Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes Review
By Adrienne Dudek |
Ah, Star Wars. It seems that once the new trilogy sprang to life that the flood gates were burst wide open and the amount of new, official stuff coming from the franchise is growing by leaps and bounds yearly. The 3D animated Clone Wars series is the latest thing to hit, and with it have come a handful of titles based on its look, feel and storytelling slant. The latest is Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- Republic Heroes, a title that is clearly aimed at the younger audience out there. Now just because the target audience is younger doesn't mean that the game should get any less polish or have lower production values than stuff catered towards the hardcore crowd, but unfortunately that's the case here.
The first thing you'll notice is that pretty much regardless of which system you play it on, it looks rather terrible. Most everything looks a generation behind what it should be. That is, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC SKUs look like a PlayStation 2 game, while the PS2 version looks like a PS1 game. The PSP version looks OK for what it is, but it doesn't run well enough given the graphics at hand. Perhaps the only game that looks like it belongs on the system you bought it for is the Wii version, though even in that case it's only passable.
Click the image to see the game in action.
About five seconds after you notice how bad it looks, you'll realize that the game's platforming elements are unresponsive and oftentimes frustrating. The game tries to manage the platforming bits for you, where it'll have you automatically land on certain spots. However, unless you jump from the right piece of land, the helper bit won't kick in and you'll fall to your death. Over and over again.
So it looks bad and the platforming is frustrating. While this is happening, Yoda will pop up and tell you how to do stuff, acting as your tutorial guide. The problem is that he never shuts up even hours into the game. Were he to chime in when you seem to be getting stuck, that'd be one thing. But no, his green head pops up constantly and interrupts whatever fun you might have been squeezing out of the game.
Given these other issues, it's not surprising that you'll really have to dig to find that fun. Enemies are repetitive, and the combat is very basic. Yes, it's meant to be played by the youngin's out there, but when you implement basic controls in your game, you then really have to step up what you're doing with the environments and set pieces. Here, they're all bland, boring and, again, frustrating to navigate through.
To make matters worse, you have to keep using the same hooks over and over again. The biggest culprit here is the use of droids. You can jump on top of almost all of them and control them for a short bit, which you'll need to do to shoot down barriers, drop bombs on certain spots or what have you. After being forced to do this for the millionth time, you'll start asking yourself why a lightsaber can burn through steel and yet can't take down a rock.
There are a couple things that could have worked well on paper here, such as an upgrades system where you can spend points earned on new powers, cheats and the like. You can also take part in challenges throughout the game to set high scores, and the hop-in/hop-in co-op works well - except on PSP, where it isn't supported. Again, the production values were not exactly high on this one.
Be prepared to do this a million times.After a while, you'll find that all of this boredom and frustration just goes on and on. I have no idea what the point of the story was or what the end goal was going to be for a long, long time, so that wasn't drawing me through the adventure. Aside from having to play it simply to write this review, I had no interest in playing the game, and I think that says enough.