Star Wars: The Clone Wars Republic Heroes PlayStation 3
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Released on 09/10/2009
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes lets Star Wars fans young and old live out the sweeping galactic adventures of the Clone Wars. For the first time ever, players can fight as their favorite Jedi and clone troopers from the preeminent animated television series – from familiar faces like Anakin Skywalker to new heroes like Clone Captain Rex.
A brand-new storyline, which bridges the gap between season one and two, takes the player on a multi-faceted adventure to stop a mysterious techno assassin’s destructive plot. Built around two-player cooperative action, the accessible controls and family-friendly gameplay bring Star Wars fans across generations together like never before to fight the evil Separatists and restore peace to the galaxy.
- Experience an all-new and exciting Clone Wars storyline that bridges the gap between season one and two of the TV series as you learn more about the mysterious bounty hunter Cad Bane and hunt down the all-new Skakoan super villain Kul Teska
- Play as your favorite Jedi heroes including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Mace Windu, and Kit Fisto
- Slice and dice your way through Separatist droids with your lightsaber and Force powers and use your agility to perform amazing leaps and navigate levels filled with interactivity
- Be part of an elite clone trooper squad with unique gameplay that puts firepower at your fingertips. Blast droids and unleash devastation with heavy weapons like rocket launchers and thermal detonators as Commander Cody, Captain Rex and all of your favorite clone troopers
- Compete against a friend with in-level challenges for rewards and points to be spent to upgrade your character and unlock bonus items
Hero or zero?
When the ever expanding Star Wars universe plunged into the previously unexplored Clone Wars period via CGI animation in 2008, it was pretty clear that it would be followed by a plethora of merchandise. Given the continuous success of the Lego Star Wars series it would not have been foolish to bet your house (or Tatooine hut-like dwelling) that it would include a video game.
And here we are, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes. After all, what does financial success and critical acclaim breed? Further attempts at financial success and critical acclaim of course.
blocksshoes to fill there has been a lot of scepticism surrounding Republic Heroes. As with the animated series it's obvious that it's been created with Jedi Younglings in mind rather than the hardcore market.
Jedi missions take on the form of hack & slash platforming, whilst playing as clone troopers is less 'hacky', more 'blasty'.
In general the look and feel is strong. The level design whilst not always that imaginative must be complimented on its basic yet colourful and attractive appearance. Likewise original voice casting from the series and the very similar (albeit poly-reduced) graphics ensures that the characters are instantly recognisable.
The levels tend to follow a similar structure with waves of droids to decimate, simple jump/hop platforming sections and the occasional puzzle, however this is diversified by the varying character classes. Jedi or Clone Trooper are the options, with Jedi missions taking on the form of hack & slash platforming, whilst playing as clone trooper is less 'hacky' more 'blasty'.
As a Jedi your two weapons of destruction are a scalable force-push attack and of course the lightsaber. The force attack is best used for pushing clusters of droids off platforms however it can also be used to stun the 'clunkies' in order to buy a few seconds. The lightsaber combat can become a button bashing frenzy, however if this is not your cup of tea it can be avoided by with use of the slide-attack, lightsaber-throw or droid-jacking, which involves mounting a droid, stabbing it in the head with your lightsaber and then riding it like the large mechanic pony of your dreams with full control of its arsenal for a limited period.
The left stick controls trooper movement; the right controls blaster shooting and aiming. Think Geometry Wars but third-person shooter.
With a reduced midi-chlorian count the Clone Troopers are left without lightsaber or force attacks, but instead carry a blaster and one special weapon slot. Special weapons include the likes of stun grenades and rocket launchers and can be picked up from around the environment in a finite quantity. The left stick controls trooper movement whilst the right stick controls both blaster shooting and aiming simultaneously. Think Geometry Wars but third-person shooter. It takes a little getting used to but can be quite satisfying once fully grasped.
Within the Jedi missions the on-going droid annihilation is often punctuated with brief sections of platforming. These are pretty much as you'd expect, jump, swing and run across the various obstacles until the next battlefield or puzzle.
In order to help the young Padawans with this the developers have seen fit to include a 'snap to platform' mechanic. When it works it's great. Unfortunately it can be a little temperamental resulting in a lot of needless Jedi death. Thankfully however, punishment is always light with a checkpoint every 30-ish feet and infinite respawn.
Puzzles range from using the force on a switch in order to activate a platform, to rewiring a locked door. They're never going to slow down Master Yoda, but they're a welcome variation to the gameplay and are relevant to the target market in terms of difficulty.
Original voice casting from the series and the very similar (albeit poly-reduced) graphics ensures the characters are instantly recognisable.
The economy is simple but effective. Walk into glowing blue orbs, get points. Kill droids, get points. These points can then be spent on hats, masks, droid dances, combat improvements or cheats in the in-game menu. Nearly all the unlockables can be accessed this way, however a few are dependent on the collection of 'artefacts' which can normally be found just off the beaten path throughout the game.
