There are two things I take into consideration whenever I see STAR WARS branded on a video game. One the name STAR WARS means it will sell regardless of how good it is, so quality control might not be that much of an issue. And Two if it's STAR WARS, I'll probably like it even if it's not that great.
In THE CLONE WARS, things pick up right at The Battle of Genosis as Mace Windu and company head to save Obi-Wan and Anakin from Count Dooku. Throughout the game you'll pilot different vehicles such as speeder bikes, assault tanks, troop transports, and my favorite: no vehicle at all. Yes, gamers will be able to fight their way through battle droids with just their lightsaber and the force.
THE CLONE WARS takes a step more towards the N64 ROGUE SQUADRON games. You won't find yourself doing any deep space missions; this is all about ground warfare. You'll be close to the ground, maneuvering around all sorts of obstacles in order to complete your missions. Many times you'll be getting instructions as the mission goes, and once you get into the game a bit, you'll gain the ability to command your comrades.
For fans of STAR WARS and the ROGUE SQUADRON games, they won't find much different here. Outsiders looking in probably won't find that much intriguing either. Sure the storyline of the Clone Wars is one that people want to explore, but that's the main selling point. There are a lot of games that play a lot smoother, are a lot more interesting, and don't reuse the same formula.
That's not to say that you won't have fun. By all means, this is an entertaining game to play. The concept just feels very used up. It's like playing the same old thing, just in a universe (pre-Episode IV) that I don't care nearly as much about. Give me an X-Wing for God's sake.
The one nice addition to the game is multiplayer. There are several different modes that help to extend the replay value of the game. It's something we haven't gotten yet, and it is the sole reason to own the game if you like this.
Graphics wise the game is well done, but unimpressive. They looks good and smooth, but nothing really stands out. You'll never jump up and say "Wow, that's incredible." Nothing pops out like ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Star Wars has always been known for great visuals, and these never quite manage to blow you away.
The sound has the John Williams score and some great explosions. It has crappy voice acting that doesn't do any justice to the real people. The sound is high quality, but the voice acting isn't. Once again the game does a good, but not great job.
I think "good, not great" sums THE CLONE WARS up. By all means rent it, and if you're a big fan, buy it. Just be warned though, this is no ROGUE LEADER, but it should keep a Star Wars fan happy.