A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this fast-paced action game really is about war (a word that appears twice in its title), the blasts, bangs, and booms that go on throughout the game are of the sci-fi fantasy kind. And presuming your child is already a Star Wars fan, it's nothing he or she hasn't seen before. Unfortunately, what could have been a fun romp for devotees of the Star Wars franchise, gets bogged down in technical glitches and imprecise controls.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS: REPUBLIC HEROES, the forces of the Galactic Republic, led by the heroic Jedi knights, are engaged in a vast war for supremacy with an army of battle droids controlled by the evil Separatists. As this chapter begins, the villains have set traps and ambushes around the galaxy for Republic forces, leaving the remaining heroes to not only defeat the enemies, but rush to the aid of their comrades as well. During the game, players will take on the roles of many different Jedi, as well as many of the officers of the Republic's clone army.
Is it any good?
Rabid Star Wars:The Clone Wars fans, who tend to be elated by anything featuring the likenesses of their favorite characters, will be the best audience for this game. Gamers not heavily invested in the ever-growing plot of the Clone Wars will likely get frustrated by the unfortunately sloppy controls. The gun-toting clone trooper levels are reminiscent of countless other shooters out there, but they're far more fun than the admittedly more creative Jedi levels. The game requires the famously nimble Jedi to flip, spin, and hop around the screen like a leaf in a windstorm, but aiming your Jedi's leaps is far more difficult than aiming your clone's blaster (the control system for which actually works incredibly smoothly).
That being said, the two-player cooperative mode provides a lot more entertainment value. And regular viewers of the Clone Wars series will be rightly impressed by how much the look and tone of the game make it feel like an episode of the TV show. The well-performed cut scenes, featuring the show's real voice actors, are arguably the game's high point.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between a make-believe outer-space war and a real one. What kind of moral dilemmas could a soldier go through were his enemies flesh-and-blood. What would life be like for a real soldier at war?
More than once in the game, a character risks his or her own life to help his companions. The concepts of loyalty and self-sacrifice are repeated themes throughout the story. Families can talk about what they would or wouldn't be willing to do for one another.
Throughout the story, younger or less experienced characters want to make riskier choices, and are reminded by their elders or superiors to stay in line and follow protocols. Which side of the argument is right or wrong isn't always clear. Families can discuss when it's important to follow orders and when, if ever, it might be better to skirt the rules.
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