This game seems shamelessly derivative, but the exciting pace of its single-player mode makes for a splendid experience.

User Rating: 7 | Star Wars: Republic Commando PC

It is very rare indeed for a game that is based in the Star Wars universe to lack lightsabers and the presence of the mysterious Force. It is even rarer for a Star Wars game to try to adapt game designs that have been seen in sci-fi shooters of other franchises instead of titles within the Star Wars franchise itself.

All these first impressions are not to the benefit of Star Wars: Republic Commando, which, on the surface, looks like an attempt by LucasArts to imitate Microsoft Games' Halo and exploit Star Wars canon at the same time. In fact, one can accuse LucasArts of being half-hearted with this plan too, as it shelved plans for a sequel well before this game was completed.

Commercial and production wrangling aside, Republic Commando is a game that is worth noticing, because of its surprisingly excellent single-player experience.

It has to be said here first that the depiction of the Clone soldiers in the prequel movies were nonchalant at best; they were presented as little more than Redshirts (to borrow a Star Trek-related term for inconsequential tertiary characters that would meet their demise soon enough).

Therefore, it may be to the player's dismay that in the single-player mode, he/she takes control of one of the Republic Commandos, which are the more elite variants of the Clone soldiers. However, any apprehension that may be had from having to take on the role of some character that does not even have a proper name would be dispelled by the surprisingly epic prologue.

The introduction sequence depicts the Kaminoans in more meaningful ways than the prequel movies had, showing them as more than just amoral providers of cloned soldiers. The Kaminoans, with their soothing yet slightly unsettling voices, are shown as careful and efficient nurturers of professional soldiers, with more care and attention shown by them to those that they have marked out to be Commandos.

Yet, the intro sequence also raises more questions than it answers existing ones: the lanky Kaminoans do not appear to be built for war and yet are training soldiers, to cite an example. Of course, Star Wars fans that know of the canon behind them through works of fiction under the Expanded Universe label and LucasArts' collaboration with animation and comic studios would know of the answers, but the game itself will not provide them.

Anyway, after a series of flashes that shows the protagonists' progress in his training and his culmination into the ranks of the elite Commandos as a squad leader, he is introduced to his squad mates, all of whom are also Commandos. Despite being clones of Jango Fett, only the protagonist, who is nicknamed "Boss", has his voice-acting provided by Temuera Morrison, and is the closest in personality to Jango Fett. The others have very different voice-overs and personality quirks that mark them out as deviations, which may be a surprise to those who had expected clones to be almost identical in demeanour.

The reasons for these differences are not mentioned in the game, unfortunately, and instead have been reserved for LucasFilms-sanctioned novels that explain the deviations in personality among clones compared to their original template. Still, this gap in the narrative design would not diminish the entertainment value of these four characters.

The other three Commandos have been described as having favoured roles, such as Scorch, who favours explosive solutions, but ultimately all of them are similarly skilled and can do what each other can do. However, their personal preferences are shown in-game, but in subtle manners that may be overlooked by the player. To cite one such occurrence, even though the commandos tend to use the blaster attachment of their guns most of the time (more on these later), they may unilaterally use the other attachments whenever the opportunity arises

For example, Sev, who has the role of team sniper, may switch over to the sniper attachment without being prompted, especially when there are enemies that are too far away to deal with the blaster attachment.

Such occurrences are desirable though, as unlike the protagonist, the other Commandos have the advantage of having unlimited ammunition reserves, which is a convenient if unbelievable game design.

Anyway, returning to the intro sequence, the player can have the protagonist moving about and shooting, but it is ultimately not a tutorial, which does not begin until the first mission of the game. The first mission typically starts with a scenario where the protagonist is required to do the usual things like duck under obstacles or jump over them and learn about other fundamentals, though this is done against the backdrop of a rather hectic battle.

Soon enough, the player is introduced to the game mechanisms for health and shields through an inconvenient explosion that injures the protagonist. The consequences of said harm on the protagonist are shown through changes in the visual indicators for remaining health and shields.

