Star Wars: Republic Commando Order 66
You know that famous Xbox and PC series? It makes the move to mobile, and it brings with it an order of whoop-ass.
Star Wars Republic Commando is one of the best Xbox and PC first person shooters of the year, but it's not exactly the longest, so as soon as the credits began to roll I was longing for more droid blasting. Lucky for me (and I suppose you too), THQ Wireless is rolling out a semi sequel entitled Star Wars: Republic Commando Order 66. Available to Cingular subscribers, this third person shooter continues the story of the console game while at the same time revealing some of Episode III's biggest secrets.
Before I begin, I'm just going to blow the lid off what Order 66 is all about. THQ's people warned me about the hate mail that I'd probably receive, but I live life dangerously. I throw caution to the wind. I step on Superman's cape. Anyway, Order 66 is a BBQ bacon burger, fries, and a side salad. IG-88's favorite, or so I hear.
Now that I've ruined the movie for you (and if you believe that you should become a rancor keeper) we can move on. Republic Commando Order 66 is a tactical combat shooter that stars the same commandos from the console game, and to sweeten the deal the developers have tossed in some hidden characters, but I'm going to keep those a secret.
After selecting your combo you travel to one of five actual locations from the film and dispense justice on the lowlifes that inhabit it. In the first level, for example, you travel to this place and lay waste to scores of battle droids and super battle droids in an attempt to rid the galaxy of the trade federation once and for all.
Controlling your commandos using the directional keys is a snap, and you fire by pressing the Home or Ok key, though each time that I've played this game, after I press Home a few times my guys just fire on their own, so all I need to do is put them into position. The levels are full of tight areas, so you'll need to adjust your formations by pressing # or *. Aside from squeezing through narrow corridors, it's also a great combat strategy. For example, to keep all of your commandos from taking damage you may want to line them up single file. That way, the guy who's on point takes the brunt of everything.
Just like in the Xbox game, you can revive your fellow teammates. All three energy bars are spread out across the bottom of the screen so you can monitor how each of your guys is doing (and yourself as well).
THQ Wireless' Star Wars lineup consists of some great-looking games and Republic Commando is definitely one of them. Although the camera's pulled back so far you'll feel like you're watching a baseball game from the stadium's upper deck, the environments are detailed and the game's graphics have a very clean look to them. Nothing's fuzzy or distorted. Instead, the vibrant colors are sharp and look very good on those tiny cell phone screens.
As a Star Wars nut I've been really enjoying the THQ Wireless games, though I'm a little sad that at some point the company's going to ask for its phones back and me, being a Verizon subscriber, won't be able to play them for the rest of 2005 and possibly beyond.
With that being said, if you're already on a Cingular plan or about to sign up with them rest assured that Star Wars: Republic Commando Order 66 is a quality shooter that's a blast to play. As for Order 66, and I'm being serious now, it's really a buffalo chicken pizza and an order of cheese fries. Jek Porkins raves about it, or at least he did before a Tie Fighter blasted the heck out his X-Wing. R.I.P. Mr. Porkins. This slice of Order 66 is for you!