|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|
by Tony Capri
Taking a fine-tooth comb to the Star Wars franchise, LucasArts once again emerges with a new tale from The Clone Wars. Republic Heroes is an action-adventure based on the popular animated series for kids, and it's also proof positive that even the great power of The Force can eventually begin to wane.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes will have players take on the role of various Jedi, including, of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. In addition to wielding a lightsaber and commanding The Force, you'll also play missions as one the myriad clones of the empire. The story isn't hard to follow, since it all boils down to a simple division of factions. The Separatists are the bad guys, you need to destroy something in order to allow your troops to move forward, and The Force is, presumably, with you.
Republic Heroes plays with a mission-based progression, though there's no hub. You simply play a level, switch up characters, and move on to the next mission. The levels are fairly bite-sized, making it an easy game to pick up and play (and just as easily put down), and you can play through the entire adventure cooperatively with a friend or family member.
The heavy focus in Republic Heroes is on playing as a Jedi, which is unfortunate, really. Jedi characters wield a light saber and can take limited control of The Force, but missions are usually bogged down by glitches, poor design, and an utter lack of creativity.
Jedi can jump and double jump, use The Force, and throw their lightsaber short distances. When the controls work, the action feels fine. However, there are so many moments throughout this game where your character simply will not respond to your command inputs. For instance, the very first boss in the game requires you to hammer the Force button in order to hold down the leg of your enemy, but often your character will bring their lightsaber to bear instead.
Combat is mildly amusing in short stints, though it's completely button-mashy. You can double jump onto some enemies and gain control over them and their abilities, but it's mostly a pointless affair, since it's such an unwieldy mechanic with very little payoff.
You'll be required to use The Force to trigger various elements within levels, but here, too, the mechanic is very hard to master. Character movement is clumsy, making it difficult to aim your Force power properly. Navigating environments isn't much better, with poor collision detection and 3D perspectives that will often force you to repeat the same jumps over and over. The level design is haphazard, and the objectives are contrived errands that corral players along dull corridors. Some of the environments look interesting, but the platforming is either too forgiving or a complete mess.
Playing from the clone perspective is actually the more entertaining of the two mission types, though it does present its own issues. Levels are straightforward, consisting of little more than shooting a bunch of drones, blowing something up, and moving on to the next checkpoint. Controls feel good, however, and the formula works with a greater level of consistency than the Jedi missions.