PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...
The Good: Great for fans of the series, decent graphics, nice audio, fun driving sections
The Bad: Way to easy, poor platforming, stupid camera, idiotic AI, short
The new Star Wars: The Clone Wars series is a cartoon/CGI spin-off of the Clone Wars era of Star Wars complete with 20's Anakin. While the cartoon series is something to be desired the game is the same way. The story is about well...the Clone Wars and ummm yeah...you know I know nothing about the cartoon series except the fact that I did watch the Clone Wars cartoon movie. I don't know what the big deal was since it was mediocre at best with a strange art style, but enough of that. The best part about Republic Heroes is the co-op and the fact that you play as many Star Wars heroes. You start out playing as Anakin and Snips, while branching off playing as republic soldiers, Obi-Wan, and even Aayla Sekura (hot). The bad part is they all play the same using mindless saber hacking (mash square forever), using the force push and jumping. You can build a combo bar that lets you increase your saber throw power, but it's no big deal. Playing as soldiers lets you shoot and toss grenades and shoot rocket launchers, but it's all pretty much the same.
You can "Droid Jack" which I found completely useless since you can't move these droids when they are jacked, all you can do is use their "ability" while staying still. This varies by droid since some can shoot, some stomp etc. The levels tend to be pretty short lasting about 10-15 each, but I haven't gotten to the thing that kills the game. It's the jumping. Yes, since the game has pretty nicely large environments the game stays linear with platforms that have that "sticky" jumping thing going on where you jump and the stick to it. The camera is what kills this, in turn, since the camera is so far back that the characters look almost like ants on screen and judging jumps is really hard this way.
Not only is droid hacking useless, but upgrades are as well. You pick up blue orbs that are experience, but you lose them when you start a new level. How can you collect enough orbs in 10-15 minutes for the more powerful attacks? Beats me. You really don't need them anyway since I played 3/4 of the way through without any upgrades, and that goes to show how easy this game is. I mean you can't even die in this game because you get a checkpoint every five seconds and you can just respawn there, so I found a life bar pointless. All enemies have around the same health and this includes destroyer droids all the way to battle droids and beyond. All your Clone Wars enemies are in here, but seriously it's not much in variety. You do rarely get a fun vehicle driving section, but they are so short and so rare you wish "I want another one of those".
Co-op is what really brings the game to life since your AI controlled buddy is retarded. Each person can take separate paths, but you really have to work together to get all the orbs and artifacts, but that's if you don't beat each other up over the bad platforming and terrible camera.
Yeah the graphics are decent, the audio is good, but that doesn't save this mediocre Star Wars game from the bargain bin.