Star Wars: Republic Commando’ brings back the shooter game
Mark Bemenderfer | Tuesday, March 29, 2005
First-person shooter video games are becoming a dime a dozen on the Microsoft X-Box. They run the range from garbage, such as “Robocop,” to the truly excellent games, such as “Halo.” With the recent release of the new “Timesplitters,” it may be easy to overlook shooter games in general. However, with the last Star Wars movie on the horizon, overlooking “Star Wars: Republic Commando” would be a shame.The setting of the game takes place at the end of the second movie, “The Clone Wars.” The gamer is placed in the boots of one of Jango Fett’s many clones. This placement may lead people into believing the storyline will be boring, but people who may think that would be misinformed. As the game explains, each of the clones begins to develop a different personality as they mature. Further distinguishing the clones is the fact that some are trained to a greater degree than your average storm trooper. These special clones, with the extra attentions, become commandos for the Republic and become part of an elite force. The player assumes the role of leader of the elite force. The player is Delta 38, the leader of Delta Squad.Rounding out the group of commandos is Delta 07, Delta 40 and Delta 62. Although the names may seem bland each “Delta” is given a distinct nickname and personality within the squad. Delta 07 is referred to as Sev and at times is downright psychotic. He’s the violent hunter of the group and tends to charge headfirst at the enemy trying to melee them to death. Delta 40 is referred to as Fixer and is the intelligent one in the group. If there’s a terminal anywhere that needs hacking, or a task that requires any level of refinement, he’s your clone. Delta 62 is known as Scorch and is the comedic relief. He earned his name through his penchant for explosives and numerous close shaves with them. Even though most of the characters you work with are clones of a single man, they each have a distinct personality that helps drive the game. Being a squad-based game, they are often by the side of the player. Using them for support and giving them commands is often vital for success in the game, even on the easiest level. The squadmates are often the only source of help for the player. Their constant banter makes the player begin to think of them according to their personalities, instead of just computer generated and controlled characters.Giving them commands is not very complicated. Every command in the game is done through pushing the ‘A’ button, sometimes accompanied by a hit of the directional pad for specific directions. This aspect handles almost intuitively from the beginning and should not deter anyone from playing the game.If the player does not give any commands to the squad they will follow him and react in a logical fashion. They seek cover, toss grenades and will help wounded comrades, all without the players input. However, to fully utilize the game the player should interact with the squad and give it commands. Like any good leader, you’re input drastically increases the effectiveness of your squad. Under the orders of the player the squad will man turrest or assume sniper positions, among other things. In certain instances they even lay down a suppressive fire at the leaders command.However, if someone is reading this they are probably interested in the actual storyline. As previously mentioned, the game takes place between the second and third movie. It begins on Planet Geonosis, which people will probably remember as being the location for parts of second movie. The player is dropped into the midst of the initial Droid battle and must avoid the giant droid tanks. This scene does not last long and quickly changes into a more typical first person shooter game as the player enters into the smaller corridors of the droid factory. The story branches off after that, first into a ghost ship of the Republic’s and later onto the planet Kashyyyk, which fans will recognize as being the planet of the Wookies. The game is considered to follow the official storyline and serves as a bridge between the final films. It certainly goes deeper into the Separatist movement, as you control the forces fighting the said forces. For a Star Wars fan with an X-Box, this becomes a highly recommended buy. It is also good for the average X-Box owner, as one does not need to know the general storyline to understand the game. Before the movie arrives in May, join the Republic Commandos. You won’t regret it, although it does run to the short side lengthwise.