Star Wars: Republic Commando

Moby ID: 17003

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 76% (based on 59 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 5 reviews)

The Trenches of the Clone Wars

The Good
War! The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute. Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. And so on.

Republic Commando covers three “Clone War” campaigns leading into Episode III. Bringing squad-based combat into the Star Wars Universe, the game puts the player in charge of Delta 38, “Boss.” 38 leads three other clone Commandos on missions where finesse is required instead of legions of troopers. Fixer, Delta 40, is the team’s hacker and second-in-command. Scorch, Delta 62, is the unit’s demolitions expert and jokester. And Sev, Delta 07, is the resident badass. Together, they possess the skills needed to squash the Separatist uprising.

To some extent, Republic Commando plays like a standard first-person shooter with a really good cooperative AI. Even without issuing orders, Delta team members engage the enemy, seek cover, and use nearby Bacta tanks. Commands mapped to the function buttons set the rules of engagement, telling the squad to defend an area, search and destroy, reform on 38’s position, or to cancel the previous order.

Squad tactics come to the forefront in terms of using the environment. Delta 38 can issue orders to breach a door or to have it sliced open for silent entry. The HUD on his visor identifies good areas to snipe or toss grenades, and he can tell a Commando to use those stations. Fallen Commandos can be revived with a Bacta injection either by 38 or as a command (and Commandos will revive each other on their own, when they aren’t under fire). Delta 38 can also order teammates to man turrets or to combine their fire on a single target.

From the very beginning, Republic Commando has intense combat sequences. As soon as Delta 38 drops into the Geonosian arena he’s in the middle of a war. Clone troopers engage Battle Droids. Geonosian warriors decimate the front lines. The skies overhead are filled with Republic ships attacking Separatist forces and Republic AT-TEs march in the background.

Ready for battle, the Commandos are armed with the DC-17m blaster rifle (with optional sniper and Anti-Armor attachments) and the DC-15s recharging sidearm blaster. Commandos also carry thermal and ion detonators and Delta 38 can pick up other weaponry: Geonosian beam weapons, Wookiee bowcasters, and more. Facing waves of overwhelming enemies, they will need all they have.

Republic Commando has the obvious droid and Geonosian units, but they present more challenge than they do in the movies. Battle Droids are still the weakest units, bursting apart with a few well placed blaster bolts, but any of the higher level droids require real effort (and concentrated fire) to bring down. Even worse are the droid dispensing units which churn out droids until they are blown up with explosives. Here’s where the real teamwork kicks in: one squad member has to rig an explosive pack to the dispensing unit while the others focus their weapons on the droids attacking him.

Later levels of the game pit the player against revamped Trandoshans and Elite Droid units serving General Grievous. The Trandoshans are a far cry from Empire Strikes Back’s stiff Bossk. These reptilian slavers are fast and lethal and are just as inclined to rush Delta Squad with swords as they are to open fire with their repeaters. If the Clone Commandos resemble a stylized Clone Troopers, then the Trandoshans are stylized versions of this standard Star Wars nemesis. Also stylized are the Wookiees of Republic Commando. They tower over the clones and (sadly) are large enough to provide ample cover should they fall in battle.

After resolving matters on Geonosis, which includes taking on Super Battle Droids and Droidekias (Destroyer Droids) in a Trade Federation Core Ship, Delta Squad investigates an abandoned Republic Capital ship and leads the Wookiee revolt against slavers and Separatists on Kashyyyk. The three campaigns are composed of a series of linked missions. Typically the goal of a mission just involves proceeding to the next area, but some missions involve eliminating key members of the enemy, destroying certain obstacles, or rescuing captured allies.

Star Wars games are known for their stunning sound effects, but Republic Commando has stellar voice acting as well. Republic Commando, far and away, is the funniest Star Wars game I’ve played: lightening what could be a dark and grim setting with gallows humor. Some of the best lines come when Delta 38 dies and waits to be revived: “Maybe he’s a copy of a copy of a copy,” or “Is he from our tank?” The playful needling carries over between squad mates, creating a real sense of character.