These visual indicators are shown on-screen via a heads-up-display that looks as if the player is looking through a visor, which may not be desirable as it may obscure part of the view. However, only the upper and lower edges of the screen are partially obscured, fortunately; there will not be many threats that come from beneath the protagonist's feet or from above him.

Afterwards, the player is prompted to have the protagonist find cover and wait for his shields to recharge, which would seem very familiar to veterans of the first Halo game. However, health does not regenerate, as the player would notice soon enough. Fortunately, just some paces away, there are some conveniently placed bacta dispensers that the protagonist can use to refill his health meter.

Eventually, the player will encounter the first combat situation in the game, where a bunch of droids are threatening fellow clone soldiers but are apparently unprepared for a clone Commando. The player is introduced to the Commando's very versatile weapon, which is a gun with three different attachable/removable barrels, though only one is available for use in the early parts of the tutorial.

The three different attachments are practically three different weapons when considered from a gameplay perspective, of course. However, the aesthetic presentation of the switching of attachments can be quite impressive to behold, as it shows that the gun is not just a cluster of polygons that have been rigidly attached to each other to create a model.

Anyway, returning to the tutorial segments, the default attachment, which is called the blaster attachment, turns the gun into an assault rifle. It works very much like one expects of an assault rifle in video games, so while it is a reliable weapon, it is not a remarkable one. In fact, the visual indicator for total ammo reserves, which is a text display that uses plain digits, may remind a player of other sci-fi shooters that have done the same.

On the other hand, the visual indicator for the remaining ammunition in its magazine is very much thematically appropriate for a Star Wars game. It is also more convenient to monitor than a set of numbers. The same designs are also extended to the other attachments, which make for a distinct aesthetic theme for the Commandos' standard-issue gun.

Much like any other sci-fi shooter, there are explosive objects that can be shot at to kill clumps of stupid enemies in Republic Commando; that explosive cylinders appear in the tutorial segment would indicate this. As is often typical of enemies in sci-fi shooters, enemies in this game tend to be unaware of explosive hazards. Of course, this game has the excuse that the Separatist droids are canonically stupid, but this stupidity also extends to other enemies in this game, including the more professional of enemies.

In the tutorial, the player is also reminded of the sidearm that the protagonist has. The sidearm itself would be a reminder of the trope of fall-back weapons with theoretically unlimited ammunition but weak damage output. It has very limited utility due to its low damage outpu, and it could have been a lot more useful if it can be brought to bear a lot faster.

Another weapon that the tutorial informs the player of is the protagonist's arm-mounted retractable blade. A tap of a button has the player character making a quick jab at whatever is in front of him, inflicting a significant amount of damage before quickly pulling his arm back and bringing his gun up again. Such quick animations make the melee attack a very convenient option for close-combat.

A few minutes afterwards (assuming that the player does not dally around to watch the chaos in the background), the tutorial segment introduces thermal detonators , which are the Star Wars-equivalent of frag grenades. Like frag grenades in other shooters, thermal detonators are thrown at groups of enemies or close to enemies behind cover to inflict unto them an explosive demise. There are also obstacles that are scripted such that they can only be destroyed with the application of a thermal detonator.

At last, the tutorial segment introduces one of the squadmates, using him to show the player how he/she can make use of the game mechanisms for squad commands. How these are done may seem a bit contrived: the player directs them to take cover behind waist-high obstacles with virtual-reality icons hovering over them, upon which they will deploy the gun attachments that are associated with said icons and attack targets of opportunity. However, if enemies manage to land grenades near their pieces of cover or if an enemy has come up too close, they will autonomously cancel whatever they are doing to deal with the imminent threat, such as rolling away from grenades.

That squadmates can only perform these actions while behind conveniently placed waist-high cover can seem cheesy and perhaps even lazy, but otherwise this system functions satisfactorily and the fire support from squadmates can be a lot more helpful than having them fire on enemies with the default blaster attachment.

