Also on: PC, PS4
My knowledge of Star Wars is pretty much non-existent. Even though it?s been a major part of pop culture as long as I?ve been alive, I?ve never seen any of the movies (or if I did, it was back in the early days of VCRs, and they made no impression on me). On top of that, I?ve only played a few of the many Star Wars games — a little Battlefront here, a little Fallen Order there — so I can?t even say I?ve had that exposure.
Still, I was interested in playing Star Wars: Republic Commando because the original release has a pretty good reputation. So, with this re-release, I was keen to see whether the game still held up fifteen years after it initially came out.
And…well, it looks and plays like a very good first-person shooter from 2005.
That?s not inherently a bad thing, mind you. I was a huge fan of the Stubbs the Zombie re-release earlier this year, and while it?s not a 1:1 comparison — this is a FPS, Stubbs was third-person action — my feelings towards Republic Commando are kind of similar.
On the one hand, that means don?t go into the game expecting incredible performance. I never played the game on the original Xbox, but I suspect that it looked pretty much exactly like this. Everything is kind of blurry at the best of times, and when the action gets a little hectic, it becomes a little hard to see everything going on.
On the other hand, though, it means that the core gameplay is good enough that it doesn?t matter if Republic Commando is a little lacking in the looks department. It?s fairly linear, to be sure, but it?s a blast — pardon the pun — when you lead your squad into battle against androids and the laser beams start flying. What?s more, the levels are lengthy and varied enough that even though the enemies don?t change up too much, it never feels like you?re doing the same thing over and over again.
Obviously, given my lack of familiarity with Star Wars, you may want to take my words with a grain or two of salt. (For all I know, this could be a total affront to the Star Wars canon that still has people mad a decade and a half later.) But as a first-person shooter, it works. It may feel like a time capsule from the mid ?00s at times, but it?s a solid enough game that it?s pretty fun to play.
Aspyr provided us with a Star Wars: Republic Commando Switch code for review purposes.