Star Wars: The Clone War
Reviewed by Mark Isaacson
Who here didn't like the Geonosis battle in Episode II? Anyone? I though not.
Without a doubt, the last 30 minutes or so in Attack of the Clone had me glued to the screen. It's a pity we may never see any more of it, but at least here in Pandemic's action shooter, you can relive the Clone Wars in all it's devastating glory.
Here we have the Nintendo GameCube release, released a few weeks before the eventual PS2 version, and apart from a few problems here and there, everything seems to be in order.
Since Josh has listed most of the features of the game, I'll skip forward to a few areas that caught my attention, the first of which being the overall presentation:
With so much going on during each level of gameplay, attempting to hold out at the usual 60 frames per second may have been a difficult task to achieve here. Thankfully CW's frame rate stands at a steady 30fps, and although there are times where I cringed at the lack of detail in character animations from a distance, it does allows for plenty of clean cut detail and color.
I have to say, though, that I'm a little disappointed in the effort put into the cut scenes. Most of the characters seemed rushed, and are far from the detail found in the movie (then again, I doubt they could have done so in the first place, given the GameCube's limited disc space).
One thing I was pleased to see (something other developers are regularly forgetting about), is the inclusion of progressive scan support as well as the previously mentioned Dolby Pro Logic II. For those who have the right TV and speaker setup, you can be guaranteed of a great experience here, especially while in the heat of battle with blaster fire flying past your eyes and ears.
Although some elements graphically are below par, actually taking part in the Clone Wars more then makes up for it. Either battling hand to hand with a lightsabre or piloting one of the many attack craft (both land and air) allows for plenty of variety during play. There's nothing like mowing down a bunch of battle droids from above.
As usual these days, the multiplayer component will take the most heat from gamers, and Pandemic have included plenty to keep fans happy well after completing the main missions. Although there may be no online elements or multi-TV style games (which you will regularly find on PS2 and Xbox), the good old split screen multiplayer is here for all to see. Really, there's nothing more fun then playing this with your mates in one room (that way you can do much more then simply typing taunts on the screen!).
In short, you are guaranteed an exciting gameplay experience with The Clone Wars. Presentation wise, though, don't expect anything along the lines of Halo, but a solid and stable engine that allows you to concentrate on that all important kill more then the realistic falling leafs from the tree in the distance.
It will be interesting to see whether any improvements are made for the PS2 version, given it's slightly more powerful capabilities in areas.
Just a pity, though, that no online elements were included. Imagine every single character on screen controlled by a real life person, and that's hundreds of real life people. Maybe next time, hey?
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