When LucasArts came up with the premise for THE CLONE WARS, the company must have been giddy with excitement; they were going to be able to tell the tale of The Clone Wars, from which the game gets its name. In other words, the most fascinating story in the STAR WARS universe that no one has ever seen (only mentioned in the first movie). While THE CLONE WARS is a decent game, it is a shame that it doesn't live up the powerful name that it has.
THE CLONE WARS picks up at the end of the newest movie, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, with the Battle of Geonosis when Mace Windu and the rest of the Jedi are staging a rescue of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. During the game, you will play sixteen solo missions over five different worlds.
My one real complaint about THE CLONE WARS is being confined to a vehicle for most of the game. True, there are five different craft in the game to pilot (you'll pilot a Republic Gunship, speeder bike, fighter tank, assault walker and an animal called a maru), and while you can walk around for a little and fight with your lightsaber, I just wish there was less confinement to the vehicles.
The graphics are okay, but don't expect to find anything that will blow you away as if you were watching the movie. The animation is nice and smooth, and the vehicles themselves don't look half bad, but sometimes the surroundings look kind of dull.
THE CLONE WARS plays a lot more like ROGUE SQUADRON for the Nintendo 64 than what you would expect. Seriously, if ROGUE SQUADRON had better graphics and craft from ATTACK OF THE CLONES, you wouldn't notice much of a difference. Really, though, the game is pretty fun. Most of the missions have you maneuvering pretty close to the ground, avoiding objects to complete your missions. During some of them, you'll even get orders during the mission that you have to complete along with the other ones you received at the beginning of the mission.
Obviously, the storyline of The Clone Wars is the main selling point. LucasArts could have written The Clone Wars on anything and probably made a ton of money. Like I said before, this is one of the most popular storylines in the STAR WARS universe. Unfortunately, what this really means is that non-fans of STAR WARS probably won't be rushing to pick this game up.
The multiplayer modes add some depth to the game, and there are four different modes to play with: team-based strategy, deathmatch, king-of-the-hill and co-op endurance. Anything with cooperative play gets a decent grade in my book just because it has that option.
The voice acting is close to terrible. These guys aren't anywhere close to the real actors (obviously), but I'm surprised LucasArts couldn't get people that at least sound somewhat like them. The music is good of course, with John Williams supplying the soundtrack.
In the end, THE CLONE WARS is a decent game for STAR WARS fans, but other gamers will probably stay away from the game. While it is good, THE CLONE WARS feels a little recycled with a brand new name. Not bad, but could have been better.