Star Wars: Republic Commando is an exciting, first-person shooter adventure that takes places in the expanding universe of Star Wars. In this game you will play as RC-38 (or "Boss"), the leader of Delta Squad - a group of clone soldiers who are much more independent, skilled and efficient in combat than their common brothers; clone troopers. They went through tough commando training and are the Republic's best units, ready for any mission and able to tip the odds of success in their favor every time.
Republic Commando takes you through three campaigns, which altogether last for 10 hours of fun, shooting, sneaking, blowing things up, smashing droids and many other things. Each campaign takes place in a different environment. The first campaign is staged on Geonosis, where the Clone Wars begin. The second is the mission to investigate a republic ship that has gone missing and recently reappeared far from its objective. The third and last campaign takes place on Kashyyyk, the planet of the Wookiees and ends right before the beginning events of the movie "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith". Each campaign is loads of fun and looks much different from the others. Also, each campaign has its own type of enemies, unique atmosphere and important mission objectives to complete.
When it comes to enemies, there is a lot of variety in Star Wars RC. You will fight: plenty of Battle Droids, the deadly Super Battle Droids, shielded Droidekas, ugly Geonosians, even uglier Geonosian babies, powerful Geonosian Elites, fat Trandoshan slavers, skilled Trandoshan mercenaries, tough-to-kill Trandoshan bosses, huge Spider Droids, annoying Scavenger Droids and even MagnaGuards (the personal guards of General Grievous). Each enemy has its own type of weapon, walking animation and voice. Some enemies will use jetpacks, Geonosians will fly using their bug-like wings, and Droidekas will roll when moving. There will be plenty of epic battles with loads of enemies, each type distinct from the other and each of their features making the battlefield come alive every time!
As mentioned before, each enemy type carries its own type of weapon which means that there are loads of toys to play with in this game. I will not list all of them because there is simply too many, but I will give a few examples. Your primary weapon is the DC-17m Blaster Rifle which has two attachments - the sniper and the grenade launcher attachments - it is basically three weapons in one. You will also get to use the Geonosian beam gun, a powerful weapon carried by the Geonosian Elites that uses the host's body fluids as fuel to fire a deadly beam for a short period of time. There is also the Trandoshan Shotgun and the Wookiee Crossbow, among many other powerful weapons. Add to all of that the ability to fire two types of turrets and you've got a massive arsenal of guns to blast your enemies with.
The protagonist, Boss (being the leader of Delta Squad), can give orders to his commandos - this means YOU can give those orders. There are many simple commands you can give to your comrades, such as heal yourself using a bacta station, slice this door's lock, blow this thing up, focus all fire on that enemy, revive another squad member, take this sniping position, hack this terminal, breach that door, take control of this turret etc. The amount of these commands and how useful they are is simply astounding. When you look at how often these orders can be utilized and turn the tide of battle, Star Wars: Republic Commando can easily earn the tile of a tactical shooter.
Your squad mates, experienced commandos just like their leader, are: Delta 40, also known as Fixer, an experienced slicer (hacker); Delta 62 or Scorch, a cocky explosives expert who is obsessed with, well… blowing stuff up and Delta 07, nicknamed Sev, the coldest and most brutal badass sniper of your team. All of the three clones are well-developed characters; they will often make interesting, sometimes funny comments about the mission, the enemies, a command that they were given or the environment. They will also sometimes chatter to one another and little details like this one add to this already fantastic experience. Voice acting in Star Wars Republic Commando is top notch but it's the voices of these three clones and Boss that stand out above the other performances.
Almost every fight in this game is epic and these battles wouldn't be as great without the perfect music that is played whilst you blast your way through crowds of enemies. Most of the soundtrack is taken straight from the movies but adding a few new, original ones that were recorded especially for this game was a good idea chosen by the developers. All of the weapons sound good and fairly believable too. So with great voice acting, amazing music and good sound effects, Star Wars Republic Commando has stellar audio design.
Playing this game is incredibly fun and most of the time it is non-stop action. And when it isn't, it is atmospheric and quiet, especially in the second campaign. All of the game is seen through Boss' visor. His visor has a tactical Heads-Up-Display that shows the condition of his shields, his vitals, his squad mates' vitals, what actions his commandos are doing and from which direction he is getting shot at. If it is raining - raindrops will be visible on your visor. If you kill an enemy up close, his blood will splatter on your visor and cloud your vision. If you take too much damage, cracks will appear on your visor. When a scavenger droid starts drilling through your helmet, the screen will go fuzzy. If you are incapacitated, vision will go blurry and it will have a red-tint. Also, there are times when you will have to go through pitch black areas, this when your low-light (or night) vision will come in handy. In my opinion, this visor is a very original part of the game and it is perfect!
Visually, for a 2005 shooter of this scale and so many things happening on the screen at once, Star Wars Republic Commando is stunning. Your squad mates look cool and simply badass. The environments are varied, some are even beautiful - most are very atmospheric. The designers could have spent a little more time on some enemies but it's no big deal and all other enemies look great. The weapons are original and some look amazing. The thing about these graphics that surprises me the most is how flawlessly smooth the game runs through all three of the campaigns and the multiplayer, even with so many events happening at the same time. Frame rate is fantastic and the game doesn't lag at all in singleplayer & occasionally in multiplayer. Also, I have never encountered a single crash or bug and only one graphical glitch while playing this game which is a very pleasant surprise.
What else is there to say? This game has amazed me. Lots of entertainment, action & shooting, many types of weapons and enemies, fantastic music, great voice acting, varied and beautiful environments, memorable characters, cool visor effects, addictive gameplay, challenging battles, good multiplayer, easy controls and a team of awesome clone commandos… what else does a perfect game need? Even the story is good, which is surprising because many shooters suffer from bad plots. Republic Commando is this great, full of non-stop action game or whatever you want to call it. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a must-buy. If you're a fan of shooter classics, then this is a must-buy for you as well. Hell, no matter who you are, as long as you like action-packed games, this game is definitely for you!
31st December 2011 UPDATE:
After playing Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 (the PC versions) for the first time, I must take some points away from this game's original rating. Republic Commando is quite original overall, but it also borrows some gameplay elements from both of the Halo games and it isn't flawless either. However, a score of 8.5/10 is still not a low rating - it is actually extremely high; so my opinion regarding this game has not changed much, I just realized some things about it. Nevertheless, I still love it and it's definitely worth a try - especially if you are a fan of the Halo series.
OVERALL RATING – 8.5/10 (Great)
NEW GS RATING – 8/10