Review: Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith

October 15, 2006

Generic Game + Star Wars = $$$
The Collective / Playstation 2 Xbox / Teen

The classic movie game formula generally involves adding a popular license to a basic type of game, in this case a basic adventure game. The goal is to ride the license’s popularity by merchandising it to squeeze more money out of adoring fans. This formula has worked especially well with the Star Wars franchise and it has been proven that fans will rush out to buy any game with Star Wars be it good (KOTOR), or bad (Obi-Wan). This latest SW game is no exception.

The promise of a preview for, and clips of the new movie will have fans flocking to their local game store rather than their local cinema, but before casual fans follow suit they should think whether they wish their SW games to aspire to greatness, or the mediocrity that is the Episode 3 game.

The game starts with a bang, a clip of a space battle from the new movie showing Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and trusty R2-D2 landing on a Trade Federation ship, attempting to save the kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine and look cool doing it. The game then promptly introduces players to the frustratingly static camera, which is much too far away to appreciate any lightsaber combat.

Gamers will alternate playing Anakin and Obi-Wan while not being allowed to switch on the fly or upgrade both at once. There are three basic moves: light attacks, heavy attacks, and critical attacks. The game encourages making combos with the three but more often than not, simply mashing the light button works best. Players will also learn a number of force moves such as force heal, force push, and a lightsaber throw. Targeting is rarely a major problem, but can be hard to keep track of with the far out camera and small indecator. True, the combat is well fleshed out and offers a variety with the force moves and upgrades, but the repetitive enemies, cramped areas, and distant camera squander most of what the combat has going for it.

Sprinkled around the combat are various objectives and puzzles, which are generally easy and are repeated far too often. This Unfortunately detracts from overall gameplay. Also, in the cutscenes, the two charachters will display a supercool ability that would be useful during gameplay but sadly isn’t available.

The two character format of the one player game should offer good options for co-op multiplayer, but said co-op is nothing more than a mind-numbing arena mode with an even worse camera that magnifies the button mashing to a highly undesirable point.

In the end this game is only mediocre. It had potential but it seems that while Gallant was working on the combat Goofus was doing the level design. It offers something for fans but anyone with no more than a casual interest in Star Wars should rent first.

By Zack Rovinsky

Star Wars Ep. 3


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