The Bad
Compared to other squad-based shooters, Republic Commando is a little thin when it comes to tactics and can be a little too user friendly. Mentioned above, Delta 38 picks up on environmental hotspots where snipers or grenadiers can be placed. First, why can’t 38 determine where he wants snipers or grenadiers rather than waiting for this prepackaged places? Second, these hotspots appear as crosshair or grenades in the HUD and also show the ghostly form of a Commando in position there. Likewise, breaching a door brings up ghostly forms of the Commandos ready to breach the door. This wouldn’t be as annoying in the earlier, tutorial-style levels, but after breaching the fifth door, we understand what the units will do.

Republic Commando doesn’t cover much new ground. Based on its release date, it seems like it was more of an Episode III teaser. It’s short at three campaigns (and linear) and really doesn’t show us anything we haven’t seen in the movies. The Clone Wars covered a variety of planets (as we see in Episode III’s Godfather montage), but here we only get another videogame representation of Geonosis, another representation of a capital ship, and another representation of Kashyyyk (handled better in KOTOR).

Finally, a lot of effort is spent differentiating the four Commandos, but in terms of in-game use, they all seem to have the same abilities. Fixer doesn’t seem to be faster slicing a door, Scorch doesn’t seem to be faster rigging explosives, and Sev doesn’t seem more lethal than any other Commando (including 38, the player).

The Bottom Line
With no opening crawl and no Jedi to be found, Republic Commando is, defiantly, not your typical Star Wars game. While the game play is light on the tactics, it’s heavy on the action and the core mechanics work well. I hope this game is the start of a new franchise (the mobile Republic Commando: Order 66 aside), but I think Episode III washes those hopes away.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5398) · 2005

No Jedi Powers or X-Wings here, just good old fashion alien fraggin'.

The Good
When I first heard about Republic Commando, I was stoked. I thought the idea was brilliant. Personally, I’m tired of wielding a lightsaber and force powers or piloting X-Wings and Snow Speeders. I thought that the idea of Republic Commando was original and ambitious. And after the fact, it seems to be just that.

Republic Commando provides the opportunity to flesh out the Star Wars Universe beyond the Jedi, Darth Vader and the Dark Side. It does so by putting the gamer in charge of a Navy Seal-esque team of Clone Troopers from Episode II called "Delta Squad". As the team leader or “Boss” of Delta Squad, you’ll infiltrate enemy lines, battle hordes of droids and aliens and tip the struggle of the Clone Wars in your favor, all in the name of the Republic.

Republic Commando is in FPS form, but with 3 members of Delta Squad available to carry out your commands and watch your back. Equipped with classic Thermal Detonators and a new DC-17m Modifiable Blaster Rifle which transforms into a grenade launcher and a sniper rifle, your team is equipped to handle everything the Separatists can throw at you.

From the get-go, the action is well paced. The first mission has you descending from a RTT Ship right into a battle with the Separatists. The atmosphere of the Star Wars style combat is well done and emerges the player into the best Star Wars FPS since Dark Forces II. All the trade mark sound effects of Star Wars are present from blaster and Wookie sounds to Jango Fett's exotic accent.

The ultimate goal in each mission, as in most FPS's, is to exterminate everything in your path. But Republic Commando spices up the formula a bit with the inclusion of your teammates and various game-play elements such as hacking computer terminals, setting demo charges and manning turrets. The constant chatter between your A.I. teammates is cool, making them seem less robot-like. Overall, they're mildly effective during combat, but are useful to assign to sniping spots and to set charges, so that you don't feel the need to do everything.

Hacking and placing charges varied the game-play at just the right times. It was cool assigning my squad to a task while I watched their back until they finished. The tasks themselves could've used a little improvement. I thought it took too long to place a charge on enemy droid pods. I would think that a device that's primary function is to explode wouldn’t be too complicated to set. I can understand the time it takes to splice a door or hack a terminal, but the detonators could've been quicker. But the implementation of the game-play is welcomed, none-the-less.

