|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Krome Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 6, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Had LucasArts completely stripped out the Jedi missions, put the camera behind the back of your clone, and discarded all the extraneous gimmicks, Republic Heroes could probably be a pretty darn fun game - Battlefront, anyone? In the end, however, young Star Wars fans are getting the shaft. The gameplay is completely derivative, sometimes broken, and usually dull.
Adding insult to injury, the presentation is a slapped-together collection of cheap set pieces and level design. The Clone Wars should be a great candidate to make a strong visual impression on either the Wii or PS2, since it's based on a cartoony take on the Star Wars universe. Instead, character models are ugly and low res, and they animate laboriously under a constantly chugging framerate. Environments do a decent job of conveying the Star Wars feel, but bland texture work makes for a mere cookie-cutter presentation.
The music fares okay, but it feels somewhat lifeless up against the experience fans are used to when sitting down to watch one of Lucas' epic masterpieces. There are a few themes that come off as fresh, though, and the fidelity is decent enough. The voice work is competent, but if you weren't sick of hearing Obi Wan yell the name "Cody" before, you will be after playing through this unoriginal and uninspiring addition to the Star Wars canon.
For some of us, Star Wars never grows old, in spite of the constant barrage of media and merchandise the Lucas empire has been throwing at fans for almost 30 years. But I sense a disturbance in The Force. The padiwans are getting one poorly conceived adventure after another, and at this point, it's really hard to convince anyone that LucasArts isn't merely going through the motions each time they set out to make another new game. Republic Heroes for Wii shouldn't be scrapped altogether, though. The clone missions have some promising elements that could likely be fine-tuned into something really entertaining. Until that time, however, fans of Star Wars should probably stick with playing one of the LEGO games.
CCC Freelance Writer