Thursday, October 1, 2009

Are you a hero of the Republic?


By James Booth

I don't think it's any secret that I'm a big Star Wars fan, and like most fans I eagerly anticipate each new video game addition to the franchise; unfortunately, there's a long history of bad Star Wars video games. Released to coincide with the second season of the animated series, Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes puts you in the shoes of the cartoon heroes of the Republic.

Set during the Clone Wars of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes is crafted in the style of the currently-running Star Wars The Clone Wars animated series on The Cartoon Network. The covershot in Figure A shows the style of animation used in the both the TV series and Republic Heroes.


A somewhat-anime style of animation is used in both game and television show. (click for larger image)

The heroes of the Republic

In Republic Heroes you will take on the persona of multiple characters from the animated series, both Jedi and clone trooper alike. Throughout various missions and game segments you will get to play as Anakin Skywalker, his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Other Jedi characters include Mace Windu, Plo Koon, Luminara Unduli, Kit Fisto, and Aayla Secura. In addition, you get to take on the role of clone Commander Cody, various anonymous troopers, and Captain Rexx of the 501st Legion.

Character choice is actually controlled by the game engine and based on which segment of the campaign you're playing; the player has no actual control over which hero they play. Some portions of the campaign are designed for trooper play, others specifically for Jedi; the character choice is pre-programmed based on the location setting. The player will have ample opportunities to play as every character available in the game though.

Unplayable characters making an appearance are Count Dooku, the Magna Guards of General Grievous, and new-to-the-animated series, bounty hunter Cad Bane.

Type of play

Republic Heroes is an action-platformer similar to Prince of Persia or Tomb Raider, the exception being that you always have a second, computer-controlled character accompanying you. The mission paths are linear, with "running and gunning" segments, climbing, jumping, and puzzle-solving segments; missing though are the Quick-Time Events popular in those other titles. Puzzles are tailored to the type of character you happen to be playing at the time, Jedi or trooper, and involve electronic hacking as in Figure B, demolition, and use of environmental or enemy elements to solve.


Troopers sometimes have to hack security controls by lining up the colored bars. (click for larger image)