Thursday Tribute: Star Wars Republic Commando

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to honour something from the past. Let’s go back to the Clone Wars.

It’s my first week here, and I’ve been told it’s entirely OK if I do some things of my own accord. So I’m starting up a series that will, as you would expect from a massive PC tragic, take a trip back in time to celebrate some of gaming’s enthralling back catalogue.

Star Wars has been on my mind this week. Disney’s doing a massive push, as you would expect in the lead up to the revival of the Battlefront series and the movie franchise. Hell, Star Wars is even making an appearance in the Mount & Blade series (thanks to a modder, obviously). So it seems only fair to give a thought to Star Wars: Republic Commando, a first-person shooter released in early 2005 on PC, Xbox and mobiles.

“Join your pod, and embrace your destiny as their leader. Join Delta Squad.”

Republic Commando revolved around the deployment of Delta Squad, a group of crack clone commandos that were bred from the factories on Kamino. The troupe carries out a series of missions that become more frantic and suicidal as the war carries on.

Gameplay revolved around a mix of standard first-person shooting and a cut-down version of the AI order system used in the Battlefront series. Environments would often have contextual actions, and the Delta Squad members had preferred roles governing their default actions — although you could override this to force the squad to spread out on command, move to a specific location or just hunt down the remaining enemies.

The campaign roughly took 8 to 9 hours to beat, while the multiplayer experience was generally considered to be inferior (but not wholly unenjoyable) when compared to the Battlefront series. You can still play Republic Commando online thanks to GameRanger, which filled the void left by GameSpy when its servers shut down at the end of May last year.

Republic Commando is still available through Steam for US$10 and is still warmly loved, with a 94% rating out of 2,230 reviews at the time of writing.

What are your memories of Republic Commando? I feel like we might see more of the series in the years to come, perhaps not as a series of games but as another animated series or a spin-off film.

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