Star Wars: Republic Commando
Genre(s): Adventure, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Playstation)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 06/04/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
A long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away…
Star Wars: Republic Commando has finally made its modern console release. The Star Wars-themed squad-based FPS was originally released back in 2005 for the Xbox and PC. Star Wars: Republic Commando follows a clone spec-ops team through a story set within the Star Wars Legends expanded universe. As Delta Squad you have to endure increasingly difficult missions set through the Clone Wars. But does the once much applauded FPS still hold up? Find out in my Rapid Review…
Star Wars: Republic Commando places you in the boots of RC-1138 (‘Boss’), who is an elite Clone Trooper known as a ‘Clone Commando’, as well as the leader of Delta Squad. Delta Squad is comprised of fellow Clone Commandos, RC-1262 (“Scorch”), RC-1140 (“Fixer”), and RC-1207 (“Sev”). Throughout the story, Delta Squad not only have to contend with the opening acts of the Galactic wide Clone Wars, but also they need to learn to bond as a team.
In terms of story, Republic Commando is one of the more interesting Star Wars tales. It’s a shame that the events told within are now relegated to Star Wars Legends as the whole Republic Commando package is a nice build-up to Revenge of the Sith. The story takes place over five different locations which chart Delta Squad’s operations from the opening battle on Geonosis, to conclude at the Battle of Kashyyyk. It’s an incredibly interesting story that not only adds personality to the Republic’s Clone Army but also builds upon both the Clone Wars and the turmoil seen in Revenge of the Sith.
The gameplay of Star Wars: Republic Commando is very reminiscent of other FPS titles. You have access to various weapons and equipment throughout the story which range from traditional Star Wars weapons. The main difference to the gameplay is that you act as squad leader and as such you can issue various commands to your team. Aside from issuing generic commands such as, regrouping, room clearing, and defending a marked position. Various objectives will appear within the world that will allow special orders to be performed. For example, sealed doors can either be hacked or breached with a synchronised breach-and-clear, or you can order the team’s Sniper, to hang back and cover you from a vantage point.
Each mission features an overall objective that needs to be completed to progress. These range from destroying strategic locations, to defeating certain “boss” characters – or vehicles. Family is the beating heart of Republic Commando. And as such, each mission requires a sense of teamwork to accomplish. It’s great to see the commandos develop their bond throughout and it’s through the gameplay that this is achieved. If anything Republic Commando plays like an arcade version of a hard-core tactical shooter. It has all the tactical prowess, in a ‘dumbed down’ FPS format.
Back in the day, Republic Commando was noted for being the first Star Wars game to feature licensed music. Thankfully this still rings true within this enhanced port. Aside from the occasional use of John Williams orchestral brilliance, Republic Commando takes a somewhat original approach. The soundtrack is more gritty and military centre. It’s a far cry from the romantic overtones of The Skywalker Saga, yet gives you that familiar Star Wars feel.
Sound effects also play a big part in any Star Wars game. While we don’t necessarily hear the buzz of a Lightsaber or the scream of a TIE Fighter, all the classic Star Wars sounds are here. A bonus is that Temuera Morrison lends his vocals to Delta Squad which brings the characters to life.
While Republic Commando isn’t the best game to look at, it’s most certainly not the worst. Graphics feel very dated and many of the locations feel flat and lack detail. Enemies also feel a little dated in their design, yet they do retain their classic looks. There is the odd frame rate issue here and there. This is more prevalent during the larger firefights or when moving into a new area. It is however a minor detail that didn’t detract from my rediscovery of this classic title.
The only real issue I had with Republic Commando was with its subtitles. Due to the text being yellow, it is often blended in with the background. Whilst I don’t necessarily rely on using subtitles, a few gamers do, which could then lead to an accessibility issue.
I’ve enjoyed re-discovering Star Wars: Republic Commando. It’s one of those Star Wars games that’s good – and let’s face it there’s a lot that’s terrible! While Republic Commando isn’t a game that you’ll come back to often. Its story is a great companion to both Episodes 2, 3, and Clone Wars. Republic Commando explores the more militaristic, gritty side of the Star Wars Universe and it’s a great escape from the tales of the Jedi and the Sith.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Republic Commando is available from the Nintendo eShop by clicking here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.