There is a bright spot in Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes. Shredding through drones with a lightsaber, sending groups of them off ledges with a force push, or jumping on their head to slash it off is satisfying. Drones are the perfect video game enemy, barely competent enough to stand up, and spouting off one-liners typically related to their demise.
On the other side of the intelligence scale lie the Jedi, supposedly swift, agile, users of the Force. Not in this game.
In fact, more Jedi die at the hands of the inept camera, broken jumping mechanics, and non-existent collision detection in Republic Heroes than in the sci-fi storytelling of the Clone War itself as a whole. While it adds nothing to the challenge (Jedi’s have infinite lives and spawn near the area where they fell), it adds layer of never-ending frustration.
Republic Heroes makes you wonder if the play testers brought up the basic concerns to the developers, that of zero available depth perception, assisted jumping that only complicates matters, and pointless segments of platforming that do nothing but make the level design drag on past its expiration date.
At the very least, few of these concerns exist when playing a level based around the Clone Troopers. They can’t jump, saving them from the idiocy of the Jedi levels, and keeping a flow to the action. Any platforming concerning the squad is aided by a jetpack, letting the player re-align themselves at the last second when the camera betrays them.
Of course, Clone Troopers can’t get off that easy. In a crowd, they look eerily similar, almost impossible to tell them apart when the uncontrolled camera pans back on the crowd of lasers, drones, Troopers, destructible objects, explosions, and general chaos. Sympathy is reserved for those on small TVs, likely the target audience of children Republic Heroes is courting. They don’t stand a chance.
As if George Lucas could not send the Star Wars legacy further into a Sarlacc pit with the Clone Wars TV series, Republic Heroes turns the Jedi into modern-day Pac-men (and woman… and aliens… and Kit Fisto). The Jedi are tasked with collecting blue orbs to level up and unlock masks, laid out in a way to guide the player through the stages. The sound effects seems spaced to perfectly replicate the experience of Pac-man, certainly something all Star Wars fans have been waiting to see the Jedi involved with since 1977.
Thanks, Republic Heroes.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes is bafflingly rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, and Wii.