Anyway, the first of these squadmates that the player will encounter is the aforementioned Scorch, whom the player would soon direct to do something that the player character can do alone, but which is better off done by a squadmate so that the player remains aware of the situation.

That is not to say that they do a poor job of protecting the player character when he is doing these things himself; this is the more expedient option if the player is trying to conserve ammunition for the player character. On the other hand, the player character will often be looking at a wall or a large object while doing so, and the sensor strip at the top of the HUD is not enough to compensate for the removal of situational awareness.

Eventually, the player will encounter the remaining two squadmates. The player will be directing them to take up positions to snipe, throw grenades, bombard enemies with anti-armor rounds and hack open doors, among other actions, provided that the current area has context-sensitive locations (that is, waist-high obstacles) with the necessary scripts to make these happen. In some scenarios, enemies can destroy certain waist-high obstacles to deny them to the player, so the player has to expend these pieces of cover wisely so that squadmates can provide optimal covering fire.

Perhaps an option to have squadmates deploy their special weapons on the spot instead of having to get behind cover could have been better for the game, but considering that squadmates have unlimited ammunition, the latter is perhaps the more reasonable design from the perspective of gameplay balance.

The player will also come across the remaining two gun attachments for the Commando's standard-issue gun. Like the blaster attachment, they are not very remarkable, but are otherwise reliable.

One of these is the sniper attachment which converts the gun into a sniper rifle (fittingly enough), which functions as expected. The other, which is the Anti-Armor attachment, turns the gun into a grenade launcher that fires grenades that explode on impact and which are apparently effective against heavily armored opponents. Ammo for these attachments, especially the Anti-Armor one, is rarer than the ammo for the blaster attachment, so these should only be used sparingly.

The standard-issue gun and its attachments are not the only weapons around. Enemies in the game often have their own weaponry, which the player character (and only the player character) can appropriate and carry as a secondary gun. These other weapons are quite different from the Commandos' standard-issue gun, though veterans of sci-fi shooters may see them as facsimiles of what have already been seen in the sci-fi shooter subgenre for a long while.

The Geonosian Laser gun is the first of these to be encountered. It is an energy beam projector, which applies continuous damage on anything that is on the other end of the laser beam that it fires. It cannot be recharged or reloaded in any way, so the player character has to swap out a stolen gun for another, fresher one if the former is running out of charge.

Being a Star Wars shooter, Republic Commandos will not be complete without a Heavy Repeater. This often appear together with bruisers that are hard to take down quickly, but the reward for defeating them – this gun – can be worth the trouble, as it is very good at mowing down unarmored enemies. Then, there is Republic Commando's analogy of the shotgun, the Array Gun. As expected of a typical shotgun, it is a pump-action weapon that is most effective at very close ranges, but useless otherwise. Another facsimile of familiar weapons in shooters is the Trandoshan SMG, which as its name suggests, is a submachinegun.

Wookiees are featured in this game as allies, and they are usually armed with their signature Bowcasters. The player character can appropriate one off their armouries – or corpses. The Bowcaster fires plasma bolts that can bounce off walls or off the ground, thus allowing for indirect fire (though the ricocheting can be unpredictable), and it also has a zoom option (though the bolts are not fast enough to reliably hit faraway enemies). It can also be charged to fire more powerful shots. In other words, the Bowcaster is a weapon that requires quite a lot of finesse to use.

The Concussion Rifle is a weapon of suppression, which fires powerful sonic blasts that can easily kill weak targets. This is the game's facsimile of the dumb-fire rocket launcher archetype in sci-fi shooters. It is very rare however, so there will not be many opportunities to use it in the story mode.

The last gun to be featured in the game is the Wookiee Rocket Launcher, which is a homing rocket launcher. The player can choose to fire its payload as a dumb-fire rocket, or lock onto a target and fire a homing one – or more than one, if the player can track said target long enough after the weapon has already locked onto it.

