Star Wars: Republic Commando
|Star Wars: Republic Commando|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2|
|Platform(s)||Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|Genre(s)||Tactical shooter, first-person shooter|
Star Wars: Republic Commando is a tactical first-person shooter video game, set in the Star Wars universe, released in 2005. It was developed and published by LucasArts for the Xbox and Microsoft Windows. The game uses Unreal Engine. Players take on the role of RC-1338 ("Boss"), an elite clone trooper, referred to as "clone commando", and the leader of Delta Squad, consisting of three fellow clone commandos – RC-1262 ("Scorch"), RC-1140 ("Fixer"), and RC-1207 ("Sev") – each with their own distinctive personalities. The game's story follows Delta Squad as they complete increasingly difficult missions throughout the Clone Wars. Following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, the game became part of the non-canonical Star Wars expanded universe (also known as Star Wars Legends).
The game received generally favorable reviews at release. Many critics praised the story and combat, but criticized the short length and average multiplayer. In the years since its release, it came to be considered one of the best Star Wars games ever made, and gained a cult following.
The game features some gameplay elements that resemble features in other first-person shooters. The heads-up display (HUD) shows the player character's helmet, with a tactical visor. The player acts as squad leader of a squad of four elite troops. The squadmate order system allows the player general tactical control over the three non-player characters (NPCs) squadmates that round out the four-man commando team. Many objects in the game environment will highlight when the crosshair is placed over them. The player can then press the "use" key to issue an order automatically associated with the object; for example, a sealed door may highlight with a synchronized team breach-and-clear command, or a computer console might have a "slice" (computer hacking) command, while a pile of cargo boxes suitable for a cover position with good vantage may provide a "take up Sniper/Anti-Armor position" command. Where possible, the squadmates will usually take their preferred roles (sniper, demolitions and technical). The player can order the squad to move to secure any position (wherever the crosshair is pointed), or perform search-and-destroy. There are orders to command the squadmates to group up or spread out according to the player's discretion for the situation.
In single-player mode, the player and squadmates do not die when they run out of health, but rather are incapacitated. If the player character is downed, the player can order the squad members to attempt to revive the player or to continue with their current orders. Therefore, the game is only truly over when the player and all members of the squad are incapacitated at once or if the player is downed in a position their squadmates cannot reach (such as chasms). Certain missions may require squad members to split up to accomplish various isolated objectives, and in such scenarios, where the player is operating alone, losing all the player's health also results in a game over. While reviving a downed commando restores a small amount of health, bacta charging stations are necessary to fully regain it.
Weapons can be acquired in both single player and multiplayer. Throughout the campaign, the player always carrys the compact DC-17 and a blaster pistol with unlimited ammo. The DC-17 can be configured into an assault rifle, sniper rifle, and grenade launcher. The player may also use weapons dropped by enemies.
Republic Commando maintains a first-person perspective throughout the game, presenting the story from the eyes of Delta Squad's squad leader, RC-1138 ("Boss"). His squadmates include RC-1262 ("Scorch"), a talkative explosives expert; RC-1140 ("Fixer"), a skilled hacker and a dedicated soldier; and RC-1207 ("Sev"), the squad's sniper who enjoys racking up kills. Information is received via radio commands from a clone officer (referred to as "Advisor"), and a text-based objective list with a pop-up objective tracker arrow that points the player to the next objective.
The game is set during the events of the Clone Wars that started at the climax of the movie Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The player takes command of a squad of four elite clone troopers, who have been bred at the cloning facilities on Kamino like all the other troopers, but were genetically modified to be superior to the regular troopers in every aspect. The team travels to various locations in the Star Wars universe, including Kashyyyk, Geonosis, and the derelict spacecraft Prosecutor. The team's missions do not take place immediately one after the other, but rather at various moments in the Clone Wars. As such, the final mission of the game takes place roughly two years after the first one.
