Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Hands-On

We get an updated look at LucasArts' upcoming Wii action game based on the CG Star Wars movie.

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LucasArts' upcoming Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels for the Wii is one step closer to the fan-requested lightsaber-dueling game that seems like a perfect fit for the motion-controlled console. The game is based on the film of the same name, which is part of a lengthy daisy chain of content that includes a forthcoming CG television show. The core of the multimedia blitz is a story that follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and pre-Padme-freak-out Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader, as they fight against the evil Sith and the separatist forces. For those keeping your timelines in order at home, the movie, television series, and game all take place between Episodes II and III. We recently had the chance to get an updated look at the game at LucasArts' offices.

Lightsabers and the Wii Remote--together at last.

As we mentioned in our last look at the game, the core of the action in The Clone Wars is fighting. The game's structure is a linear run through a variety of locales taken from the movie, in which you'll fight familiar faces from the Star Wars universe. The fighting is wrapped in a storyline penned by writers from the film and upcoming television series, and it follows the basic plot of the film. In a nutshell, Anakin and company are on the hunt for Jabba the Hutt's son, who has been kidnapped. Besides looking for the mini-Hutt, the Jedi are obviously keen to bring his abductors to justice. But, like everything about the Clone Wars, there are more sinister forces in play than anyone realizes.

The fighting in the game benefits from the Wii's motion-control support and an intuitive spread of control responsibilities between the remote and the Nunchuk. The remote is your lightsaber and responds pretty reliably to your actions. The Nunchuk handles movement and lets you access your Force powers. By using both in tandem, you can create a modest array of combos. A modifier to the control and handling in the game is the character that you wind up selecting for battle. All of the game's fighters have their own attributes and handling, which gives them a unique feel. You'll unlock 10 characters as you go through the game, three of which should offer some nice surprises for fans.

The visuals in the game get a lot of mileage out of the motion picture's stylized look. The fighters look spot-on when compared to their movie counterparts, as do the environments. One thing to note is that each of the main environments is made up of three different sections that you fight in during the course of the fight. Although most are what you'd expect--Rancor-infested dungeons, spaceship interiors, and the like--we were pretty taken with a skytop base. The lofty arena is set on a floating platform that, in the latter part of the fight, is falling toward the planet's surface while you battle. Best of all is the game's frame rate, which is smooth and fast, key factors for a fighter. We should also call out the introductory cinematics that set up the battles and tell the story, given that they're done in retro World War II-style news bulletins complete with an emphatic announcer. The cinematics make use of CG from the film to set up the action, and they work well with the game's style.

The audio in the game covers all of the expected bases. You'll hear a good chunk of familiar Star Wars themes along with some of the new stuff that is being done for the film. You'll also hear all of the characters voiced by their movie counterparts. There are apparently 4,000 lines of character-specific dialogue to ensure that everyone gets a proper callout. As far as sound effects go, all of the classic lightsaber effects can be heard in the game, and they're even piped through the Wii Remote's speaker, so won't have to supply your own.

Based on what we saw, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels should be almost exactly what fans are looking for. There's a good mix of content from the film, the upcoming series, and the expanded universe to sate any burning cravings that the Star Wars faithful are having. Aside from the characters, there is also a decent array of unlockable content to open up, such as concept art, alternate costumes, and play modes. The game may not be the first-person lightsaber stabfest that the fans have been craving on the Wii, but it's a good step in that direction. Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels is slated to ship November 11 for the Nintendo Wii, and you can look for more on the game in the coming months.

Discussion

108 comments
maul76
maul76

This game NEEDS to have an online mode. How can you have a lightsaber dueling game without an online mode???

LostSoul1974
LostSoul1974

If they pull this off, it has the potential to be sweet!

Metroid827
Metroid827

Only if Nintendo would allow the use of wii motion plus...The controls would be so much better.

Leonagard
Leonagard

ok.... hope... prey... I dont know ahahah... Im thinking about sell my wii... and play like the old days... :( but I still have hope... and Mario Kart...

taroking
taroking

they make it sound good but i think the controls are gonna suck

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I wouldn't be opposed to a delay if that meant including Motion+ enhancements.

JTpcwarrior
JTpcwarrior

I can't wait but does anyone know what the actual date is

connorb93
connorb93

This is the first step in the right direction. For the star wars kid (search youtube for the vid if you haven't seen it) this will be a miracle. But for your average person, this game will be kind of meh. However, hopefully someone will build on it and build a really good swordfighting type action rpg, like red steel but better. If the controls for Force Unleashed were like this, it would be BAM. It's pretty badass already though, that game is gonna be cool

ctburesch
ctburesch

thk123, Star Wars The Force Unleashed will be an amazing game. Mediocre? I don't think so.