These other non-Commando guns also offer their own method of melee attacks. For example, the Wookiee Rocket Launcher, as befitting its size, is used outright as a bludgeon in close-combat, whereas the Geonosian Laser gun is a powerful shocking rod when used as a melee weapon.

However, when they are assessed with purely gameplay considerations in mind, all of the guns in this game are unremarkable weapons that have done what so many other sci-fi shooters have done already. If there is any value to using them, it is the remarks that the protagonist and his comrades make when they encounter them for the first time.

The player character also has access to grenades in addition to guns, and these are thrown via tapping a button that has been dedicated to the throwing of grenades, not unlike what has been done in sci-fi shooters like Halo. Impressions of imitation aside, throwing grenades in Republic Commando is a satisfactorily functional feature.

If there is anything interesting about grenades, it is that there are four types of grenades, one of which – the thermal detonator – has been mentioned earlier. The other three have a lot of tactical value in the single-player mode.

EC grenades are devastating against robotic enemies, namely droids; droids that are affected by EC grenades are temporarily stunned, gibbering hilarious nonsense all the while. They are also damaged while they are stunned, making them much easier to eliminate. EC grenades can also be used on organic enemies, though the stunning duration and damage output is much reduced.

Sonic grenades are grenades that explode automatically if there happens to be an enemy close by, which may seem to make them the facsimile of proximity-triggered grenades; they can also be applied onto walls and floors, practically becoming proximity-triggered mines too. Sonic grenades will automatically explode within fifteen seconds of being thrown, so the player will not be able to abuse this to ambush enemies that the player knows will appear on-screen later. They also do not work well against armored enemies.

On the other hand, there appears to be a caveat with the sonic grenades: in addition to exploding when there are living enemies near them, they also explode when there are corpses of enemies nearby. This may actually be a glitch instead of a deliberate game design.

Flashbangs typically explode with flashes of intense light when detonated, blinding any organic creatures that are in their area of effect. The flashes stun affected enemies, rooting them to the spot for a few seconds while they are rendered helpless. It does not work on droids, however.

The enemies in the game are drawn from Star Wars canon. Gameplay-wise, many of them are quite stupid and easy to overcome once the most efficient method to eliminate them has been discovered, so players that are looking for a challenge may well be disappointed. However, it is worth noting here that the portrayal of some of them in Republic Commando is quite different from that in the movies. In fact, it may even be better, or at least a bit more dignified.

There are the battle droids, which are not any more different from those seen in the movies; they are numerous, weak and comical. There may be some entertainment from destroying them in various ways, as they have a few different responses to different forms of impending destruction. However, they are not challenging to defeat at all; carefully applied thermal detonators and firing from cover are efficient methods at getting rid of them, whereas riskier solutions like well-timed rushes with the retractable blade might eliminate them even quicker.

In the movies, the Super Battle Droids were no less comical than their non-super variants, having high-pitched and raspy voices and being portrayed as little more than fatter versions of the lanky battle droids. In Republic Commandos, they are a lot more vicious and bad-tempered, and are implacable in their advance. They are very trigger-happy with their blaster cannons, which they use as clubs if the player makes the mistake of getting too close. They also have an energy shield that they will deploy if grenades land near them, which make them resistant to thermal detonators. They also have a charged-up attack that can immediately incapacitate a Commando if it connects.

However, the game has implemented some weaknesses for them, such as an especially acute vulnerability to Anti-Armor grenades and critical points that are revealed when the plates on their torsos are blown away. Alternatively, the player can attempt to blow their legs off first, after which they have to resort to crawling around, which makes them easier to ignore while the player deals with deadlier threats.

The Droidekas are featured in this game too, but unlike the Droidekas in the movies, their shields can be overwhelmed with concentrated fire (if the player does not use EC grenades outright). The player can also attempt to have the protagonist walk right into their shields, which immediately drop his own, but they are very vulnerable to melee attacks as they do not have the necessary A.I. scripts to fall back when enemies get too close.