You can work your way through the surprisingly lengthy storyline either with an AI partner or friend on the sofa. Not unlike Lego Star Wars the AI partner tends to follow you round as a mechanic to facilitate the very welcome drop-in drop-out co-op rather than provide any significant help with scraping the droid army.
Force fans only
Although there's no online functionality it's not greatly missed. Online co-op could have been included, however given the likely age of the average Republic Heroes gamer it would probably have gathered dust in the menu rather than adding any worthwhile functionality.
So, all in all probably not one for any Jedi Master looking to fill the gap until The Force Unleashed 2, but definitely worth considering for any Padawans looking to spend some more time in a galaxy far far away or fans of the animated series.
- Original voice casting from the animated series
- Lego Star Wars style drop-in drop-out co-op
- Surprisingly lengthy storyline for a game of its style
- Frustratingly temperamental 'snap-to-platform' jump mechanic.
- Repetitive level format and structure.
- No online and little encouragement for replayability.
"The Force will be with you, always..."
Obi-Wan's words at the end of the original Star Wars arcade game have certainly proven to be true - and then some. The release of Kinect Star Wars on Xbox 360 - and the accompanying Limited Edition R2-D2 console - proves that we're still enjoying Star Wars video games today.
The motion-based controls of Kinect Star Wars shows just how far the franchise has come since the 8-bit action of The Empire Strikes Back on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision back in 1982.
Which got us thinking - over the past 30 years, Star Wars has appeared not only in a great number of games, but in all kinds of game. From side-scrolling adventures, to first-person shooters to flight simulators, there's almost no genre that has not visited that galaxy far, far away...
The First Person Shooter
Dark Forces (1995) took the first-person tactics of Doom and transported them to the Star Wars Universe, adding then-revolutionary features like multiple floors and "looking up and down". Along with its Jedi Knight sequels, gamers were hooked on the adventures of Kyle Katarn and his discovery of the Dark Trooper Project , and the series is notable as the first "Expanded Universe" adventures to be embraced by more mainstream fans.
First person shooting would return in the Star Wars Battlefront series almost a decade later, with the chance to play as StormTroopers, SnowTroopers, Rebel Soldiers or all kinds of troops and online skirmishing for the first time. We saw the last chapter of this series in 2009 - and are eagerly anticipating its return!
The Classic Arcade Game
While not the first Star Wars game, it was certainly one of the most memorable, and indeed laid the foundation of so much to come. Simulating the Death Star attack from the original movie, but with a bigger goal of avoiding enemies rather than shooting them in order to survive, the action played out with glorious wireframe graphics and - in a notable first for games in general - featured digitised voices and sounds from the original movie. It may seem simple by today's standards, but it set the bar for everything that was to come.
The Combat Flight Simulators
Arguably the first step in the 90s resurgence of Star Wars was the X-Wing series on PC. A WWII dogfight engine was given a 3D-graphic makeover and used to power the X-Wings, Y-Wings, TIE Fighters and more as the series moved through the events of the original trilogy. For many, these games really cemented just how good, and how versatile, Star Wars could be as a video game property.
Rogue Squadron picked up where X-Wing left off. The series favoured arcade-style scoring on individual missions over the larger campaign-style approach, and took a much faster-paced approach to match the new power and possibilities offered by the N64 and GameCube. Rogue Squadron II is fondly remembered for its cinematic graphics, helping to usher Star Wars into the 21st Century
In the 90s, PCs had the X-Wing and Jedi Knight series, but Sega and Nintendo's consoles also had their share of Star Wars action. Games like Star Wars on the NES and Master System, Super Star Wars on the SNES and Shadows of the Empire on the N64 were more literal, adventure-driven adaptations, giving the chance to play as Luke, Han, Leia and the gang in ways that had never really been done before, and wouldn't again until the fun and frolics of the LEGO games. For all the fun that the 'Expanded Universe' offered, it actually made a change to just play out the movies!
The Racing Games
For all of the Phantom Menace's faults, one thing many agreed was that the Pod Races were cool. Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for the N64 attempted to recreate that coolness, with interesting and inventive tracks that took you off Tatooine and into the wider Star Wars galaxy. But what made it particularly cool was the option to use two N64 controllers as the dual controls of your racer and really feel like little Anakin.
Star Wars also went down the kart racing route in Super Bombad Racing. It was aimed primarily for children to play, and while it was not the most well-received game that the franchise has offered, it had some fun gameplay and a fun visual style. If nothing else, proved that Star Wars could be adapted to pretty much any style of game.
The Real Time Strategies
The Star Wars universe seems an obvious canvas for strategy games, but the results have been mixed. Rebellion, Force Commander and Galactic Battlegrounds all gave it a try and had some interesting campaigns, but never really excited the way Star Wars should.
Empire at War intended to end all that. A new engine was built from the ground-up, the need to build and acquire resources was removed, and the battles became much more realistic. The game was set between the end of the prequels and the beginning of the original trilogy, was chock full of well-known planets, vehicles and characters, and featured both Rebel and Imperial campaigns, including a scenario where the Empire actually wins! It was the RTS fans had been waiting for, and, thanks to a vibrant mod community, was also the RTS fans could make their own.
