Star Wars: Republic Commando Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

At the least squad-based games are moderately complex affairs; at the most, they’re highly tactical with elaborate planning being mandatory if you wish to accomplish anything. Star Wars: Republic Commando doesn’t fit in to any one of these categories, somehow managing to be highly intuitive above anything else.

The game utilizes a one-button system, which unbelievably allows you to give a myriad of commands to your fellow squad members. You can command your team to take up sniping positions, hack in to computer systems, set demolition charges and even breach doors all with a single press of the A button. This may very well be wonderfully accessible, but it can feel a tad dumbed down when compared to the more complex offerings and worse still, scripted. At times it’s painfully clear, what tactics the developers want you to carry out and they may as well have had the inclusion of a voice of one of the game designers stating “go here” for how blatantly obvious it can be. But to be fair this isn’t always the case, with the game often offering you many tactical opportunities to experiment with, it can still feel a little too contrived for its own good though.

The superb AI in your team makes up for this however. Your buddies will follow your every command as well as take cover in firefights. If not engaged with hostiles, they’ll even heal themselves up and revive fallen comrades (including you) though they do manage to get themselves incapitated far too often for our liking.

But thanks to a rather unique game mechanic, which allows you to revive wounded members, this is never as much of a problem as it could have been. As long as at least one member is standing, your game is not over as they too can revive you from the brink of death. You’d think that this would cause the game to be devoid of any challenge whatsoever, but this couldn’t be further from the truth as even on the lowest level of difficultly, Republic Commando offers a satisfying challenge for the average gamer.

Once you do manage to crack the single player game, there’s some nice but uninspired multiplayer options on offer, which can be played both offline and online. We’re quite frankly sick and tired of playing games like this that all feel virtually identical to each other in the multiplayer aspect. But Republic Commando has a more than solid game engine, with satisfyingly OTT ragdoll physics and some meaty weaponry, setting it apart from others in the genre and offering a worthwhile reason to bring the game out of its box after completion of the main mode.

Despite it’s so-so squad command system, Star Wars: Republic Commando is still a superb shooter and without doubt one of the best of its kind the Xbox has to offer. People who are looking forward to the newest film in the saga, should check this game out for a sneak preview of some of the vehicles and enemies etc that are featured in the movie. FPS fans on the other hand will be wholly satisfied with the well executed action on offer in this fantastic game.

8/10

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