Spider Droids are introduced as mini-bosses at first, but eventually there are more of them to be fought, often in levels where there are wider spaces that accommodate them. This can make their appearances rather predictable, but they are undeniably a competent challenge when compared to most droids. Its artillery can take down Commandos very quickly if they are caught out of cover, and it has missile launchers that are able to circumvent cover by firing the missiles overhead.

However, it has more than a few weakpoints, though hitting these with anything short of anti-armor weaponry would not inflict damage that is substantial enough to shorten the fight to less than a minute.

Republic Commandos also has a facsimile of the flying sci-fi nuisance, which is typically an enemy that flies around and pelts away at the protagonists with weak weapons. The Scavenger Droid, which this enemy is called, also resorts to suicide dives, which make it even more irritating to deal with. If it gets close enough, it also attempts to stick onto a victim's face and drill away. Coupled with the fact that the player does not get many rewards from wrecking Scavenger Droids, these designs make them the most infuriating enemies in the game.

Then, there are the guards for General Grievous, which have been built to counter Jedis. Far from being the pushovers and failures that they are in the movies, the ones in Republic Commando are very troublesome opponents, considering that they are far more mobile than they are in the movies and certainly more mobile than the Commandos.

Droids are not the only enemies to be fought, though they are fought throughout the entire game. The Geonosians, which do not get much screen-time in the movies, are present in this game as enemies that can choose to fly, land and move across the ground or take off again afterwards. They are usually armed with melee weapons, but they compensate for their lack of reach with dives and charges. Then, there are the Elites, which always fly and attack with the aforementioned Geonosian laser gun.

The Trandoshans do not get much screen-time in the prequel movies either, but they get plenty of that in Republic Commando. At first, there are only the pudgy Slavers which are quite easy to kill, especially with the help of squadmates. Afterwards, better trained and better armed Trandoshans appear, and these have a bit of squad-oriented A.I.

There appears to be a decent variety in the kinds of enemies that the player will face in the single-player mode, but unfortunately, the game dilutes this impression by having them appear over and over for many scenarios. This can make every battle seem similar to the last, and the linearity of the pacing of the single-player mode does not help alleviate this. In fact, the game can be seen as a crawl through corridors of varying sizes.

However, the game developers have devised each fight to be a scenario that is technically different from the previous one or the next one. For example, early on in the game, the player may face a simple and finite wave of battle droids that walk into the room, but later in the game, they are disgorged out of dispenser units or lowered down from conveyor lines. Another example is that the player may have a few ways to deal with Geonosians that fly into rooms, like shutting windows that they are using to fly in and out, whereas in more open environments, there is little that the player can do to prevent them from making diving attacks.

The different ways that enemies use for entering battle provide distinctly different challenges, which prevent the single-player mode from becoming stale.

How the Commandos enter battle is also another source of entertainment. Many rooms and corridors are separated from each other with locked bulkheads and doors; this can seem very contrived, i.e. they hide loading times. However, to make entry into the next area interesting, the player is given two options: a noisy one that involves squadmates breaching the door and chucking a grenade or two in to soften anything on the other side before rushing in, or a quieter option that has a Commando "slicing" (the Star Wars-equivalent of hacking) the locks on the door so that the player can decide to go in discreetly, which is sometimes better as the other option may cause enemies to man defences more quickly.

The challenges in the game often have to be overcome by making use of the protagonist's squad. This is done through giving commands to the squad that change their current behaviour. Most of these commands reinforce the corridor-crawl gameplay of the single-player mode, though this is perhaps for the better as they, together with the scenario designs, happen to enrich the otherwise stale experience.

The Search-and-Destroy command sets the squad to independently seek their targets and surge forward ahead of the player character, which is useful if the squad is facing weak and disparate enemies, battle droids being an example. Form-Up is a command that has the squad following the protagonist, forgoing opportunities for kills if keeping close to the squad leader is a priority. The player will be using this one a lot, especially later in the game when the player has to get the squad to a better vantage point and dig in there.

