Another game from the golden age of Star Wars video games, Republic Commando has probably the highest demand for a true sequel, only beaten out by Knights of the Old Republic II. While referenced and homaged properly in one of the last updates for Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), what fans want the most, is a true sequel to a game that came and went before its time.
Republic Commando is the second attempt at a full Star Wars First-Person Shooter experience, only preceded by Dark Forces (1995), but what sets Republic Commando apart from Dark Forces, is that it is a more playable experience by modern standards. Dark Forces was a Doom Clone with all the tropes of confusing level design, primitive graphics and other features that makes Dark Forces redundant by modern standards.
Republic Commando came out in 2005, mere months before Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released for the Original Xbox and Microsoft Windows, utilizing the Unreal Engine, Republic Commando puts players in the role of Delta-38, otherwise referred to as “Boss”, who is a clone commando raised on Kamino and is put in charge of a 4-man squad, consisting of Scorch, Fixer and Sev.
The game tells the story of 3 of Delta Squad’s missions during the clone wars, the first being set on Geonosis during the events of Attack of the Clones’ climax, the second taking place on a captured Republic Ship, and the third taking place on Kashyyyk, heavily inspired by the upcoming film at the time.
While in-universe Delta Squad went on far more missions, the game only presents 3 to the player to complete. Republic Commando is a squad-based game, the commands are simple yet effective, and your squad is always responsive, and I have NEVER come across a situation where the AI teammates could not figure out how to get past a wall.
Alongside this, the game offers a surprisingly large group of enemies, all with different strategies. To name all that comes to mind, we have got both B1 and B2 Separatist Battle Droids, Geonosians that come in all shapes and sizes, Trandoshans, whether they be overweight slavers or heavy hunters, there is quite a lot of enemy types that have different weapons and tactics, and the game throws them at you where you and your squad must overcome the odds.
While the game can be brutal at times, it never felt unplayable or unbeatable, there’s always something you can do to get to the next checkpoint. Personally, the hardest level was called “Belly of the beast” where you must achieve certain objectives within a time limit. In retrospect, you are better off saving ammo in the previous level for this one. Without spoiling anything, you next to fight past enemies coming at you, and you must slice a computer to steal separatist codes, slicing this computer takes a whole minute, and that is while being shot at by battle droids.
A nice touch to the game, is the inclusion of special featurettes, talking about development of the game from concept art to an interview with Temuera Morrison, the actor who portrayed Jango Fett in the Prequel films who provides his voice for Boss.
Another solid touch to the game is the soundtrack. It is a more war-themed version of John Williams music from the films suited for a game that has the most violence and blood out of all the Star Wars games. The music is awesome, it always hits the right note, and it increases immersion. The end credits song “Clones” by the band Ash that plays after the game’s cliffhanger (no spoilers there) was one of the few times licensed music was used in the Star Wars franchise but, it was worth it. Although it is better if you play the game beginning to end to really experience it.
To conclude, Republic Commando is considered one of the best Star Wars games for a reason, while it is not the best of the best, it is top 10 material, and given the huge library of Star Wars games that date back to 1979 (or 1982 depending on who you ask), its cult classic status is well deserved. 8.5/10 for this one, give us a sequel that is in high demand. Republic Commando is currently on Steam for a relatively cheap price. Go play it.