It was a sad day for many Star Wars fans when Disney decided to board up the doors at LucasArts. I was one of those fans that shed a tear when I heard the news – I remember looking through my old Xbox Star Wars games and noticing that I was missing an important one: Star Wars Republic Commando.
So I went online and bought myself a copy. Having my original Xbox recently repaired also prompted me to get back into these licensed gems. I ran to check the mail every day for this beauty and when I finally got it, I popped it into my Xbox and let the nostalgia hit me.
Released March 1st, 2005 for Windows and Xbox, Republic Commando was met with critical acclaim, which makes me wonder why I never bought it. Oh well, I have it now and boy am I glad it’s a part of my collection.
In this game you take control of Delta Squad, one of the best Clone Commando outfits there are. Taking place right at the start of the Clone Wars, you lead your team through three campaigns during the course of the war, which take you to some key battles in the Star Wars Universe. You start off on the frontlines of the Battle of Geonosis as Delta RC-1138, where you meet the commandos you will lead all over the universe: Scorch, Fixer and Sev. From there you take up a campaign a year later on the Prosecutor, which use to house all the clones before they were ready for active duty. Finally you are taken to the final battle of the Clone Wars on Kashyyyk, where you finish your time with Delta Squad.
The graphics, while obviously dated for the time, are not too bad; in my opinion they look a bit better than Halo. This is a first person game, and LucasArts was clever enough to make the first person view out of the Clone Trooper helmet. In the helmet view you have your HUD – health, ammo, and weapons all within plain view in combat and the textures and draw distance are pretty good. Jumping back two generations does some wear and tear on the eyes, but it reminded me why this was my favorite generation of all. The graphics aren’t perfect nor photorealistic, but they got the point across quite well. The enemy designs are also done very well and there’s just nothing more satisfying than stabbing a Battle Droid in the face.
The controls are tight too. The developers used the standard first-person shooter model for this game. The only part of the controls that I don’t like is the fact that I have to click on the right joystick to go down my iron sites – I hated Halo for doing this and hate Republic Commando for doing this as well. Using your squad is also very simple as well: You just point to an interactive area, click on A and there they go to either snipe, blow something up, or heal with Bacta.
Switching weapons isn’t a chore, you click on the d-pad and can chose between your rifle, grenade launcher, sniper rifle, and whatever weapon you pick up from the deceased enemies. Grenade is the right trigger, and you can pick through grenade types with the black button–each grenade is extremely useful against the battledroids, except for the the time-slow grenade, that one was useless. For a ten-year-old game, Republic Commando handles great. It didn’t have a huge learning curve to overcome and I didn’t die due to faulty controls–very easy to pick up and blast away.
This game is definitely a must play for any Star Wars or first-person shooter fan. I went looking for it due to the fact that I had only heard good things about it, and wanted to break in my newly repaired original Xbox with a classic that I would enjoy. This game did not let me down; I enjoyed it from the moment it booted up, until my last shot was fired.
However, as with most LucasArts games, it felt like they forgot to add the final chapter or level to the game. It ended very abruptly, and then credits, much like Force Unleashed 1 and 2, both of those games surprised me by the sudden ending. And now to honor LucasArts, I shall end this review just as abruptly.