With the new Star Wars film in theaters it was only fitting that I go back and finally play the next Star Wars game. It’s had a pretty good track record thus far and this one continues the saga on a high note. It has quite a few different gameplay modes considering that this is a movie tie in and the quality is surprisingly good. Throw in the multiplayer feature and we have ourselves a winner. It may not be Star Fox Assault, but it does as much as it can to try and rival it.
The Empire continues to be quite powerful. I believe they are referred to as the separatists this time around and the Jedi warriors have their hands full. They are fighting a losing war and need something to tip the scales. Luckily they have their two aces, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The two of them are quite powerful and that is good since the heroes need every warrior that they can get. The real question is….will these two be enough? If they aren’t, then the Dark Force stealer will end up sucking their powers dry and bringing the universe to the brink of ruin.
Right off the bat you can tell that this game wouldn’t be at the level that you may have expected from it. For starters, the controls are seamless and you can play this game as well as any AAA title. There are several gameplay modes as mentioned earlier so lets run through them all. First, we’ve got the tank gameplay. You control a tank and move quite quickly through the terrain, blasting all who stand in your way. You have your booster and missiles at your disposal. An endless supply of energy blasts also makes your tank a force to be reckoned with. This mode was a lot of fun and may have even been better than Star Fox Assault’s version.
Next, we have plane mode. You fly around using your green lasers to smite your opponents along with normal blasters and bombs. You feel truly powerful while in plane mode and it’s fun to rain bombs on the dozens of robots that get in your way. Again, this mode is actually smoother than Star Fox Assault’s and it’s crazy just how much destruction you can cause. You still have to be careful not to just rush in and get blasted, but you can survive for a while at 1 HP. I got caught on my last breath in two levels, but took advantage of the high speed turns to complete the level anyway. It was pretty exhilarating!
One mode that only appears once or twice in the game is where you control one of the large Tripod robots. It’s very slow which is a big weakness, but more than makes up for it with overwhelming destructive power. Most enemies will crumble after a second or two of being blasted. This mode was also a lot of fun. Finally, we have human combat. This is the only area where the game failed. It’s incredibly hard to hit anyone because the controls are too sensitive. Using the Force isn’t recommended either because you’ll have gotten blasted many times as you try to land a single hit. Throwing your lightsaber is easily the best attack, but try not to move as you do so or you’ll start running in circles. We didn’t get many human levels and perhaps that was for the best. Typically that would be the best mode of gameplay, but it was clearly less refined than the rest. It was still not bad though. If anything, it was just a little campy and I can get behind that.
There was also one racing level where you had to jump on a little scooter and breeze through the forest. That was probably one of the toughest levels as it was hard not to crash against all of the trees. There were so many obstacles lying about that it was pretty crazy, but also very satisfying to get past. That’s one thing that the game really did well, it was satisfying to play and complete the levels. The check points were put in good places for the most part so redoing the sections over and over again wasn’t too annoying.
I had to go back a few times because the game is actually fairly difficult. I played it on normal mode and most levels took me 3-4 tries to complete. If you wander into an enemy ambush then you’re going to die. There’s not much that you can do at that point. I had to resort to run and gun tactics for some levels when I was low on health. It’s very tense when you’re at low health and are still outnumbered 20-1. The difficulty was at the perfect notch where it was too hard to beat in one shot, but not cheap where an opponent could one shot you. You had to treat some of the enemies like Mega Man foes where you memorize the pattern and then rush in. Even then, I beat several bosses with only a sliver of health left.
My recommendation is to really use the health packs sparingly. If you’re at half health, don’t waste the full health pack yet. Wait until you’re as low as you feel comfortable waiting. It’ll end up paying off big time by the end. The ammo packs are also really handy since I just spam my full arsenal as soon as I get it filled up. It makes a big difference when you’re outnumbered since the missiles will scatter the opponents and take a lot of them down.
The graphics are pretty good. I like how the energy blasts look and the character models are sharp. The faces can be funny to look at though as they do try to be very expressive and it can result in some interesting results. The game did the most that it could with the barren landscapes that it had to work with. The soundtrack is excellent as it uses many themes from the movies. You’ll probably recognize just about all of them. Even Darth Vader’s theme plays several times as you go through the game. A lot of the music is reused over and over again as the soundtrack is quite small, but it is effective.
Another factor that helps the game is its replay value. The title has a multiplayer mode in it so that helps a lot since you can always challenge a friend at the game. Multiplayer mode is a must if you want to earn an extra star from me and it really helps solidify this game as an 8 instead of as a 7. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I definitely will within the next few days or so. There is also some single player replay value as well as you can try to complete all of the bonuses to unlock illustrations and such. I got a good chunk of the bonuses naturally, but the ones that are left do seem quite difficult to unlock. Keeping your allies alive seems to be a recurring theme and that’s one thing that I’m not so good at.
If I had any complaint for this game, it’s that I’d like for less of the levels to be about protecting people. I lost quite a few times because my allies died as opposed to it being due to me losing. The levels where it was just me still had me die sometimes, but it felt more legitimate as in those cases it was just an instant where the villains planned better than I did. At 16 levels, the game had a good amount of missions in its arsenal so I just think that they could have redistributed it a little better.
Overall, This is a very good Star Wars game. I’m not going to say that it is the absolute best because I believe that Bounty Hunter may still deserve that title, but it is really close. The fact that it can actually beat Star Fox Assault in some areas really speaks volumes since that is a completely elite title. Star Fox ultimately wins though because of a superior story, multiplayer, graphics, and soundtrack among other things, but that’s not a strike against The Clone Wars. It has a good amount of content for the low price that you can get it for and I’d highly recommend it even if the game was a little more money. It’s just a solid game through and through. Trust me, you’ll have a blast blowing everything up with your crazy arsenal. I can’t say that I’ve played many games at all where you have this much power to unleash on the environment.