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WII
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Lucasarts
PUBLISHER
Lucasarts
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
BUY NOW AT

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

Spoilers Warning: Attack of the Clones details ahead.

Jango Fett, father of Boba and source code for an army of clones, made his quick entrance into (and egress from) the Star Wars canon in this year's Episode II - Attack of the Clones. This November, the jet-packed antihero drops onto your GameCube in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

The story is set at the conclusion of The Phantom Menace. After Darth Maul was destroyed, Lord Sidious acquired a new apprentice: Darth Tyranus, known more commonly as Count Dooku. Dooku has been assigned to secure a source for a clone army. He puts a bounty on a cult leader's head, and waits for the victorious hunter, hoping to seduce this proven warrior into their fold.

In Bounty Hunter, players strap on Jango's armor in third-person action. Armed with more gadgetry than 007, Fett uses double blasters, thermal grenades, martial arts, a heavy blaster, and his signature jet pack to capture bounties, foil the cult, and prove himself worthy of the clone cause.

The action spreads over eighteen levels on six different planets: Tatooine, Coruscant, and four locales never seen in a Lucasarts game, including the dug planet Malastare. Jango searches these areas, hunting for the cult leader, collecting "secondary" bounties to unlock other features of the game.


Impressions

Even six years after Super Mario 64, few developers have been able to translate traditional platforming action into the third dimension without serious camera issues. Even in its early state, Bounty Hunter feels tight.

The action is surprisingly stylized: while Jango isn't as versatile as Solid Snake, or as nimble as Dante, he can execute a unique set of attacks and maneuvers that distinguish him as an action hero. "Jango's not about collecting keys and unlocking doors," Lucasarts told us, as Jango tore through a steel grate with his blow torch. Jango can hang from ledges, leaping from one to another; he can attack with one hand and hang with another. It was satisfying to see him rocket up to a ledge, hang, and toss a thermal grenade over the rim.

Directional movement is camera-relative: directions on the gamepad correspond to directions on the screen. Pistols unholstered, Jango can auto-aim at two different enemies simultaneously. He can lock on to an enemy, or manual aim blasters and rockets.

Fett's Mandalorian helmet also has a scanning device that locates and remembers bounty targets. The secondary bounties can be apprehended dead or alive, and their capture unlocks secrets.

Bounty Hunter doesn't look to be the most innovative or deep action title in this market, but its style and the omnipotent Star Wars license distinguish it from the bantha poodoo.


Word On The Street

Jango Fett is the baddest-ass Star Wars character since - well - Boba. The chance to play as this grizzled and cryptic bounty hunter will surely appeal to Star Wars fans, gamers, and everyone else in the hearth of geekdom. That it hasn't the tightest gameplay experience hasn't yet dissolved that anticipation; but after the Phantom Menace-inspired titles, Bounty Hunter has much to prove.


From the Horse's Mouth

Gameplay emphasizes intense combat and physical action in the relentless pursuit of prey across six fantastic worlds and 18 levels. Jango Fett faces off against an onslaught of the worst scum in the universe, including crime lords, corrupt politicians, enemies of various species, and a ruthless competitor from his own mysterious past. He is equipped with an arsenal of powerful weapons such as dual blaster pistols, a flame thrower, missiles, and a distinctive jet pack soon to be familiar to Star Wars fans.

The development of Star Wars Bounty Hunter utilizes the unique, world-renowned talents of LucasArts' sister companies Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound. This marks the first time other companies in the Lucas group have combined their expertise in the production of a LucasArts game. ILM is generating cinematics for Star Wars Bounty Hunter, and Skywalker Sound is creating sound effects for the game.-Lucasarts press release, E3 2002


Conclusion

In an industry where popular and lucrative licenses are too often exploited and dry raped, it's a relief to see a game rendered with such care. If Lucasarts can iron out the interface ruffles, implement some decent AI, and deliver a narrative that both compliments the prequel trilogy and fleshes out Fett's past, Bounty Hunter should satisfy.

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WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Gordon Distin
Staff Profile | Email
"In the room, the women come and go, talking of Miyamoto."


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