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Star Wars: Republic Commando

By Bobfish21-03-2015
Star Wars: Republic Commando

The Defence

Release Date:
US 01-03-2005
EU 04-03-2005

The Prosecution

Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2.0 GHz
Nvidia GeForce FX 5700
AMD equivlanet
512 MB
2 GB

Believe it or not kiddies, t'was less than a generation (biological, not console) ago that there were not just decent, not even good, but superb Star Wars games being made. On a regular basis no less. Pontefract, Star Wars: Republic Commando. A game that stands not only as an amazing Star Wars game, not only as a great FPS, but as a testament to companion AI done right.

Taking the role of Clone Trooper RC-1138, most commonly known as 38 or simply 'Boss', you lead your squad of four on a series of daring missions that take place in the months leading up to the, official, outset of the infamous Clone Wars. Temuera Morrison even reprises his role for the game, though only as the player character. I'm not entirely sure why, but it was felt that the other three troopers needed different voice actors to help them be more easily distinguishable. And each of them does, genuinely, give a commendable performance. Sounding both similar and different enough to convincingly pass as four versions of the, essentially, the same person.

Such a well trained combat unit, they even take synchronised pee breaks.

Such a well trained combat unit, they even take synchronised pee breaks.

Going back through the game again, recently, I was not only pleasantly surprised, but utterly floored by just how well it stood up. Featuring several gameplay aspects that many games, even today, still do not employ, or even worse, do poorly. The squad commands, all contextual, actually work (mostly) and are executed by AI that doesn't act like a complete moron. Granted, it has its moments where it just flat out derps, but those are far less pronounced than some recent, unnamed, Mass Effects. And several of them will even be carried out automatically, such as reviving downed squad mates and healing up (the essentials then) further enhancing the feeling that your squad, well, isn't comprised of total morons.

Oddly enough, the largest complaint I could levy against the companion AI...is that they can all do everything. Which makes sense, don't get me wrong. In a special forces squad, like this, everyone needs to be able to do everything, just in case, because they're so small. If you lose one unit, you don't want to be left completely ineffectual after all. But it would have been nice to see, for example, that 40 'Fixer', the tech, couldn't set an explosive as fast as 62 'Scorch', the demolitions guy. Or even that it would always default to Scorch for a demo manoeuvre, rather than just assigning the nearest available unit. Though, to be fair, I'm sure others, most even, much prefer it being the closest squadmate. Rather than waiting for the dude eight miles away to come toddling over.

What really makes Republic Commando stand out though, is the interaction between the four members of Delta squad. Scorch and 07 'Sev', the heavy weapons specialist, can often be heard exchanging quips both during battle, and in quiet moments. With the former, during a mission involving Trandoshans, saying “that one looks like your mother.” It gives them so much more personality and genuine depth than most modern games, with their scripted, overly forced cinematics. So much so, that when faced with the realisation that Sev will be abandoned in the final moments of the game, the player is left genuinely pining for their fallen brother.

Hey baby! I mean, like, you are literally a gestating baby.

Hey baby! I mean, like, you are literally a gestating baby.

The point I'm making folks, is that Republic Commando is not just a great Star Wars game. It is a great game period. One that has stood up to the vagaries of time with a casual ease. Some, minor, compatibility issues with more recent hardware, most notably being that having bump mapping enabled will cause the game to crash on AMD cards, do nothing to mar the experience. Even the lack of native widescreen and high definition resolution support is nothing more than a minor inconvenience, requiring only a few seconds in the game's config file to circumvent. It even still looks good. Not great, but good.

Great game is great. And proves you don't need Jedi to make Star Wars work.

Comments (4)
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Posts: 596

I really loved this game so much, even without it having been Star Wars related, it would have been a great game. But the Star Wars factor just made it oh so much better. Meaning the weapons, characters, and especially the music.

The combat was intense, the gameplay was tight and polished. The allied AI did falter at times but hey, when the AI did work it was great! Even the MP was great fun on local lan parties.

I don't agree with Nteger though, I hope to god they do NOT make a sequel. Why? EA now owns the full rights to making all Star Wars games (the worst nightmare come true) so if they would make a sequel it would be yet another Battlefield modded game sold at 60 bucks with a 80 buck season pas :P

Posts: 120

I really hope we get a sequel/reboot set in the new trilogy.

Posts: 3290

I'd say it's actually better now. In all honesty

Posts: 32

One of my favorite games and still holds up today.