Developer(s): Pandemic Studios
Release date: November 28, 2002 (GameCube, PS2), April 22, 2003 (Xbox)
Genre: Third-person shooter
Console(s): GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Oh boy, is The Clone Wars ever a game that plagued me for years. I could never finish it, no matter what. Every time I picked up The Clone Wars I would get a few levels in and then give up in general disgust at the game and avoid it like the plague for months on end. I don’t ever get rid of the games I buy, I’m not a trader, but there are games from various consoles that stay in the corners of my game room and do nothing but collect dust mites. Only the fact that it was a Star Wars game saved The Clone Wars from such a fate. Only the fact The Clone Wars was a part of one of my favorite franchises kept me going back to it time and time again. Now, now I have finally slain the beast and finished the game, and thus after writing about it I have no intention of ever revisiting The Clone Wars, no matter what.
I’m going to tell you one thing, right now, we all know Obi-Wan as a drunk is hilarious. Whether it’s true or not, the thoughts of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a drunken lout is a funny thought to have. However, the voice actor for Obi-Wan not only gives him the affectations of a drunk, but he adds in a lisp for good measure. While he was instructing Anakin to rescue some people on Rhen Var I could only imagine him falling off the comm table dead drunk the moment he signed off.
From there we enter the realm of Anakin Skywalker, or as I like to call it, Anakin Skywalker doesn’t know more than two or three key sentences. The problems with Anakin really begin when he confronts Count Dooku on Raxus Prime. He repeats the same exact line from Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, the same exact freaking line. This is a major video game release, and that’s the best you can come up with? I couldn’t help but laugh at the ineptitude of the writing in that scene, and may that came before and after. Anakin says nothing more than, “Yes, Master”, “No, Master”, “I know what I’m doing” and all the usual stock phrases. I know it’s a video game, but c’mon, toss some variety into the mix, that’s all I ask.
I will say that the inclusion of a never before seen relic from the Old Sith Wars is a nice touch to the story, It helps to somewhat make a slapped together and inconsequential story seem bigger than it is. Of course, once you do reach the Dark Reaper it turns out it’s pretty darn idiotic and the instructions from Ulic-Qel Droma are redundant to the extreme. None of this compares to the cut scenes, where amid a vast array of lowered intelligence we are given the gem of Anakin attacking numerous droid starfighters and Trade Federation capital ships all by his lonesome only to return seconds later declaring they were too much for him. Really, they were too much for you, I never would have guessed that.
We’ve established that the story is weak sauce to the nth degree, sadly the gameplay isn’t any better. As mind numbing as the story may be, the controls are even worse. Said controls are all over the place, way too loose and at times infuriatingly hard to control. The key to The Clone Wars is the targeting system, a system that randomly switches from one target to the next regardless of whether or not you have finished off any of the opponents on your screen. It is maddening to be in the middle of a firefight and seconds away from icing a troop transport when the targeting system randomly switches to a far off STAP. I don’t even know if maddening is the right word for it, there’s plenty of other words I should use to describe the controls, but I shall leave that to your imagination for the time being.
Over the years The Clone Wars has garnered a reputation as one of the worst Star Wars video games ever made. It is a well deserved reputation, make no mistake about that my friends. The Clone Wars is a putrid game, unable to make the simple elements appealing. I should want to explore these worlds in various vehicles I hardly ever get a chance to operate in the rest of the Star Wars universe. Alas, I should, but I didn’t, instead I hated almost every second of my experience with The Clone Wars. Believe the people who tell you this is a bad game, because it is a bad game, one of the worst I have ever had the displeasure of playing.
0.5/5.0 Kath Hounds
Review by Bill Thompson
The Domain Of Nihilus
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