The number of Star Wars video games is as numerous as the characters, creatures, and locations that exist within its universe. Star Wars games have come presented in almost every genre the industry has to offer. After having great success in the RPG and shooter genres with Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knight II, it’s not surprising to see attempts to repeat such successes. Though Jedi Knight II is a great FPS with a third-person option, it’s distinct from other successful first-person shooters in that you play solo (no, not Han Solo). Games such as Call of Duty and Rainbow Six are more squad-based games, and now Star Wars: Republic Commando is a competitive forthcoming addition. The developers boast that Republic Commando is unique because of its “one tough squad control” system that allows you to control your squad with only one button.
In past games, you’ve had the chance to experience how a Stormtrooper perceives a battle against a Jedi or the Rebel faction. In Star Wars: Republic Commando, you can experience the squad battle strategy from the opposite point-of-view – that of the elite Republic Commandos. Maybe playing a game from the perspective of a Stormtrooper isn’t a big deal, but the Republic Commando is one of the most obscure characters in the Star Wars films, so it promises to be an exciting experience.
The Star Wars prequels (some of you have seem them, I know it) attempted to plant a seed of curiosity about Republic Commandos in the minds of its viewers. In Episode II their origins are explained, but a lot is left for the imagination. One accurate deduction that can be made is that they are highly trained, well armored and organized soldiers. To give an example it would be much easier to bring up a game like Rainbow Six, but Republic Commando‘s squad game is more similar to the Gamecube title, Rogue Squadron. In Rogue Squadrom, you control different spaceships like X-Wings, A-Wings and the works. You don’t work alone, though, because you have at your command two other ships. There are four commands available for squad control in Rogue Squadron. Like Rogue Squadron, Republic Commando will have four squad commands – Form, Breech, Search and Destroy, and Cancel – and they’ll have more options.
In Republic Commando there will be other actions that the player can perform, depending on the situation. An example of this is the ability to heal your troops and they you. The healing ability in Republic Commando isn’t like the two-second healing that games had in the past. In Republic Commando, if you are injured you have to wait for someone to come and heal you (after you call out for one), which is achieved through a quick adrenaline shot. This type of option has the potential to make the game feel more like a team effort.
In any game in which you control a squad or army, you have to know the units at your command in order to succeed. The troops in Republic Commando are going to be varied in their abilities and even personality, even if they are cloned. Your squad will consist of Delta Three-Eight, Delta Four-Oh, Delta Oh-Seven, and Delta Six-Two, each with a unique background story and role in the squad. You will get the classic sniper, the bomber and hacker – all you really need to create some havoc on any planet. You can choose to have from two to four members in your squad and you control them as the leader of the unit.
An important aspect of PC first-person shooters is the online multiplayer addition found in almost every game in the genre. Judging by the game play of the single player, the multiplayer experience appears promising. All the available strategies can be more interestingly applied with real players behind the clones. Republic Commando will support two to sixteen players online, and in the future, there will also be downloadable content. Republic Commando will also come shipped with an editor, so the players can develop their own content.
Republic Commando gives you a wide variety of weapons to defeat the Geonosian Warriors and the reptilian Transdoshans. They range from the DC17m, the commando’s standard issue weapon, to Sonic Detonators and Wookie Bowcasters. As you advance further in the missions and destroy your enemies, they’ll drop more weapons, giving the player more options and choices every time a new battle begins.
The strategy of the game is aiming to be among the best. Republic Commando doesn’t seem overly ambitious, and if the strategy is effective enough it guarantees an innovative sci-fi experience. The missions also ensure a dynamic gaming environment. The locations vary from closed-in areas such as prisons to spacious landscapes full of the trees of Kashyyyk. And you’ll be able to travel to and within these varied environments in style. The developers have included a wide variety of vehicles, from the coveted Geonosian Starfighter, to the eccentric Droid Spider Walker.
The visual experience is certainly important, however, and first-person shooters are revered for their graphics over most other genres. Republic Commando looks to not be the exception; the characters and worlds look amazing judging from the media available for the game. Droidekas in particular look menacing and highly detailed. The game is using a version of the Unreal engine, so the graphics will have a familiar aesthetic, though one that differs from past Star Wars games in that it’s a bit more gothic in tone. Republic Commando uses a view similar to that of Metroid Prime. The player has the opportunity to view the virtual world from the inside of a visor. This particular visual perspective helps to promote a more immersive game experience for the player.
One interesting omission from this adaptation of “a galaxy far, far away” is that there are no Jedi. This is an interesting and audacious shift away from past Star Wars titles.
Get ready for yet another Star Wars epic adventure, only this time it promises to not have the usual suspects. As a Republic Commando, you will encounter droidekas, geonosian troops, and many of the enemies from the prequels. There will also be plenty of surprises; you’ll encounter a range of characters from wookies and bounty hunters to droids. Unlike the characters from other Star Wars titles, many that are promised to be in Republic Commando haven’t been explored fully. With every new tidbit of information, gamers are becoming more excited about Star Wars: Republic Commando. Hopefully it will deliver all the promised goods. May the Force be with Republic Commando for the sake of our gaming pleasure.