Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Greg Orlando

Send in the clones. LucasArts, coming off a string of mediocre Star Wars games, has loosed its latest Force-fest on Xbox. Thankfully, it’s more Admiral Ackbar than Jar-Jar Binks.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars comes to Xbox from PlayStation 2, and its vehicle-based combat wins no points for originality, nor do its Jedi-on-foot slice-and-dice elements manage to entertain. Time and again, players will be dropped into a Republic spacecraft, some of which handle like wounded ducks with Heavy Hands strapped to their wings, and asked to shoot wave after wave of enemies, escort slow-moving convoys to safety, or hunt down fleeing foes. For the worst of these missions, incessantly yappy Jedi Luminara accompanies the player, guiding him to certain objectives and also, slowly but surely, to madness. If the single-player mode is dull, however, at least it’s pretty to look at. Watching a Hailfire Droid explode into flames is quite impressive, as the game’s graphics lend an almost cinematic feel to the proceedings.

It’s in multiplayer mode, however, that the game turns itself around. The Clone Wars supports eight-player action via Xbox Live, and the game fairly screams to be played with other players. Four frantic multiplayer options are topped off by a tremendous Conquest mode in which players form teams and must fight to destroy each other’s bases. Strategic elements allow a player to build a base’s defenses or operate its weaponry, and this is definitely what separates the clones from the clowns.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.