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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Few popular licenses lend themselves to as many game genres as does Star Wars: action, flight simulation, fighting, and soon, role playing. Occasionally, Lucasarts has seen fit to drop players into terrestrial vehicles, from Pod Racer to Star Wars Demolition. This Fall, the Clone Wars begin.

Star Wars: Episode II - The Clone Wars is set immediately after the climactic battle of Attack of the Clones. The secessionist movement is gaining momentum and threatening the integrity of the Republic; the Republic retaliates by deploying its army of cloned enforcers. The player embarks upon sieges and defenses in ground-based combat vehicles to buttress the Republic and usher in a new era of peace and unity.

Vehicular combat games are, almost by definition, limited in scope. However, with a variety of missions and a diverse vehicle stable -- and the ubiquitous Star Wars license - Clone Wars may mature into something special.

The visual design and models themselves look like they've fallen right off the big screen and onto the disc -- which is a compliment. Star Wars fans are treated to legions of clone troopers, prototypical builds of original-trilogy units (like the AT-STs), and the same maniacal dynamism that characterized the Clones battle.

Play control, as is typical in this genre, is rather shallow. Each vehicle has an assortment of weapons, and a single mode of locomotion. Missions range from destroying the enemy to racing through a Kashyyk forest. Like Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2, Clone Wars puts you in command of "wingmen" in most missions. The game's focus is on fast action and style; it could be wildly entertaining if executed well. That is, at present, difficult to foresee.

-Last played E3 2002.

Word on the Street
Like the podrace and Jedi duel from The Phantom Menace, the chaotic ground battle between Republic and Separatist forces is most often cited as the most exhilarating part of Attack of the Clones, this side of Yoda. The chance to partake in that chaos is warmly anticipated. It is, however, eclipsed in the public eye by other, more exciting Star Wars projects, like Galaxies.

From the Horse's Mouth
Star Wars: The Clone Wars features innovative and well-detailed single and multiplayer campaigns coupled with a unique blend of non-stop action. The game will incorporate popular characters and various familiar vehicles and settings from Star Wars: Episode II. While the game's primary focus is on high-intensity engagement, defined combat roles for each vehicle will add a distinctive dimension. Upon meeting certain objectives, players can change vehicles during battle and pilot an array of units from the arsenal of the Republic, including a speeder bike, AT-SX assault walker, fighter tank, and Republic gunship. In all, players engage more than 30 unique combat units.

Several multiplayer modes:

  • Duel: standard deathmatch scenario with various units from the game.
  • King of the Hill: earn points by staying in the "control zone" for as long as possible.
  • Conquest: unique blend of action and strategy that challenges two teams to destroy each other's home base. In between the teams' home bases are outposts either player can capture. When an outpost is taken, it will automatically produce defensive laser turrets and offensive AI units for that team.
  • Multiplayer support allows for between two and four players on GameCube.

LucasArts promised more quality control over this round of Star Wars games, after the lackluster product spawned by 1999's The Phantom Menace. Thus far, it looks like they'll deliver on that promise. It is disappointing, however understandable, that Lucasarts decided not to entrust more ambitious titles - Galaxies and Knights of the Old Republic - to Nintendo's purple machine. That aside, Star Wars enthusiasts have a promising action title to look forward to in Fall 2002 in The Clone Wars.



word on the street

press release notes


Staff Avatar Gordon Distin
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"In the room, the women come and go, talking of Miyamoto."

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