The sound effects are authentic, with blaster fire and lightsaber hums as cool as they've always been.
Strangely, playing as a Clone (Captain Rex and co are playable) is better than playing as a Jedi. Here, the game turns into an odd Geometry Wars style shooter where the left thumb stick moves your Clone and the right thumb stick directs and shoots your blaster. There's grenade lobbing, a cover system and vaguely interesting puzzles. It's almost good, but really it only stands out because of the mediocrity of the Jedi levels. It's down to the fact that there's no platforming required, and as a result the frustrating controls don't get a chance to rear their ugly heads.
The level design is bland. Most levels are set either on a planet or aboard a spaceship, and never catch the eye. They feel more on-rails than a light gun shooter, and don't allow you to backtrack to seek out missed collectibles. The surprisingly lengthy campaign feels all the more boring as a result. Nothing exciting ever happens. There are no standout moments, no bosses that bring the wow factor. All you get is a procession of braindead Droids that walk like lemmings to their doom.
As you'd expect, there's absolutely tons to unlock. Upon completing a mission points are awarded that can then be spent on hats and masks, combat and Droid-Jak upgrades, cheats and even Droid dances. It might be interesting and a reason to replay levels if you were forced to think strategically about what to spend your points on - perhaps focusing on one area over the other to help tailor your playstyle - but there are so many points up for grabs that spending them feels redundant. Exacerbating the problem are one-off challenges that task you with destroying enemies within a time limit in a restricted area. These challenges spill out tons of points, making it entirely possible to max everything out after the first hour or so of play.
If it weren't for the terrible platforming, maybe, maybe, Republic Heroes would have been worth a look.
The game is better in two-player, where seamless drop in and drop out co-op at least works. It's nowhere near as fun as LEGO Star Wars, for example, but you can see why the feature might be popular. It's designed to try and get adult fans of the original Star Wars films playing together with their Clone Wars-obsessed kids. Unfortunately, the awful platforming ruins any potential bonding father and son might have enjoyed while playing the game.
In the game's defence, hearing the voice actors reprise their roles from the animated series will help convince young Clone Wars fans that what they're playing is the real deal, despite the fact that the dialogue, especially Yoda's, is terrible (hearing Yoda say “Droid-Jak” is particularly soul destroying). And while the graphics are uninspiring and bland, they're at least designed in the same Cartoon Network anime style as the show. But these slight positives are unceremoniously blasted into oblivion by the unresponsive controls and awful platforming. It's obvious that adult gamers should avoid Republic Heroes. But, more damning, it's also impossible to recommend it to anyone wondering whether they should buy it for a young fan of The Clone Wars.
VideoGamer.com Score4 Score out of 10
- Voice actors from animated series reprise their roles
- Uninspired level design
- Unresponsive controls
- Awful platforming