Koal_Jadian
Koal_Jadian

wow, this looks terrible. Kinda like the movie. Star wars has been ruined, it is the time for Star Trek to return!

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

jajaj this game is tottally obsolet without motion plus, the devs I would like to see the faces of the developers during Nintendo Press conference, they probably wanted to kill themselves

thk123
thk123

Why couldn't the devs work on Forces Unleashed so we get one amazing game rather than two (probably) mediocre-good games

The_Wolf22
The_Wolf22

@ MichaeltheCM: The Force Unleashed. And it's going to be God's (and GL's) gift to Star Wars gamers. ;) I personally am getting it for PSP, and for my uncle's PS2, for his b-day. Looks awesome on all platforms. Especially the cranked-up graphics... Sucks I don't have a Wii, though, this game looks pretty promising.

asimplerapper
asimplerapper

film was crap. Game seems to focus on fighting only whihc doesn't seem to be too deep

thenewau25
thenewau25

hmm nice gmae for the wii, because of the controllers the rest...

DarthMichael20
DarthMichael20

I might have to check this out. My g/f and I are SW freaks and normally neither of us would hesitate about a lightsaber game....

commandokiller
commandokiller

Agreed, PorthiosII. They never actually described how well the motion sensing works, what the forces powers are (though one can guess), and how fluid (or not) the gameplay and combos are. Poor preview. Really, this game seems pretty much like a watered down Force Unleashed, except you get to wave around your lightsaber instead of tapping a button.

MichaeltheCM
MichaeltheCM

i think i'll just wait for the movie and that other star wars game. i forget the name but it looks pretty sweet :)

daveg1
daveg1

this should be good........

needagoodname
needagoodname

PorthiosII: You mean GameSPOT? I'm pretty sure Gamestop doesn't preview games.

PorthiosII
PorthiosII

Why is that GameStop just cannot seem to deliver when it comes to describing gameplay. Look, you got a hands on experience with the freaking game. Now, is it fun? Why or why not. People don't want to know about the damned sound, story, or graphics. That's what we have trailers for. We want to know how the game plays. GameStop fails, and that's why it's the butt end of jokes across the internet.

Posiedonrox666
Posiedonrox666

Oh no this game is gonna be disasterous. Star Wars for the Wii its too complex and fustrating its gonna be awful controls and horrible graphics.

DarthEthong467
DarthEthong467

Why would they make another? They all ready announced that the Wii-mote feature will be in the Nintendo version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Kooleman8
Kooleman8

That's Right without the motion plus this would be a S#"!T

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

ironraven24, actually this game doesn't use Wii Motion Plus. Lucasarts recently revealed that they were upset with Nintendo for not mentioning anything about Motion Plus to them before they had finished most of the game.

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

ironraven24, actually this game doesn't use Wii Motion Plus. Lucasarts recently revealed that they were upset with Nintendo for not mentioning anything about Motion Plus to them before they had finished most of the game.

Hynnin
Hynnin

I wonder how the motion in the wii will affect the game, Im just imagining swinging like in red steel...tsc tsc

ironraven24
ironraven24

Cpt awsm, its being used with the Wii-Motion Plus, I belive you it would be very responsive.

BlackKnightOfH8
BlackKnightOfH8

I wish they'd stop and just let Star Wars die or make some new stuff for it. How many times can you remake the damn clone wars?

DarkSan00
DarkSan00

force unleashed looks better, still, if it turns out good I might get it. Clone wars BLOWED tho'

cpt_awsm
cpt_awsm

looks pretty great. only if the wii mote was more responsive.

Mujulioj
Mujulioj

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Killer2401
Killer2401

This won't work without the add-on...

cfamgcn
cfamgcn

Hmm... looks interesting :D

cfamgcn
cfamgcn

Hmm... looks interesting :D

duckrocker4lyfe
duckrocker4lyfe

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

elozl
elozl

I bet this will be great even without the new add-on

Kinger789
Kinger789

Wii sensor is not sensitive enough yet - I bet this will suck

SilentCard
SilentCard

Finally! It's about time they start working hard on a sword-dueling game for the Wii.

Durhamster
Durhamster

I'm crossing my figures for this one but not putting all my eggs in one basket...(dang that was cliche)

Mystoksor
Mystoksor

so... will this be any better than jedi lightsaber battles?

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Looks bad, the range of motion is immense, human free movement is very hard to capture in real time, meaning there will always be bugs until we have a complete VR system which won't happen anytime soon. This is why Wii games are only really good for minor movement games, complex movement like this will get buggy.