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. As of April 19, 2007, this game is backward compatible for the Xbox 360 with a downloadable patch. It was also made backwards compatible on the Xbox One on April 26, 2018.
The game received positive reviews at release. Many critics praised the story and combat, but criticized the short length and average multiplayer.
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 also order the squad to move to secure any position (wherever the crosshair is pointed), or perform search-and-destroy. Also, 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 his 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-1162 (Scorch), a talkative explosives expert; RC-1140 (Fixer), a skilled hacker and a dedicated soldier, and RC-1107 (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. In the game, the player takes command of a Clone commando team, made up of elite Clone troopers. These Clone commandos have been specially bred at the clone factories on Kamino. The commando team travels to various locations in the Star Wars universe, including Kashyyyk, Geonosis, and the derelict spacecraft Prosecutor. About two years pass from Delta Squad's first mission to the end of the game.
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, Delta-38 ("Boss", the player character) meets up with squad mates 62, 40, and 07 ("Scorch", "Fixer" and "Sev" respectively). Delta-38 has been selected to lead this unit and guides them on their mission 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. The team splits up to investigate, when they begin to lose contact with each other one by one aboard the ship. After entering the ship, Delta-38 ponders why the interior of the Prosecutor remains deserted and eerily quiet, when he is suddenly ambushed by Scavenger Droids, which are responsible for the communications disruptions between the squad members. Delta-38 continues fighting off Scavenger Droids and comes across Trandoshan Slavers and Mercenaries. 38 singlehandedly fights his way through the ship, collecting information from the ship and rescuing his squadmates. Once Delta Squad is together again, they destroy a jamming device in order to restore ship-wide communication. Delta Squad then destroys a Trandoshan dropship in a hangar, accidentally blowing up the hangar's shield regulator in the process. Immediately afterwards, a Lucrehulk-class Trade Federation Battleship drops out of hyperspace nearby, as the Trandoshans were about to sell the vessel to the Separatists in exchange for droid support. As Republic reinforcements are en route, Delta Squad defends the vessel against hordes of battle droids, destroying the docking shield regulators, allowing nothing to pass through. They then proceed to the gunnery deck to activate the fire control computers, a lengthy process that they have to perform while under heavy droid attack. Successfully activating the computers enables the Prosecutor's turbolaser cannon batteries to open fire on the Trade Federation Battleship, saving the Prosecutor and working in conjunction with the timely arrival of a second Republic ship, the RAS Arrestor, to ultimately destroy the Trade Federation Battleship, shutting down all remaining battle droids on board the Prosecutor.
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 Trandoshan slavers and mercenaries. After encountering General Grievous himself in one of the compounds and fighting off his MagnaGuards, they learn of the full ramifications of a Separatist/Trandoshan alliance. Delta Squad sabotages a vital Trandoshan supply depot and proceeds to the key 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. They destroy a bridge center-span at Kachirho, strategically splitting the droid army and cutting a large part off from its reinforcements, and proceed to secure the Citadel. Soldiering through the most elite Separatist 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. As they head out on the gunship, devastated by the apparent death of Sev, 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".
Republic Commando received generally positive reviews with mostly minor complaints. It has been praised by some critics for giving players one of the most enjoyable Star Wars experiences, despite its lack of Jedi. Complaints mostly refer to its short campaign and average multiplayer experience. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 80.35% and 78 out of 100 for the Xbox version; 79.11% and 78 out of 100 for the PC version; and 74.67% for the mobile version.
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.
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