Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Overview

Star Wars games have been pretty absent on the Xbox, besides the release of Obi Wan, Xbox owners have really been without a good Star Wars game. So LucasArts took Star Wars Clone Wars, which was initially released for the PS2 & GameCube with only fair results. Now LucasArts has taken the game and added some new features, updated the graphics, but failed to fix all the problems that plagued the PS2 & GameCube version.

Gameplay

Star Wars Clone Wars was one of those games that had a lot of things going for it on the other consoles but failed to do anything great, which is why the game got mixed reactions. Now that it has made its way onto the Xbox it has some new game modes, and some updated graphics to try and improve upon the original versions.

The game modes in Clone Wars include the Career Mode, along with a wide variety of multiplayer modes including System Link, Split Screen and Xbox Live support. First I would just like to commend Lucas Arts for getting this one online, because it was a much needed upgrade to the game, as well as system link support. With all these selections to choose from you are sure to have plenty of different options.

To start with the campaign mode which was present in both prior versions of Clone Wars stays the same. The campaign mode combines both air combat with ground combat. For the majority of the game you will be in the air. While up in the air you will be given various crafts that you will use to complete your missions. Each craft has its own specific feel to it, and they all have their ups and downs. Some are quick but weak shields; others are slow but tough like tanks. So you will really be able to see clear-cut differences between the crafts.

For the most part the combat up in the air is pretty straightforward and easy. You are to kill everything in sight, either defending something, or be on the offensive side taking out key areas, that is needed for you to be successful in your missions. You would think this would get old after a while but in fact stays quite intriguing throughout the game. This is one of those games that you could be shooting things for thirty minutes and it only feels like five minutes. Many times I found myself getting really into the combat, because it can be so fast and furious, it is hard to go wrong.

For the other portion of the game you will be on land with your light saber, and one day I know they will make a game that really does justice to the saber, but that day is definitely not today. While on the ground the gameplay is pretty poor. Although I still find joy in playing with the saber, it makes me laugh how poor everything feels on the ground. To me it still feels like the game is still in development on the ground, because it is just missing some key variety elements that would keep the ground missions interesting for more then five minutes. So, yes, you get to use a light saber, and yes you get to use the force, but the gameplay is just not cutting it.

This shows that the campaign mode just really doesn’t give you a true feeling of glory, and this is where LucasArts felt the Xbox Live support would jump in and come to the rescue. Well in many ways the Xbox Live mode does a lot of things right. In the Live mode you have the option to choose from a few different modes including Duel, Control Base, Conquest, and Academy. These game modes do give some variety to the game, but they just seem to get quite repetitive and don’t stay as a novelty for much time.

Graphics

The PS2 and Gamecube version of Star Wars Clone Wars were definitely not the prettiest things to look at in the world but the graphics did manage to get the job done. In the Xbox version the lighting effects were improved upon, but besides the minor updates, the graphics are still in need of some assistance.

Each vehicle has their own unique look that is very detailed and excellently drawn out. What is also very impressive about the vehicles appearance is that they still look impressive during heavy fight scenes when there is a lot going on.

What makes all matters worse is when you are on the ground. The gameplay struggles to do things right, (as you will find later on in the review) but the graphics when using the light sabers are just horrific. The character models could use a "huge" upgrade. I am not sure what they were thinking. The game also feels extremely choppy when playing on ground, and has some poor points when above the air.

The Xbox version of Clone Wars does have some upgrades towards the graphics department, but it just wasn’t enough. The graphics are definitely in need of a facelift, and hopefully Lucas Arts learns from this one, and improves upon it on further titles.

Fun Factor

Do you like Star Wars? Well right there we’ll adjust the score of the fun factor of the game right of the bat. I am not a big Star Wars fanatic, I just find the movies to be entertaining, and with that being said, Clone Wars was also amusing. I really enjoyed doing the flight missions, but the ground missions, just hurt the game extremely in the long run. The Xbox Live mode is really a life-saver, in that it sheds some new light on the game, and makes this game a good deal more interesting then before.

Overall

This is not a bad game, this is a game that needs work, but has a lot of potential. The flight missions are above average, and this is not a short game by any means. Each mission has extra objectives that you can try, and as you get on the higher difficulty levels, you will find even more action. I would only recommend this one though to the Star Wars enthusiast who are ready for another game to add to their Star Wars library.

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