Games with an intensive story usually choose to explain it through cut-scenes, which, most of the time, are a drag to watch and begged to be skipped. Republic Commando has a cool storyline and doesn't bother to waste your time with vast amounts of cut-scenes during missions. Any information you need or anything important to the story is told in-game through the com-link amidst the action, which is refreshing and doesn't force you to drop the controller until it's over.

The Bad
One of the biggest things that could've been improved upon lies with your teammates. Even though they all have a different role or class (i.e., sniper, demo expert, hacker), neither of them excel at one particular skill. When you assign Sev to hack a door, it takes the same amount of time if Fixer were doing it. So why even have these commandoes in different roles? They could've easily implemented a skill point system that allowed you to increase your teammate’s skills in different areas as the game progressed. Or simply have a difference in the abilities of commandoes; have the sniper your best, tactical shot, your demo expert take no time to set charges and your hacker splice doors with ease.

Another problem with your teammates is the command system. This seems to be a problem with most games featuring team commands to A.I. controlled allies. Using the D-Pad, you can assign the team orders; "Search & Destroy" and "Form-Up" are the only two of any use, though they differ very little. I don't understand why they bothered to implement a game-play element that turns out to be of such little use. And very few games seem to execute this feature well. And a game such as Republic Commandoes would’ve thrived on an effective team command system. A room-sweep feature would've served well along with various tactical commands.

There are several features of the game that aren't useful. The Jump feature is useless. Other than cresting very small objects, there isn't a tactical advantage to jumping like in other FPS's. It's more or less a waste of a button and was probably implemented to appease people who get pissed off at not being able to jump in an FPS. Also, the gun-barrel zoom-in is more of a hindrance than anything. With the way enemies constantly dance around, the zoom is too close to consistently hit them. I assume it was put in to take advantage of the weak-points that each enemy supposedly has, but in the end, it's far easier to blast away until they keel over. It does come as a disappointment since it would've made for a much better tactical shooter than just a frag-fest. The melee attack is also used to minimal effect. It's a very cool feature with the look of the wrist blade and the gore-splatter from the attack, but getting that close to an enemy is neither often or beneficial.

Republic Commando suffers from very short game length. Just when I got into it, it was over. I don't know if there are plans for a sequel, but the opportunity for expanding the roles of Delta Squad and the Republic Commando forces are there. There's a large time span between the time of the Republic and The Empire and I would love to see more of the Squad and their Ops.

I would've also liked some cameos from famous Star Wars characters. I know I said it was nice to stray from the use of Jedi and what not, but it doesn't hurt to use the franchise characters for maximum effect. It was cool to have a giant Wookie fight with you for a few rooms, but some lesser known Jedi would've worked too (Kit Fisto anyone?).

The Bottom Line
A refreshing look into the vast world of Star Wars without the inclusion of Jedi or the Dark Side. The best Star Wars FPS since Dark Forces II with varying game-play elements that break the monotony of blasting Separatists and droids. A cool new branch of the Star Wars franchise that will hopefully be expanded upon. And really, who doesn't want to play as an über Clone/Storm Trooper behind enemy lines?

Xbox · by The Encyclo Gamer (4) · 2006

Clone and Behold

The Good
Crossing tactical strategy and FPS action is perhaps the unique way to put to some flavour in a game. Even better, playing as a clone and not just any clone, but a commando clone, really sets the stage for the game. The way you command your squad mates works a lot like Brothers in Arms, only these clones have a decent AI to act on their own, to save your from all the heavy lifting. And the commando clones can revive each other, so you have no fear of casualties. To break up the shooting you have a variety of tasks like defusing mines, breaching doors and setting traps. Some of the time you will have to go solo or with fewer squad members, and you're going full commando style. It's also nice that there's quicksave and autosave in the game for the challenges ahead.

