Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (PS2)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Platform: PS2 (Also available for Xbox)
Genre: Action
Publisher: Lucasarts Inc.
Developer: The Collective
Release Date: 05/05/05

Star Wars games are notoriously hit or miss. For every great game like Knights of the Old Republic and Rouge Squadron game there is Obi-Wan and Rouge Squadron 3. Over the years the few good Star Wars games have generally been either space flight shooters or the KOTOR RPG’s, when it comes to action games the Force has not been kind to us. While you would think swinging a lightsaber and tossing enemies around with the force would be perfect for an action title so far no game has really captured the Jedi experience we’ve been waiting for. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith looks to try to change all that.

And fails horribly.


Story:

The game came out before the movie and has a couple of large spoilers within, including 12 minutes of actual movie footage. I don’t really understand why they’d do this since the people most likely to play this game are Star Wars fans who have been waiting to see the movie, only to get parts of it spoiled. Even worse, the clips cannot be skipped the first time you watch them. I mean you’d get a lot spoiled for you even if you did skip them, but come on at least give us the choice.

The story itself follows only Obi-wan and Anakin, leaving out most of the other characters. Unfortunantly this is also very irritating. While Anakin’s descent to the Dark Side is interesting, the dialouge between Obi-wan and Anakin feels forced and isn’t very good. Anakin varies between whiny and sarcastic, and Obi-wan is just clueless to it. If the first three movies have shown us anything it’s that Anakin becoming Darth Vader is an improvement.

5/10


Graphics:

At least they got this part right. Well, almost.

The enviroments are great to look at, even with all the action going on onscreen many locations will have something going on in the background, like in one level you will be fighting on glass that will crack underneath you. Under the glass you can see a planet as well as spaceships blasting one another. In a different enviroment you’ll see driods and clones fighting in the background, etc. The enviroment is also interactive with your force powers. One a high ledge? Force throw that sucker over it. Boxes lying around? Throw those too.

Character models look great, though sometimes a little chunky during close up shots in the cut scenes that don’t use movie footage. Obi-wan and Anakin look like their real life counterparts. The fighting animations for the two are very fluid and look great in motion. Except for the fact that it looks like Jedi ballet instead of lightsaber fighting. Seriously, instead of swinging a lightsaber around and killing everything in your path with a flip or spin here and there, instead all of the fighting animations look like the Jedi’s are preparing for the Cirque de Solei. The jump, spin and twirl lightsabers like batons constantly. Cool the first time you see it, annoying when you start realizing that the entire game is going to be like this.

Enemy character models look good as well. For the handfull of them you face. All of the main bosses are done at least as well as the two Jedi’s, but when you aren’t dueling with them you’ll be facing a generic army of driods and clones. They look good but there’s only a couple of different types of both through the whole game. A nice touch is how you can cut droids arms and heads off.

The ugliest thing in the whole game is the f’n camera. At anytime you’ll see only within a couple feet of the character that you control, but that isn’t going to stop all of the enemies off camera from shooting at you where you can’t see them. The camera gets better when lightsaber dueling, but even then it’s a problem, not to mention lightsaber dueling itself looks pretty weak. You go through the game using the lightsaber to cut through doors, yet it looks like it barely effects the people you fight when you hit them.

For how good parts of the game look, overall the camera just kills most of the enjoyment of the game.

6/10


Sound:

Best part of the whole game. The sound effects are perfect, and the music sounds just like the music from the movies. It is hard to say whether the voice acting is good or bad, I mean the lines Anakin delivers sounds bad, then again that kind of makes it accurate to the movie right?

Great effects, music, but please say this isn’t how the acting in the next movie is going to sound like. Please?

7/10


Control and Gameplay:

ARE YOU READY TO SMASH SOME BUTTONS?!

There are three buttons assigned to just controling the lightsaber. Square, triangle, and circle. Circle is strictly for critical attacks, and pretty much for the rest of the game all you have to do is alternate between pushing square and triangle. Just about every enemy except for the main bosses can be defeated with the same 3-4 move combo. X is for jumping and dodging, the shoulder buttons control different force moves and blocking.

