other....the search and destroy option will result in (once a room is clear of enemies) the commandos moving on when perhaps they shouldn't...instead perhaps they should heal up any health they're missing and THEN move on.
Also, one bug that I've had occur is the a commando getting "stuck". He could not move to join the unit and was simply stuck in one place. After experimenting by trying to kill and revive him and also by issuing other orders to him (or the squad) I moved on without him and fortunately made it through the level. It's only happened once, but I'm certainly leary for a second occurance.
One last 'Con': is that I didn't detect the possibility of a cooperative mode in the multiplayer options. I haven't checked in detail, but I find that playing the squad based games in co-op mode to be fairly entertaining with friends...and takes the pressure off of those who want to play but not necessarily competitively all the time.
Hope this was helpful
I love having the ability to command a squad to perform the different jobs required to beat certain big enemies. You can command one guy to toss grenades from behind some boxes, another guy to man a turret and lay down heavy fire, and the third to snipe from far away, while you run around and keep the enemy distracted. The ability to make decisions while you're incapacitated is brilliant. I was confident enough with the AI that for several missions I would let them clean up the area before ordering them to revive me.
Anyways, onto the complaints. As others have mentioned, I ran into several situations in which one of my squadmates would get stuck. He would not respond to orders, killing him and reviving him didn't help, in fact physically pushing him where I wanted him to go didn't work. This happened on a couple of levels that I really could have used his help, but luckily when I completed that level, he would magically reappear with the squad.
The only other complaint I have is that it's too short. I was just getting into it when it abruptly starts rolling the end credits. I'm glad I just rented it. It's a good weekend worth of play.
One last thing: some of the banter between your squadmates throughout the game is hilarious. Whoever was writing this stuff needs to help Lucas with the script for Ep 3.
With the exception of Halo, Republic Commando is the most modern feeling FPS of the last generation. Its hard to describe but many older FPS games have a strange grid based aiming system. It made it difficult to be precise, and felt really cheap. Especially after playing modern FPS games which almost always have good controls. Almost. Republic commando avoids this flaw by using a smart aiming system that locks onto enemies while you attack them. Instead of a punch or rifle smack attack, your melee attack is a metal cutter that pops out of your wrist.
Aside from its fluid controls, its graphics are pretty good too, once again considering the time period it came out during as it doesn't hold a candle to modern game. The effects are cool, but to be honest the locals are kind of bland. most of the character models are very cool though. They're aren't pretty by today's standards but they are unique and detailed all the same. This is especially present on the battle droids, who begin to fall apart after they take enough damage. Chipping off the face of a super battle droid with your metal cutter is very satisfying, and looks really cool. In my humble opinion its the best looking character damage system in any game.
The story while there, is nothing to write home about. Its pretty lame actually, and the dialogue for the Commandos is far more interesting then the actual mission they're on. There are however a few interesting things that happen towards the end.
Also, as a side note, this game came out before episode III, and they pronounce "Kashyyyk" with a short I. Just some trivia.
There are only 3 levels in the game, although these levels are broken up into stages with specific objectives. Also, there are only a few kinds of enemies. Geonosisians, Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids, Trandoshans, and sometimes vehicles. Ocasionally you'll fight Destroyer Droids or IG-100s.
Yes, its a good game. Yes, if you like star dance contests and FPS games you should by it. Yes, it might surprise you with how well it stands the test of time, unlike so many other games.