The Secure Sector command has the squad clearing the immediate area around the location where the player issued the command, which is handy if the player prefers that the squad hunker down around a corner to wait for enemies to come around it.

The Concentrate Fire command is very useful if the player wishes to terminate a target quickly, as the entire squad will actively attempt to expend their shots on whichever enemy that the player has marked for death; they will do this even if they have adopted roles after the player has sent them behind waist-high cover to perform special actions, e.g. after having Scorch take up a position to deploy his Anti-Armor grenades, the player can have him target a Super Battle Droid that is uncomfortably near another Commando instead of a Spider Droid that is in plain sight.

There are also turrets, which are quite ubiquitous in the sci-fi genre by then. However, instead of having to use the protagonist to man them, the player can direct squadmates to occupy them instead, which is desirable as the protagonist can be freed up to do something else. They can be a bit slow to respond to new threats that have appeared within range, but their aim is generally competent.

In the single-player mode, getting incapacitated is not the end for a commando (including the protagonist). Another Commando can come over to apply resuscitation, which restores up to half of the health of the revived Commando. The process can take a while, however, during which the Commando that is trying to help is vulnerable. However, if the protagonist is the one doing the resuscitating, the player can stop the process at any time to deal with imminent threats; the A.I, for the other commandos is similarly wise enough to do so.

The game makes use of Unreal Engine 2.0, without many modifications. Therefore, players who have played games that make use of the engine, which had been around since 2002, would not find much pizzazz that had not been seen before.

On the other hand, it is effective at projecting the vibe of Star Wars; to fans of Star Wars, graphical effects like blaster-fire and shields flashing under fire appear to be quite authentic and pay proper tribute to Star Wars. The insectoid Geonosians are convincingly twitchy as expected of hyper-active bugs, and all droids appear awkward and clumsy as they have been depicted in the prequel movies, to cite some examples.

The best graphical designs are appropriately reserved for the Commandos themselves. However, it has to be mentioned first that they resemble each other a bit too much; while they do appear to be visually different from Clone troopers, the differences that they have relative to each other are very subtle. The player has to be closer to them to appreciate these visual differences; otherwise, all of them share the same model silhouettes and even the same animations.

However, these animations are very impressive and believable. Their reloading animations look deft, their strafing and shooting are convincingly authentic and their grenade throws appear suitably strenuous, among other animations that have benefited from apt motion-capture. There are also close-combat animations, such as those that the Commandos use to eliminate Trandoshan slavers that have gotten too close with their knives (and which the player can exploit by having said enemies attack Commandos other than the protagonist),

Unfortunately, these impressive animations do not entirely extend to the protagonist himself. For example, the player does not get to have the protagonist pull off the same impressive close-combat animations on Trandoshan slavers; the most that the player can have the protagonist do against them is stab repeatedly with the retractable blade, and the animations for this are always the same for each and every stab. In other words, the protagonist would not seem as awesome as his squadmates.

As mentioned earlier, the game uses visual indicators that resemble a virtual-reality interface; this is to mainly help the player issue commands to the squad. For example, silhouettes of Commandos appear behind waist-high cover when they are looked at, which inform the player that he/she can have squadmates take up the appropriate position. These silhouettes disappear if the protagonist comes close, thus preventing them from obscuring the view.

On the other hand, some of the visual indicators are not entirely reliable, or at least not well described by the game. For example, there is a coloured ring that is centred on a squadmate that has been given grenade-tossing duty; the ring is supposed to indicate the range in which the squadmate will throw grenades, but it is actually the range that indicates his target prioritizing, i.e. he will throw grenades at targets within the ring before engaging any other enemy further away, if he can throw that far (and squadmates can throw grenades surprisingly far).

