Star Wars has long been dead to us. However, we’re big enough to admit that the ‘franchise’ (what else can you call it?), especially the Clone Wars spin-offs, is aimed at a younger age group and not crusty, cynical 30-somethings like us. But this doesn’t excuse the churning-out of games of such mind-numbing dullness that they’ll cause instantaneous cerebral meltdown in anyone with a mental age above eight.
Republic Heroes is set in the era between George Lucas having a second blueberry muffin over a working brunch and Obi-Wan opening a second-hand bookshop. What does this mean? Droids. Lots of droids. Kill them you must, with blaster or lightsaber, depending on whether you’re playing as a Jedi or a Clone Trooper. It also means platforming. Lots of platforming. Sub-standard Prince of Persia-style it is.
Two characters bounce around a variety of locations blasting the legs off an endless procession of droids. Playing as a Jedi gives you a bunch of lightsaber moves, activated by combinations of the A, B and C buttons and remote swishes, plus some Force powers mapped to Z. When you’re a Trooper, you control a reticule with the remote pointer while directing the chap with the analogue stick. Neither type of play is anything more than insipid.
The whole thing feels like it’s been designed by committee and focus-tested to death. Presumably a collection of spoiled 12-year-olds suggested that having to spend longer than three seconds retracing their steps between checkpoints should they die was hugely frustrating. Strange, then, that these kids didn’t mention that the camera angle is such that you frequently jump to your doom because you can’t make out where ledges are relative to your character.
Our biggest beef, aside from the diabolical scripting, lies with the total lack of risk and reward. It really is a matter of seconds between checkpoints, and the only punishment for dying is losing a few points. The points themselves are only good for buying a load of useless crap in the ‘shop.’ Crap like new hats, inconsequential new combat moves and droid dances. Yes, droid dances. Enough said.
Oct 22, 2009