Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 12/10/02 | Genre: Action
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a title I have been anticipating for the last few months after it was showcased at E3. However, after playing the final copy, is it worth a purchase?
The basic story line of the game begins after Star Wars: Attack of the Clones ends. The game allows you to play as Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu or Obi-Wan Kenobi. The game places you during the greatest battles of the clone wars and your responsibility is to prevent Separatists from assembling a weapon of mass destruction.
The first thing that most players will realize off the bat is how simply laid out the menu is. There are basically three different options to choose from which include single player, options menu and multiplayer. The single player mode is split up as two thirds takes place in vehicles and the other third takes place as a Jedi fighting the Separatists. The game includes wide variety of vehicles and characters to add more of a Star Wars feeling. The single player mode is squad based, but mostly you'll be left to do all of your teams' dirty work. The game can be played from the first person or third person view. There are levels with multiple objectives. For example your first objective may be to destroy enemy fighter than guard and safely escort a supply convoy moving through hostile territory. The vehicles first off are a blast to fly, especially the gunship vehicle, which is fun to wreak havoc on, ground units. Although the vehicles do take some time to get used to. The game does also feature a large number of missions and unlock able items within the game as well.
The game really creates a great atmosphere of feeling like you're in an actual war zone blasting away enemies. This is where many games also go wrong as well. After playing for a few minutes you feel that the basic concept of the game is to seek and destroy everything you can. The game does get old quite quickly and boring as well especially if you're not a Star Wars fan. Another problem that many newbies will have is the missile control as well. The use of missile takes a while to get used to and sometimes you feel that you really have no control over your ships missiles, which is terrible when fighting large groups of enemies. The biggest problem with the vehicular combat is the terrible targeting system. The game uses an auto-lock target system, which is hindered by so many problems. Sometimes if your vehicle is locked onto a target and you turn the slightest one way the target will be lost. Sometimes the auto-lock on will for some reason lock on to your allies, which is just plain weird.
The game also allows you to fight as a Jedi using a light saber. This is a very poorly designed idea. To start off the Jedi doesn't seem to have many maneuvers to use against enemies and your light saber feels like a cheat. It feels almost impossible to die. Another problem with non-vehicular combat as a Jedi is the fact that your character seems very static and not very mobile.
The biggest disappointment is the terrible multiplayer options in the game. I am a huge multiplayer fan and multiplayer is always important to me in any game. On the back of the box of the game they praise about having a cooperative mode. I don't see any cooperative mode and the only evidence of a cooperative mode is a lame Jedi academy training course where you and a friend work together to defeat swarms of enemies using vehicles or your light saber. The multiplayer modes besides the Jedi Academy seem almost identical to one another. Different types of multiplayer modes include king of the hill, Duel and Conquest. Basically each multiplayer mode is basically aimed at killing your opponent or destroying your opponent's base. The multiplayer only supports two players and to add insult to injury there is no options of adding bots to any of the multiplayer modes.
The game's environments are nicely detailed and the lighting effects are nice as well. To go along with the nicely detailed environments, the environments are very interactive as well. Almost everything can be destroyed, which is much fun when relieving stress. All of the game's vehicles and character have very nice detail as well. The gameplay is brought down further by the terrible frame rate the game has. Sometimes the game dips below thirty frames per second. This usually occurs when there are too much action going and a large-scale battle going on. The enemies in the non-vehicular combat stages badly needed some work. The enemies look similar to stick men, which is a horrible sight on the PlayStaton 2.
Of course, like any Star Wars game the Clone Wars has the basic theme of the entire Star Wars movie along with great voice acting as well. The explosions and firing sounds are par and don't build on anything seen in past video games out on the new platforms. Sadly though the game did not optimize the DTS sound support for the PlayStaton 2. Only GameCube owners will enjoy the game's sound to the fullest.
Like most games that place you in vehicles the control schemes are quite difficult at the beginning. One big problem is the multiple functions of weapons on the controller. One problem I had was using the missiles without knowing that the L1 button controls the heat seeking missiles. An hour or so should be about the right time span to get acquainted with the games controls.
While the game does feature an impressive single player mode, the multiplayer is nothing to speak of since there are much better multiplayer flying games such as Ace Combat 4 and Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter. The game does also include a large list of unlockables, which can be unlocked by passing missions on different difficulty levels. At least there is one reason to go back and play the single player mode.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an above average game it is embedded with too many problems, which prevent it from being a serious competitor. The game sadly did not meet expectations, but hopefully this mean improvement in future titles from Lucas Arts. Non-Star Wars fans should check out Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter for some good old single player and multiplayer flying action. Fans of the Star Wars game should first rent this title before thinking of any purchase.