Clone Wars: Republic Heros

Micah Kolding

Platforms: All


In case you were left unsatisfied by the Star Wars double-trilogy, in case it wasn't enough for you that they bridged the gap between episodes two and three with the Clone Wars movie, in case you're still left wanting by the televised Clone Wars series made to further bridge the gap between the Clone Wars movie and episode three, you may be pleased to learn that Clone Wars: Republic Heros is available at your local game store, ready to bridge the gap between seasons one and three of the televised series so as to further make it unlikely that there is a moment of Anakin Skywalker's life that you are not privy to.

And I'm not even gonna mention the original animated Clone Wars micro-series that did a pretty good job of bridging the gap back in 2005.

But yes, the galaxy is at war, the Force is unbalanced, and the Clone Wars video game franchise is back for another spin in our Wiis. With an original plot and a fresh, new baddie, this third-person adventure game puts the characters from the animated show at your disposal to battle the droid army and foil a top secret weapon that makes the Death Star look like a road flare. Levels alternate between Jedi and clone troopers, two different kinds of characters with widely different weapons and capabilities, and grants you a mechanically-identical partner to either follow you around as an AI or allow a second player to join for a pretty acceptable co-op experience.



You might buy this game in hopes of discovering a second Force Unleashed, but you'd be disappointed to find that it waxes more in the like of Lego Star Wars. Though the Force powers are decently cool, particularly the ability to jump on a droid and take command of it for a time, the game is far too easy to be satisfying for too long. There are negligable consequences for dying as you respawn almost directly after reaching zero health.  Collecting "Force points" lets you buy upgrades and cheats, like invulnerability and one-hit kills, just in case you want even less of a challenge. If you're ever experiencing frustration, it's probably because your character keeps leaping into the abyss like an idiot while you're trying to navigate one of the game's many mindless "don't fall off the edge" maps. Again, this game might be enjoyable to the Star Wars fans who aren't old enough to find Jar Jar Binks irritating, but to everyone else it should be an easy miss.

Ultimately, a good control system and a favorable selection of powers cannot save Republic Heros from being less of a game than a toy, and though it beats out Lightsaber Duels as the Clone Wars' better venture into the world of the console, the merit hardly earns it a feather in its cap. So rise up, my minions, and say "no" to this title. Because they're just gonna keep on bridging gaps until they learn their lesson.



About the author:

Micah Kolding is a teacher, writer, and cartoonist from Davis, California. His sharp and satiric edge has appeared in the likes of The California Aggie and The Sacramento Book Review, as well as on stage


copyright 2006