Clone Troopers play very differently. The left thumbstick is used for movement and the right is used to direct fire, lending the Clone Troopers a Geometry Wars feel. Clone Troopers are dependent on the gun they’re using – mini-gun, rocket launcher, that sort of thing. It doesn’t quite equate to class-based gameplay, but it’s getting there. Essentially, though, there are two classes in the game. One wields a lightsaber and one shoots a big gun.
While the assets and basic level structure were created first on PC, they were “branched” early in development so that each version is designed to make the most of the platform it’s on. That goes for the Wii version, too. Given that the lightsaber controls on the last Clone Wars game were, frankly, awful, how will the controls work this time around on the Wii version?
“The controls are so different in this one because that was a one-on-one fighting game, so they’re definitely different,” Vince explains. “We tried to make it as accurate as it needs to be for the gameplay. That’s something that we did learn from that, to make sure that the controls respond properly.
“I think my favourite thing about the Wii controls are the Clone controls. We’re using the UV pointer on the Wii Remote, and the B button’s the trigger. So you actually point the Wii Remote at the screen and there’s a reticule and you can move around and do direct point to shoot. It feels really good. It feels like you’re holding a blaster and taking out all of the droids.”
While the game is Lucas-approved in terms of Star Wars cannon, the development team has been granted a bit of lee-way when it comes to coming up with new stuff exclusive to the game. The game’s main villain is a prime example. All-new Skakoan super villain Kul Teska has been created specifically for Republic Heroes. Might he appear in the second series of the show? “It’s a possibility. There’s been some talk about that. Nothing I can say for sure.” That would be the ultimate acceptance.
Republic Heroes is almost guaranteed to be better than Lightsaber Duels, that much is obvious. Is it a Star Wars game for hardcore gamers? No, it isn’t. But for Wii-owning fans of the animated series, it looks like it’ll be a solid tie-in best played co-operatively. How many games can LucasArts get out of the series? “Oh man the sky’s the limit,” says Vince. “The show’s going to be around for a long time.” Then so will Clone Wars games.
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes is due out on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP and PC on September 18 2009.