The Beat 'Em Up
In what seemed another obvious step, Masters of Teras Kasi took Star Wars into the beat 'em up arena on the original PlayStation in 1997. It mixed established stars like Luke and Chewie with lesser-known EU characters like Jodo Kast, giving each an individual style like the fighters of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. But unlike those games, Masters of Teras Kasi had an inferior fighting engine, and the combination of obscure characters and the use of Lightsabers as little more than clubs did little to win over either casual or committed fans. Darth Vader and Yoda would go on to appear in SoulCalibur IV, but otherwise Masters of Teras Kasi was the first - and last - foray into the beat 'em up.
Much like Shadows of the Empire a decade before, The Force Unleashed was part of a massive multimedia campaign to create an exciting new chapter in the Star Wars saga. It introduced 'Starkiller', Darth Vader's secret apprentice, but also introduced Star Wars adventuring to the current generation of consoles - and was the first chance to use a Wii controller to wield a Lightsaber! While it didn't quite live up the 'next big thing' hype surrounding it, the plot, visuals and gameplay won over enough fans to warrant a sequel.
Set 4000 years before the events of the movies, Knights of the Old Republic hit PC, Mac and Xbox in 2003. Choosing to play as Jedi or Sith, the pre-movie period setting allowed for a large-scale and versatile universe without having to worry about the established characters and storylines. The intricate plot featured twists and turns with a major shock twist coming at the end of the first game, still talked about as one of the best in gaming history.
Things expanded with the release of MMO The Old Republic. Bioware promised a larger focus on story than usual for MMOs, a sensible step as the allegiances and politics of the Star Wars universe is more defined than the likes of Azeroth. The Jedi/Sith choice remained, with different classes available to both sides, and the opportunity for player vs player combat in the wider Star Wars universe was more than welcomed by players all over the world - nearly 2 million of them!
And the rest
There are plenty of Star Wars games we've not mentioned here - there simply isn't room to write about them all! But we hope this has been a fun trip around the Star Wars Universe, and one that shows just how versatile that universe is.
If we've missed your favourite, or you have any other Star Wars gaming memories you want to share, feel free to add your comments below. And May The Force Be With You.
We've been waiting for an announcement on the brand new Star Wars franchise teased by LucasArts recently, and the cat is finally out of the bag. Star Wars 1313 is the name of the third-person adventure game being cooked up by the studio.
The collaboration between a diverse array of Lucas's companies which include Lucasfilm Animation, Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, Star Wars 1313 will result in a mature, 18-rated game. Taking on the role of a bounty hunter, LucasArts is promising "a dark and mature" gaming experience powered by the Unreal Engine.
A statement from the developer outlined the grand vision for this new adventure:
"Named for Level 1313, a ruthless criminal underground deep below the surface of the planet of Coruscant, the game puts players in control of a deadly bounty hunter as he uses an arsenal of exotic weaponry to hunt down his marks and uncover the truth surrounding a criminal conspiracy," it read.
"Star Wars 1313 emphasizes epic set pieces and fast-paced combat with a hero who uses human skills and gadgets, rather than supernatural Force powers, to make his way through this dangerous world."
According to LucasArts president Paul Meegan, we can expect to find out much more about the game at next week's E3 gaming extravaganza in Los Angeles.
"We're excited to share one of the projects LucasArts has been hard at work developing," he said.
"Star Wars 1313 dives into a part of the Star Wars mythos that we've always known existed, but never had a chance to visit. We are committed to bringing the best gameplay experience and visual fidelity to life and I truly believe the work we are showcasing at E3 will speak for itself."
When Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars universe, following the purchase of George Lucas's LucasFilm, many fans were left wondering what it would mean for the future of videogames set within the epic franchise.
Well, it turns out that Disney has decided to license out the property to EA for multi-platform console development, while keeping social, online and mobile opportunities for itself. Frank Gibeau, EA Labels President, confirmed that Dead Space and Battlefield studios Visceral and DICE respectively would be creating games in the franchise - and so will the creators of the Knights of The Old Republic series, BioWare.
"Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe," began Gibeau.
"The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay. Powering it all will be the Frostbite 3 development engine - guaranteeing incredible graphic fidelity, environments and characters."
Well, if the publisher's looking for any suggestions, both Knights of The Old Republic 3 and Battlefront 3 have been clamoured for by fans in recent years, and would surely put the massive publisher back into gamers' good books, following the troubled release of SimCity.
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The motion-based controls of Kinect Star Wars shows just how far the franchise has come since the 8-bit action of The Empire Strikes Back on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision back in 1982. Which got us…
We've been waiting for an announcement on the brand new Star Wars franchise teased by LucasArts recently, and the cat is finally out of the bag. Star Wars 1313 is the name of the third-person adventur…Star Wars Game License Acquired by EA. (07/05/2013)
Disney has decided to license out the property to EA for multi-platform console development, while keeping social, online and mobile opportunities for itself…
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