The assortment of weapons are extremely interesting and go for something very different. In addition to the self-recharging pistol (which is more useful than it looks), you also have a standard battle rifle that has multiple attachments, a strong melee attack, different kinds of grenades, and a weapon some wouldn't expect in the Star Wars universe, the shotgun. The best weapon in the game is the walker, but sadly you only use it for a short time and don't drive around in it.

The game is set straight after the second episode film, showing a great deal of the clones' action to win the battle of Geonosis. This is followed by two epic storyline missions that put all four commando clones in the thick of battle. There's a nice mix of John Williams' and Jesse Harlin's composition to accompany all the action. Each individual clone displays unique a personality and skill orientation. It's a pity that we don't get to see their faces under the helmets. Among the great graphic detail, the game adds neat little notable details such as the helmet electronically wiping off the blood smears, engine oil and slime when you kill an enemy up close.

The extras are incredibly rewarding, which show some of the best behind the scenes in a Star Wars game, particularly the choreography of the animation, which was aided by a real life special ops veteran, showing just how much effort LucasArts went to deliver quality to this game.

The Bad
Where there is action packing, there is also confusion in the mix. For one, the team members can be fidgety or unreliable at times. The more experience you have at coordinating them, the less likely this happens. But this doesn't bode well for certain missions that have countdowns, since you can't afford to take your time and have to take a ton of damage and losses, while you plough through turret entrenched areas. Allies such as the Wookies also have a tendency to get themselves killed and you have no real control over them to better preserve them.

It's annoying how often you need to backtrack in order to heal yourself and your team members if you don't know where to find a bacta charging station. And then there are times when you want to place a bomb, use a turret or some other action but you end up sending one of your squad members to do it instead because you have to stand in a very specific spot to take control. And the awkward thing about the sniper attached is that you can't comfortably control the zoom mode.

Some of the enemies can really do a number on you even in the easiest difficulty level, especially the incessant, pesky scavenger droids. And talking of enemies, the one thing that this game lacks like most FPS games are the presence of bosses, which is is a standard, but doesn't affect this game in any way. All in all game, only a handful of issues but nothing that ruins the gameplay.

The Bottom Line
This one of the most symbolic titles among the Star Wars video games collection. This predated both the 2009 Clone Wars TV series and the Bad Batch. It would've been nice to see the Delta Squad make guest appearances in the any of the LucasFilm animated series. They would have done Rex (CT-7567) proud. And then this game got a remaster for the newer consoles. The game may not have aged well, but it earned its place with Star Wars fans and casual game players alike. A superb experience if you ever tried it.

Windows · by Kayburt (29521) · 2021

a great game for any Star Wars fan that's tired of all the Jedi and Sith.

The Good
It was very different from all other Star Wars games since its the story from the Comando's point of view. The graphics and sound were amazing and brought the game to life. The weapons were numerous and well layed out. The plot made the game fun to play through. Enemies in the game were well done with vivid detail that were smart and made them hard to kill (excluding the infantry droids). Melee was cool, when you killed a bug with a finishing melee move, the blood would spurt on to your visor and a white line went across the screen to clean it up. Also, jango fett is the voice actor for the leader of your squadron (aka you).

The Bad
Weapon choosing with the d-pad was ok but it left you stranded when you already have 4 weapons and you need a fifth. There was no co-op feature. It would have been awsome if they had online co-op. You die WAY to easily on Xbox live and in multi-player combat. Also, one of the weapons was too powerful since it could take down a person in less than ten shots. Some parts of the story line are IMPOSSIBLE to get past.

The Bottom Line
Its for the people who want to get into the military scene of Star Wars without the Jedi and Sith.