At the beginning of the game, Delta Squad is deployed from the RAS Prosecutor individually into the front lines of the Battle of Geonosis. There, Squad leader Delta-38 ("Boss", the player character) meets up with squad mates 62, 40, and 07 ("Scorch", "Fixer" and "Sev" respectively). Delta Squad’s first mission is to assassinate the Geonosian leader Sun Fac, chief lieutenant to Geonosian Archduke Poggle the Lesser, one of the members of the Separatist Council. After accomplishing this objective, Delta Squad sabotage the droid factory underneath Sun Fac's headquarters, disable an anti-aircraft bunker that is wreaking havoc on the Republic Army's air forces, and then sneak onto a disabled Separatist Trade Federation Lucrehulk-class Core Ship and steal important launch codes to prevent the Separatist fleet from retreating, escaping seconds before the ship is destroyed.
A year into the war, the now-veteran Delta Squad is sent to investigate the derelict Acclamator-class Republic Assault Ship (RAS) Prosecutor, their former home before being deployed to active duty. Delta Squad splits up to investigate, although they lose contact with command upon boarding the ship. Making their way inside, the squad find the Prosecutor seemingly abandoned and in disrepair. The squad lose contact with Scorch after he reports electrical interference with his visor and Boss is soon ambushed by scavenger droids. Boss makes his way to one of the ship's data cores to reunite with Sev, but he is suddenly attacked and captured by a Trandoshan who is part of a large crew of slavers and mercenaries who’ve taken over the ship. Having evaded capture, Boss and Fixer meet up but are soon attacked by battle droids deployed by the Trandoshans. After rescuing their captive squad members, Delta Squad takes back the ship’s bridge and destroy a jamming device which reestablishes communication with command. It becomes clear that the Trandoshans intend to sell the vessel to the Separatists in exchange for battle droid dispensers. Making their way down to the hangars, Delta Squad then destroys the Trandoshan dropship during their retreat. Immediately afterwards, a Lucrehulk-class Trade Federation Battleship drops out of hyperspace. As Republic reinforcements are en route, Delta Squad defends the vessel against hordes of battle droids. After successfully repelling the incoming droid forces, the enemy Battleship begins opening fire on the Prosecutor. Delta Squad fight their way to the gunnery deck to activate the ship's turbo lasers in order to defend themselves. The timely arrival of a second Republic ship, the RAS Arrestor, buys the squad enough time to activate the turbo lasers, ultimately destroying the Separatist Battleship and shutting down all remaining battle droids on board.
As the war drags on, Delta Squad participates in increasingly dangerous missions. A plea for help is heard by the Republic from the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. Delta Squad is sent to rescue General Tarfful from the Trandoshans. While making their way through the Trandoshan Slave camp, Delta Squad witness General Grievous arriving in Soulless One. The squad is ordered to confirm that Grievous is on Kashyyyk and capture him if possible. The Squad manage to rescue Tarfful but are too late to capture Grievous, instead battling his MagnaGuards. Delta Squad sabotages a Trandoshan supply depot, deducing it to be a staging area for the CIS’s invasion of Kashyyyk and confirming the Separatist/Trandoshan alliance. After destroying the depot, Delta squad is deployed to the city of Kachirho, setting in motion the Battle of Kashyyyk. There, they move through the Wookiee tree city, securing important objectives and battling against hordes of advanced battle droids. Soldiering through Separatists forces, Delta Squad once again splits up to man four heavy anti-aircraft turrets in order to assist in the destruction of a Separatist destroyer hovering over Kachirho. Once the ship is destroyed, Clone Advisor CC-01/425 orders Delta Squad to regroup at 38's position. However, Sev reports that he's under heavy attack before all communication with him is lost. Delta Squad prepares to rescue Sev, but Advisor orders them to evacuate immediately and the three are forced to abandon him. As they head out on the gunship, they are debriefed by Jedi Master Yoda. A huge Republic fleet is seen deploying outside the gunship, as the now three-man Delta Squad prepares for another assignment in the battle.
Republic Commando is notable for being the first entry in the official Star Wars game series to feature licensed music. The song "Clones", performed by the band Ash, is played when the credits roll. Ash are known for their Star Wars fandom; their debut album was entitled 1977, and contained numerous Star Wars references.