Some of the gameplay-associated graphical designs are not tightly designed. For example, a crafty player may notice that when a squadmate has entered a position to perform Sniping or Anti-Armor roles, his animations and A.I. scripts reset; this can be exploited to circumvent reloading animations and balancing designs, such as those for squadmates that have been assigned Anti-Armor work.

Moreover, some characters may have been given visual designs that deviate slightly from canon. For example, Wookiees are generally canonically tall, but not heavily built; in Republic Commando, they are mountainous creatures that are noticeably wider than what Star Wars fans would expect of Wookiees. On the other hand, the portrayal of their personality in this game is much in line with their canonical personality of fierce independence.

Overall, the graphical designs for Republic Commando are satisfactory at projecting the vibe of Star Wars, yet they are also adequate enough to present different portrayals of tertiary characters that have been in the prequel movies only as comic relief and Redshirt roles.

The sound designs for the game are similarly satisfactory. Some aural trademarks of Star Wars are present, such as blaster fire (though lightsaber hums are conspicuously absent of course). However, some sounds have been redesigned to make them more severe, such as the explosions of thermal detonators, which is perhaps for the better (to those who prefer more severe noises of course).

The voice-overs are the main way that the game uses to present the characters in the game differently compared to the movies. Although the voice qualities of some characters have not been changed from what they were in the prequel movies, such as those for the whimsically dysfunctional battle droids, most others have. The aforementioned Super Battle Droid, with its deeper and fiercer voice, is one such example.

The best voice-overs in the game are of course those for the Commandos. As mentioned earlier, Temuera Morrison provided the voice-acting for the protagonist, and he still sounds as level-headed and menacing as he was when portraying Boba Fett and Jango Fett. The other Commandos may not have the same voice talents, but they are still appropriate for their individual personalities, such as the growling voice-over for the morose Sev.

Their voice-acting is not just for aesthetic purposes too; some of it plays a role in the gameplay of the single-player mode. For example, squadmates who have been assigned grenade-throwing duty will handily call out the types of grenades that they will throw, which certainly helps in identifying the hazard that their grenades will pose and the kinds of enemies that they are currently targeting.

Perhaps the most exhilarating aspect of the sound designs is its music. Where one would expect the game to recycle John Williams' music from the movies, it did not. Instead, many of its tracks are licensed from bands that are fans of Star Wars, such as Ash; the rest are amalgams of the original music and new compositions by the game's music designer, Jesse Harlin; the most notable of these is the main track of the game, which is an ominous and hair-raising orchestral song. The overall result would be a fresh surprise for those who are tired of John Williams' tracks being rehashed over and over.

Whatever that have been described thus far are associated with the single-player mode of the game; unfortunately, its multiplayer mode is not as praise-worthy, and is actually unremarkable. There are only four types of multiplayer matches, all of which are staples of the sci-fi shooter genre, and none of which offers the experience in the single-player mode.

Capture-the-Flag will not offer anything beyond what has been done for this game type in the shooter genre. In fact, it may seem quite slow to veterans of sci-fi shooters, considering that the game does not have vehicles and the flags are very heavy objects that are difficult to pass around. Assault is little more than a variant of Capture-the-Flag. The other two modes are the cookie-cutter deathmatch and team deathmatch.

Considering the calibre of the designs for the pacing and experience of the single-player mode, the multiplayer mode seems tacked on. The biggest complaint, however, concerns a waste of potential: the game could have done a lot better by having a multiplayer co-op mode that goes through the story of the game.

In conclusion, Republic Commando may not feature Jedi, Sith, lightsabers and the Force, but it does a surprisingly good job at portraying what would be little more than secondary and tertiary characters in the Star Wars universe in worthwhile and engaging manners. Although it uses designs that have been around in the sci-fi shooter subgenre for a long while, its single-player mode has exciting pacing that makes good use of the squad-based mechanisms of the gameplay. Unfortunately, a comparatively unremarkable multiplayer mode dashes the value of this game.