For a game that advertises that you can use all the powers of the force, I expect them to back up that claim. This game doesn’t back that claim up. There will be times were you can use certain force moves such as jumping higher, but only within the context of a certain situation. The ones you can use at anytime are Force Throw, Force Stun (eventually Force Lighting for Anakin), Force Heal, and Saber Throw. Technically you can use the Jedi Mind Trick if you Force Stun a human character long enough to have them fight for your side, but that takes time and it’s easier to just cut them down. You can deflect blaster shots by blocking and rotating the right joystick to wave your lightsaber around as a shield, which takes force energy for some reason.

In RPG fashion every level you gain experience points that you can put into different Force powers or combat skills to make them more powerful or unlock more combos. This is a nice touch though kinda pointless. The only combo skill you need to put points into is Grappling. Even then you only need to go up one level in that so you have at least some grapple moves. The Force powers are worth putting some points into, because some of the powers are really weak without some upgrading, but the only one you really need any points in is Force Heal just to cut down on the time it takes to heal.

Nice try guys, but with action games like Devil May Cry 3, God of War, etc, the no skill button mashing is lame as is the upgrade system.

4/10


Balance:

If you wanted confirmation that droids don’t think, this game is for you. Clones and Jedi’s aren’t much better in fact. All of the enemies are easy to beat. Basically if it doesn’t have a lightsaber, it isn’t a threat. Some enemies will just stand there doing nothing. During the parts of the game where you have a computer controlled ally, they’ll also do just about nothing except stand there. Lightsaber duels are also flawed. Anyone you face will try the same kind of attack over, and over again, so it’s simple enough to just block, wait, and attack. Only time the game is tough is when you are attacked by several enemies off camera. The whole game is easier than a doped up Paris Hilton.

Other balance problems…every level where you aren’t dueling is nearly identical. Fight wave of enemies. Get blocked from going forward from shield that enemies can walk through. Disable shield by cutting through a wire or wall. Fight more enemies. Get blocked by sheild. Repeat. These levels are occasionally broken up with lightsaber duel levels, like I said above all you need to do is block till they finish their combo, then attack.

Far too easy and repetitive.

3/10


Replayability:

The game is really short(4-5 hours), but they did think to include some multiplayer unlockables. A couple of crappy co-op levels in case you weren’t already sick of doing the same thing over and over again by yourself, you can have a friend share in the pain. There is also 2 player lightsaber duels with characters you unlock throughout the game including some of the major enemies and various Jedi. These are broken though, with glitches in the enviroments and not very fun. I knocked a friend down and their character went into a stroke, jerking around crazily stuck in an object. Didn’t stop me from killing them. Just an example of things to expect.

At least they tried to include some kind of extra content though.

6/10


Originality:

The game is almost a throwback to button mashing action games before the genre moved on. It’s like a modern version of the Dreamcast Jedi Power Battles. No new lines are crossed and even worse it’s a step back.

1/10


Addictiveness:

About as addictive as licking a light socket, and almost as much fun.

1/10


Appeal:

It’s the game based off of the final Star Wars movie, the game itself has been well advertised. However releasing the game over a week before the movie is released is just confusing to me unless they have less faith in people buying the game AFTER they see the movie.

8/10


Miscellaneous:

There is some concept art that is unlocked and you can watch the movie clips. There is also some bonus missions for those sadistic enough, and the two player content. A lot of miscellaneous content for a short game.

You know what? If you are willing to sit down and play an easy, short, two player Star Wars game, then go out and play Leggo Star Wars. Seriously, if you’re going to spoil the movie for yourself anyway get the one that’s actually fun to play.

5/10


Final Scores
Story: 5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 7/10
Control: 4/10
Balance: 3/10
Replaybility: 6/10
Originality: 1/10
Addictiveness: 1/10
Appeal: 8/10
Misc: 5/10

Overal: 46/100
Final: 4.5/10