Thursday, July 20, 2017

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes - 10/20 hours

The best thing about this game is that it turned me on to the tv show. I'm really enjoying it. It doesn't exactly redeem the absurdity of the setting's premise, and it's rarely self-aware enough to give that absurdity a satisfying satirical bite, but it has its moments, and since I was a pre-existing Star Wars nerd, I'm willing to cut it a lot of slack.

As far as the game itself, though . . . I don't know. I don't really have a strong emotional reaction to it one way or the other. It's not painful to play, like some other games I could name. But it also doesn't particularly have anything that draws me in. If the controls were better, it would be a functional workhorse of a game, and if they were worse, it might be comically frustrating. As it is, most of the time, your characters do mostly what you want them to do, and when they don't, your nearest checkpoint is close enough that it's only a few seconds worth of setback. It's a game that's on slightly-wobbly rails.

Which is to say, it's not a game where I learn or face challenges, or have any particularly memorable experiences whatsoever. Even the story is just . . . there. Basically, there's this new super-weapon and both sides of the war want it, but then it's stolen by a bounty hunter, and then the bounty hunter loses it to the Separatists, and then the Jedi blow it up at the last minute before it destroys Naboo. Theoretically, there might be some excitement there, but it's really just Star Wars by the numbers. It also doesn't help that the later missions don't really build on the earlier missions. The gameplay and difficulty levels are exactly the same, and there's no real action set pieces to stick in your memory.

I did, however, figure out a workaround to the problem of Games For Windows Live logging me out when I start up the game - I just used the other account on my Xbox 360 hard drive. Since I can both watch the show and play the game at the same time, I expect the hours will fly by tomorrow. I'm just afraid I won't get 100% completion because one of the missions crashes the game whenever I try to replay it. Hopefully, starting a new campaign will allow me to keep my records and artifacts from my previous playthrough, so I can get the stuff by going the long way round.

Although, even if it doesn't, I'll probably be fine. This is not one of those games I'm going to feel bad about falling short in. There's simply not enough skill involved for my ego to be on the line.

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