Just look at that cover. It’s almost as if I don’t have to continue writing and just let you soak in its awesome glory. I think that’s what sold me on Star Wars Republic Commando in the first place.
Star Wars games have had a long and painfully inconsistent history with a release on nearly every console since Luke first found out he had mind skills. For every Battlefront, there’s a Jedi Arena. For every Starfighter, there’s a Flight of the Falcon. For the good of humanity, there’s always a Masters of Teräs Käsi, as much as we like to pretend to forget.
When Republic Commando came out in 2005 almost a decade ago, expectations weren’t sky high from Star Wars fans as we had been hurt before. Not to mention Revenge of the Sith being imminent and it looking like little more than a money-grabber. But once the cellophane was ripped off and that saucy little disc slid into my Xbox (one of the only games I had for the console), I was completely sold.
From the offset, you could tell that it was made by people who actually cared about the license and more importantly, about creating a decent game in its own right. Set during the events of the Clone Wars, you are put in the shoes of “Boss”, leader of the Delta Squad: an elite quartet of Clone commandos who are tasked with taking down bad things all across the universe.
Alongside Scorch, Fixer and Sev, you are thrown into a rewarding but genuinely challenging game-world that takes full advantage of the Rainbow Six inspiration. You could even argue that the squad AI is on par with the Ubisoft series but it definitely puts recent releases like Colonial Marines to shame. Your commands are adhered to simply and swiftly and there is no running into walls and shooting the floor to be seen – LucasArts certainly spent the time they needed to create a captivating squad-based shooter.
Despite being a faceless number in a sea of clones, you feel a real connection to your squad which makes it that much more of an incentive to revive them when they’re downed or to rush to their aid if they become over-awed. The story isn’t really there but that doesn’t matter when the gameplay is this damn good.
The commands are straightforward and effective; there’s no scrolling through an endless amount of menus just to tell a squad members to walk ten feet. A few simple button presses later and you’re effectively dispelling the common belief that troopers can’t shoot for shit. Despite being an elite killing squad, the game is very challenging and might not be a good call for the easily frustrated.
If there are to be any gripes about Republic Commando, it is a little short and the multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired. That being said though, now that Battlefront 3 is going ahead, there’s only one Star Wars game sequel we all want all want to see.