The third of the Star Wars prequels promises to be the darkest yet, as it chronicles Anakin's fall to the Dark Side. We've not yet seen how Hayden Christensen grapples with the complexities of this metamorphosis, but his 50x15-pixel sprite representation is incredibly emotive. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith lets you play from the perspectives of your favorite Jedi as they hack through the Clone Army that Emperor Palpatine has sicced on them. The game looks great and it has a pretty compelling plot. Unfortunately, some major design oversights prevent this game from truly feeling like an epic.
You'll start the game as Anakin, and you're initially tasked with finding Count Dooku and defeating him in combat. From there, the plot develops, and you'll eventually play as Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Yoda as they fight to prevent the execution of the Republic's Jedi at the hands of the Clone Army. The Jedi all play identically, although their battle animations vary slightly. You can advance, jump, swing your lightsaber, dash at an incredibly fast rate, block, and perform a force push or special attack. These last two actions drain your force meter, which is recharged whenever you hack away at your foes or pick up the appropriate power-up. This combat system is deep for a mobile game, and it animates very nicely. Unfortunately, the appeal is over once you learn to exploit the game's sloppy design.
Whenever you collide with an opponent, you become invulnerable for a very short period of time. If you press the dash key at this point, it's possible to move right through your opponent while remaining impervious to his laser blasts. In this way, it's possible to arrive at the end of a level without fighting a single robot or clone. The later stages, in which up to five clones attack you at once, seem to have been designed with this exploit in mind.
When you reach a boss battle, you pass an invisible checkpoint. Usually, power-ups are placed just a bit earlier in the level. As bosses are only vulnerable to your special attack, you'll have to perform this several times, and you'll have to leave the battle to do so. Your best bet is to die once, which causes all power-ups and enemies to respawn. You can then intermittently backtrack in order to recharge your health and force meters. Your enemy will patiently await your return each time. This feels like cheating, and it probably is cheating. It seems to be the only winning strategy, however, and it represents a serious design flaw.
THQ Wireless has not put John Williams' Oscar-winning Star Wars score to work. It has instead made sparse use of stock Series 60 beeps. A horrible, monophonic MIDI version of the Star Wars overture plays as the game begins. After that, you'll mostly be playing in silence.
Fans are going to buy this game for its use of the film's characters and storylines. Realizing this, THQ Wireless has made it look as good as possible on the Nokia 6620. The company has succeeded in this regard, but failed to implement gameplay or audio to match. Fans will eat up this game's visuals and exposition, but will be let down by its lackluster elements.