Developer: The Collective
Release Date: 5/1/2005
Consoles: PS2 & Xbox
Written by Stephen R.
Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith the game (Hereafter referred to as RotS) had a number of things working against it. First, it is a game based on a movie, which almost never turns out well. Second, it is based on a movie that, in my opinion, lacked the quality of the original movies. Third, it had a really long name. Yet, RotS overcomes many of these problems to deliver a rewarding experience despite its flaws. As this is my first review, I’m going to try and make this as user friendly as possible so the following sections have been divided up according to categories or flaws, essentially as I see fit.
Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith The Game does one thing excellently that all movie-games need to learn from; it diverges from its source material. By doing so, the developers of this game (The Collective) creates an experience that is unique from the movie. The game follows the events of the movie yet expands on them greatly. You will spend about a third of the game (perhaps a little less) fighting through multiple levels aboard Grievous’ flagship. Following this, you will control Obi-Wan on Utapau (from his battle with Grievous all the way until Order 66) and then Anakin as he fights on Coruscant (against the Jedi) and on Mustafar. Finally, you are put through the epic battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Story-wise, this game succeeds quite well and causes no problems whatsoever.
This is, perhaps, the biggest flaw that RotS has and the main reason that it received mediocre reviews. First, the game’s camera, while usually decent, doesn’t quite satisfy your needs. The camera is fixed (usually from the side of a hallway or corridor) and only moves with the character but does not usually change angle. This can cause problems when you are being shot at from off screen with no way to see what is the problem. Second, the game did get a bit repetitive for me although I still enjoyed playing it. The game is a button masher that uses combos to execute different attacks. I’ve never been one to memorize combos (as they are usually on the complicated side) and they may have been the cause of my next issue. In order to enhance the difficulty of the game (fighting simple battle droids is quite easy), the game introduces new droids and clones. One type of droid (called the Grappler Droid) seems to be able to block every single attack that I try and use. Perhaps it has something to do with my fighting style but it would occasionally get frustrating to have each lightsaber strike be blocked. Despite that, the premise of the game (fighting through levels with a lightsaber to slash your opponents to pieces) works quite well despite its flaws.
The level design for RotS was another problem although it is not nearly as noticeable or as much of a problem. All the levels are designed quite simply: Go from point A to B. The levels are linear, not open and so the you don’t have a lot of choice in terms of what to do or where to go.
When considering the graphics of RotS, remember that we are talking about a game released on the Xbox in 2005. Despite that fact, the graphics aren’t half bad. They aren’t the crisp, realistic graphics of the Next-Gen era but they are decent enough to convey what is going on. The game also lets you cut parts off of your enemies, giving it a nice Star Wars feel to it. Strangely, the character’s mouths don’t move when they talk but it is fairly easy to overlook these small things.
This was probably the biggest problem that I encountered in RotS. The dialogue is just as bad as it was in the movie. Both Anakin and Obi-wan deliver absolutely atrocious dialogue filled with the same cringe-inducing lines and clichés. I refuse to comment on this more.
This is another feature that RotS does wonderfully. RotS features two main multiplayer modes: Duel and Cooperative. Cooperative is nothing worth speaking of as the developers just created another, extremely linear level, with no relation to the story, which two people can fight through. Despite that, the duel mode succeeds wonderfully. Duel mode pits you against a friend or the computer in an arena and lets you fight to the death with various characters. As you play through the single player mode, you will slowly unlock new duelists (you only start with Anakin and Obi-Wan) ranging from well known characters (Dooku, Grievous) to new characters (Cin Drallig). The fights are fun, filled with action and some strategy and are usually unique. Although dueling gets old eventually, it is a lot of fun while it lasts.
RotS doesn’t have a lot in the way of unlockables, it does have a few interesting tid-bits. Thankfully, just playing through single player will unlock most of the things (concept art, duelists, arenas, bonus levels). The concept art is mildly interesting while the duelists are an absolute blast. The bonus levels are mediocre despite the fact that they let you play as other characters (Magna Guard, Yoda). The characters are not as polished and the levels are not really much fun.
One of the very nice things about RotS is that it does feature a fairly good “Force” system. Simply by using the right trigger, you can lift and throw objects or people. The same is true in the duel mode. Throwing droids into each other is enjoyable and using the Force to throw objects at your foes is always good. While this game doesn’t have the environment destructibility that newer games do (such as The Force Unleashed), what it does offer is definitely satisfactory.
So that about sums up my thoughts on Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and I have been requested to give you a brief “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” section to sum it all up.
- The Good: Duel Mode, Lightsaber battles
- The Bad: Camera
- The Ugly: Dialogue
I’ve also decided to include a little section at the end on what I would recommend in terms of playing the game. The options, as I see it, are Buy, Rent, Ignore. For this game, I recommend renting the game for a weekend to play through and enjoy it and then return it. Every so often, you’ll probably feel the desire to pick that lightsaber back up but I thinking renting is probably the best option.
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