Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PC | PS2 | PSP | DS
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: LucasArts 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: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Use the Force
by Robert VerBruggen

Has there ever been a movie-based video game line as successful as the one stemming from the Star Wars flicks? Probably not. Since the mid-'90s, LucasArts has placed everything from space combat to 2-D platforming to first-person shooting to third-person action to racing in the films' universe. Surprisingly often, they've hit the mark.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot

As such, the animated Clone Wars TV and movie series, with its new stories and unique art style, promises to inspire some great new interactive entertainment. Last year, it gave Nintendo's handheld a good helping of fun: Cheat Code Central gave The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance a solid 3.8, citing terrific production values, a fascinating story, and respectable gameplay. This year's follow-up, The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, adds some interesting new ideas, but unfortunately the developers failed to pull all the elements together into a truly engrossing experience. This is a decent buy, but not really a recommended one.

The game takes place during the clone wars (duh), in which some separatist star systems secede from the Galactic Republic. Despite a plethora of cutscenes and dialogue snippets, however, this game doesn't try too hard to add to the story. Most of the "story" elements go like this: you're with the good guys, those are the bad guys, you have to kill them, here's your current mission. Usually that would be enough for a video game, but Star Wars junkies will be a little disappointed.

Advertisement

When it comes to gameplay, the most important new development is that you'll be controlling two completely different characters, a Jedi and a clone soldier, and will switch between them frequently. You'll have to coordinate the characters' movements not so much in the military sense (there's no real emphasis on flanking, stealth, or simultaneous movements), but more in the sense of keeping both paths clear and solving two-person puzzles.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot

The Jedi is the fast, offense-oriented character. He controls pretty much the same way the protagonist in the previous game did. You walk using the stylus, tap enemies to attack them (you can tap multiple enemies in quick succession to pull of combos), and can deflect gunshots with your lightsaber by tapping the Jedi with the right timing. It's hard to tell why you can't just use the D-pad and buttons for all this, especially when you're having trouble maneuvering in tight quarters, but overall it works well enough.

The clone soldier is a different animal, preferring to take his time and pick off enemies at opportune moments. His weapon is a firearm, which he shoots whenever you tap an enemy. You can take cover by walking near object in the environment, a system that usually works (sometimes you take cover when you're not trying to, and sometimes you can stand right behind an object without your soldier ducking down). The clone soldier sections feel a bit like Gears of War, albeit small and without the over-the-shoulder view. In our opinion, they're a much better use of stylus control. They're also a great addition to the gameplay, and add some variety, whatever their flaws.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot

Speaking of variety, there are several mini-games that spice up the experience. Some of the more powerful enemies and obstacles require you to complete quick-time events (such as tracing an arrow in the correct direction, or touching numbers from lowest to highest). Also, there are platforming puzzles, which you complete by tapping the platforms you'd like to jump to. These are some of the toughest parts of the game, especially for those with long reaction times, but the challenge rarely detracts too much from the experience. When you die, you almost always start reasonably close to where you left off, so it's just a matter of giving the part that gave you trouble another go. Even if you give up and turn off the console, you'll usually be within five or ten minutes of where you left off when you start again from the save point.

Screenshots / Images
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes screenshot - click to enlarge

X
"Like" CheatCC on Facebook