THE RETURN OF STAR WARS: REPUBLIC COMMANDO
By John Saavedra
Republic Commando may be the best Star Wars game you’ve never played. Here’s why now’s the time to jump into this excellent shooter.
Originally released for the first Xbox and PC in 2005, the shooting game Star Wars: Republic Commando is finally being ported to PlayStation and Nintendo platforms for the first time.
Behind the PS4 and Nintendo Switch re-release is Aspyr, the studio that brought other Star Wars classics, such as Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knight II, to modern consoles.
But while those other two games are well-known among Star Wars fans who gamed in the early 2000s, Republic Commando, a gritty tale about a squad of elite clone troopers, is a little more obscure.
Set in the early days of the Clone Wars, the game kicks off minutes into the Battle of Geonosis, with the protagonists dropping into a battlefield full of deadly droids and Geonosian warlords.
As you’d expect, the game is full of exciting action setpieces, cool weapons, and a deep look into what it’s like being a soldier on the frontlines of the bloodiest war in the galaxy far, far away.
While LucasArts released the game in the hopes that it’d be a Halo-killer, Republic Commando didn’t quite reach those heights. A sequel called Imperial Commando was canceled in pre-production.
Ironically, Republic Commando turned out to be an innovative shooter that seriously influenced Halo 5: Guardians, especially when it comes to the latter’s squad-based mechanics.
While Republic Commando wasn’t the first game to introduce squad-based tactics that allowed players to command AI teammates mid-battle, few did it better at the time—or have done it better since.
It’s no wonder that Microsoft eventually put Republic Commando director Tim Longo in charge of shepherding similar mechanics into Halo 5: Guardians.
But beyond the history, Republic Commando is just a lot of fun to play, a game you need to experience while you wait for new Star Wars and Halo titles to drop. Republic Commando hits PS4 and PC on April 6.