The main bulk of the soundtrack is a break from convention of previous Star Wars games that use abridged versions of John Williams' original score, instead using a combination of Williams' music and new music composed by Jesse Harlin. This new music takes on a high-paced, gritty and vocal theme to the traditional Star Wars score. "The entire goal was to present a very dark and military take on the Star Wars universe from the point of view of disposable grunts – something no one had seen before," said Harlin. "Most of John Williams' material is very romantic and thematically relates to characters we weren't focusing on." Of note is the "Vode An" theme, which plays in the main menu and several key points throughout the game (such as when the player's clone commandos defeats a large group of enemies). The "Vode An" theme, as well as several other key music pieces, have additional choral lyrics in the Mandalorian language. It was these lyrics that further inspired author Karen Traviss to develop the Mandalorian language into a "fully working language".
A sequel to the game was already planned well ahead of production of Republic Commando. The game was titled Star Wars: Imperial Commando and was based on the betrayal of Republic soldiers, however the project only went as far as concept art, and was cancelled. Nevertheless, Karen Traviss wrote a fifth and final novel of the Republic Commando novel series, titling it Star Wars Imperial Commando: 501st, after the cancelled sequel.
Despite the game's storyline no longer being part of the Star Wars canon as of 2014, Delta Squad and other elements remained canon. Delta Squad made a brief appearance in "Witches of the Mist," a season three episode of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars; the series' supervising director Dave Filoni stated that he took inspiration from the game when creating the world of the show.
The concept of Republic Commandos (also known as Clone Commandos) first seen in the game has been featured in several Star Wars works since Republic Commando's release. The episode "Missing in Action" of the fifth season of The Clone Wars introduces the character of Captain Gregor, a former clone commando suffering from amnesia. The season seven episode "The Bad Batch" introduces Clone Force 99 (informally known as "The Bad Batch"), a clone commando squad consisting of four clone troopers with personality quirks that only slightly resemble normal clones—the result of specially designed genetic experimentation. Clone commandos are also playable in the video game Star Wars Battlefront II.
- "Star Wars Republic Commando - PC". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- Reed, Kristan (January 22, 2008). "The Bluffer's Guide to Xbox Cult Classics - Top of the Flops, if you like. [updated!]". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2019-11-17. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Bielawa, Justin (March 8, 2006). "Commando Composer: An Interview with Jesse Harlin". Music On Film. Archived from the original on July 20, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- Proctor, Aaron (August 5, 2006). "Exclusive Interview with Karen Traviss, The Clone Gal". The Boba Fett Fan Club. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- "Star Wars: Republic Commando for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- "Star Wars Republic Commando for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- "[Star Wars] Republic Commando review". Edge (148): 101. April 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox)". Electronic Gaming Monthly (191): 134. May 2005.
- Reed, Kristan (February 23, 2005). "Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox)". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox)". Famitsu. 845. February 25, 2005.
- Reiner, Andrew (March 2005). "Star Wars Republic Commando (Xbox)". Game Informer (143): 136. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007.
- DJ Dinobot (March 28, 2005). "Star Wars Republic Commando Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on January 12, 2006. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- The Enforcer (March 1, 2005). "Star Wars: Republic Commando Review for Xbox on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on November 16, 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Gee, Brian (March 15, 2005). "Star Wars Republic Commando Review (Xbox)". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Colayco, Bob (February 25, 2005). "Star Wars: Republic Commando Review". GameSpot. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- Tuttle, Will (February 21, 2005). "GameSpy: Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox)". GameSpy. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Madigan, Jamie (March 7, 2005). "GameSpy: Star Wars Republic Commando (PC)". GameSpy. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Bedigian, Louis (March 15, 2005). "Star Wars Republic Commando - XB - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Hopper, Steven (March 17, 2005). "Star Wars Republic Commando - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Adams, Dan; Perry, Douglass C. (February 18, 2005). "Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox)". IGN. Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- Adams, Dan (February 18, 2005). "Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)". IGN. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- "Star Wars: Republic Commando". Official Xbox Magazine: 80. April 2005.
- "Star Wars: Republic Commando". PC Gamer: 76. April 2005.
- Schaefer, Jim (March 13, 2005). "A winning team: Your squad mates are the best in 'Star Wars: Republic Commando'". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on March 13, 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Wilcox, Mike (March 25, 2005). "A break from formula". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Star Wars Republic Commando for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- Reed, Kristan (May 3, 2005). "2005 UK Sales Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007.
- Smith, Rob (2008). Rogue Leaders: The Story of Lucas Arts. Chronicle Books. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-8118-6184-7.