Xbox · by Todd Bello (28) · 2006

Frantic FPS, sadly without much Star Wars atmosphere

The Good
If you need your games to run on steroids, Star Wars: Republic Commando (SWRC) will most probably appeal to you.
After a short intro sequence, you're plunged straight into the action, and before the game ends, you'll be taking your finger off the fire-button only on extremely rare occasions, most of which will be either when you're pressing the USE key to hack into a console or plant a charge or some such or when you're in the process of loading a savegame. Other than that, there's almost a constant supply of enemies, similar to the way it was in the old school FPS'es like the original Doom or in the more recent Serious Sam titles.
As a Star Wars (SW) fan, you'll meet some familiar faces, but you really shouldn't expect too much from those encounters, as I'll elaborate in the section below. The simplified squad control actually works, despite the game's frantic pace, and sometimes the comments of your mates actually border the funny. The fact that they lack any real personality whatsoever is probably minor, since ... well, since they're anonymous members of a clone army, anyways.

The Bad
Unfortunately, this game is heavily lacking in the atmosphere department. Like the clone troopers whose exploits it portraits, it lacks any distinctiveness whatsoever. There are some things which have been in every single Star Wars game I have ever played, and over the years that's quite an amount.
Thing's that sometimes have no real impact in gameplay terms, but that have been a traditional part of SW-games nonetheless.

For example, somewhere in the intro, you'd have a story synopsis scrolling by in the classical SW-way, like in the beginning of the movies. Not in SWRC.

An the soundtrack. Many of the games featured the usual suspects when it comes to SW-themed songs, such as the main theme or the cantina song, but some introduced more or less original music, all of which fit into what you'd expect from such music. Not so in SWRC.

In the average SW game, folks from the movies (or the universe, to use a bit more general term) have been utilized to great effect as a vessel to make you feel "at home" in the world of SW. SWRC utterly fails in this department.

Sure, you and your team are clonetroopers. Sure, your adversaries are battle droids and Geonosians. Sure, you encounter others, like Wookies, for example, along the way. Sure, you're employing a arsenal of weapons from the SW franchise, but - unlike, for example, in the Jedi Knight series - none of those actually "feel" like SW weapons - and this includes the blaster rifle thingy. None of these things actually impact gameplay. Heck, in the event of your team sabotaging a ship, you don't even blow up it's reactor core. Is this Star Wars? :D

Seriously, never would it have been so easy for a game to be turned into a game with no resemblance at all to a SW title. Exchange the models of everybody, switch the sound of the laser blasters, modify in-game briefings a little bit, nobody would notice this used to be a SW game. Crying shame, as far as I'm concerned. To be fair, a part (albeit a small one) of the reason for this lack of impact is the frantic pace of the game. It's like driving down the freeway at more than a hundred miles per hour - you're not very likely to really get a glimpse of many details along the road. But since a good story has almost been guaranteed if a title had the words "Star Wars" on the box in the past, I think it's even more of a letdown when the game miserably fails to deliver in this department.

The Bottom Line
At times, I thought the fact that I failed to get a grasp of the game's atmosphere was related to the fact that the game takes place in the "new" movies, i.e. in the prequel trilogy, as opposed to the original trilogy from the late seventies, which I happen to like a lot better. But then I remembered the fairly recent Battlegrounds. Flawed as that game might be in it's own right, I think it did a very good job on capturing the feel of the armed forces participating in the battles between droids and the clone army. Down to the armament used by the infantry.

Sadly, SWRC fails to accomplish the same. Everything has a generic feel to it, and for a Star Wars title, this is just very disappointing. Never before have I played a SW game about which I can honestly say that, if you just ignore all parts of story that the game presents you, you're not missing out ANYTHING.

Still, when all is said and done, SWRC ain't no bad game. It's a solid title, IF you don't expect it to deliver a dose of Star Wars feeling to you. It's fun for most of the pretty short time it lasts, you'll have no time breaking your head about stuff like a storyline, anyway. Still, I'd recommend everybody with an itch to play SWRC to wait until it hits the bargain bin.

Windows · by Cadorna (219) · 2005

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Flu, Wizo, Big John WV, Riamus, Patrick Bregger, nyccrg, Zerobrain, Xoleras, Cavalary, Cantillon, jaXen, Yearman, Jacob Gens, Tim Janssen, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Jeanne, CalaisianMindthief, El Bosso, Rellni944, GTramp, chirinea, Alaedrain, Alaka.