It may seem that nothing good has come out of the Star Wars prequels. Apart from being rotten films and ruining many peoples' perception of the original trilogy, they have spawned a number of unnecessary spin-offs and series' all produced for the purpose of selling toys to children.
Fortunately the toys(video games) released for older children and adults have ranged from decent to excellent. Which is were Republic Commando comes in, released in 2005, in my opinion RC easily ranks with other great Star Wars games such as KOTOR.
However before I get ahead of myself let me catch those who are not aware of what Republic Commando is up to speed. RC is a tactical first-person shooter which puts you in the well trained boots of the titular Republic Commando, specifically the leader of Delta squad, Boss.
The Republic Commandos' are like the the Rainbow Six' or Ghost Recons' of the Star Wars universe, elite soldiers trained to work as a team and to carry out special operations. Delta squad consists of you, the leader, a sniper (Sev), a demolitions expert(Scorch) and a hacker (Fixer).
Republic Commando isn't especially original when it comes to gameplay and design but it's how it presents itself and.... well the fact that it's Star Wars that set it apart.
At first glance the HUD is very reminiscent of Halo:CE, you've got recharging shields and a health bar but on closer inspection it will remind you of the aforementioned Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. Your three NPC squad mates are with you for the majority of the game and while they are surprisingly self sufficient, the real fun comes in giving orders (which is surprisingly easy and intuitive to do) and watching your team eliminate a room full of enemies.
Talking about enemies, the droids in Republic Commando are nothing like their idiotic movie counterparts and make for some fearsome enemies. Then there are the flying Geonosians and the savage Trandoshian slave traders to mix up the action.
Missions are tightly designed and the action always reaches a nice crescendo towards the end of a level. For example one mission starts off as a reconnaissance through a seemingly deserted ship and ends in a fight for survival as you and your team try to fend of a droid invasion.
Personally I still think it's amazing that for all the shit that has come out of Star Wars it still manages to compel me and stories like that in RC remind me that there still are some tales worth witnessing in this universe. The characters are well written and likeable and RCs' rendition of the Star Wars universe is much darker than anything that had and has been released since then.
Bodies spill blood, aliens and clones are ripped apart and your meele attack involves a wrist blade being shoved into an enemies face with blood or oil squirting onto your visor (the cool thing is the blood is then washed off by screen wipers implemented into the visor).
But blood and gore aside, Republic Commando is quite fantastic and I really recommend that if you still have any interest in Star Wars and enjoy first-person shooters you check this one out. Coincidently the game is on sale right now if you head over to steam so enjoy.
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