A new Star Wars game looks set to be announced at this year's Video Game Awards ceremony.
That's one way of looking at a new Spike TV teaser video, anyway. Over footage of previous SW games a voice says, "You've seen every film over 200 times, you know the Skywalkers better than your own family, you have a stronger knowledge of the Force than Yoda himself - but one thing you don't know is what's next. Find out at the 2009 Video Game Awards."
Said Awards are being held on 12th December so expect more news then. Will it be a sequel? A brand new franchise? Or just another class or something for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Clouded, the future is etc.
FIFA 10 has scored a second week at the top of the UK all-formats chart, shrugging off a strong tackle from Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising at two.
Republic Heroes is the very worst sort of licensed videogame: functionally inadequate, creatively redundant and artistically bankrupt. Marketed to parents as a safe Christmas option and aimed at children in the hope of drawing them into a 30-year-old IP in order to secure the next decade's worth of dead-eyed spin-offs, there are few thrills to be found amongst its dim stars and weary wars. In contrast to its joyous LEGO-based cousin, Republic Heroes is persuasive evidence that many videogames have no ambition beyond mere product, existing merely to expand a brand without enriching it, to widen a mythology without deepening it. It's cynical, tiring and sells our children short of what they should expect from a publisher with as much experience and expertise as LucasArts and its associated developers.
Based on the anime-through-a-Nickelodeon-lens series of the same name, Republic Hero's story and visuals are at least consistent with those of its inspiration. Divided into a sizeable three-act campaign, missions are generally no longer than 10 minutes apiece, dividing play between characters such as Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi to provide multiple perspectives on the unfolding drama. As fan service to Clone Wars aficionados there are numerous references to plot points from the cartoon series and all of the characters share their sound-a-like TV voice actors, ensuring that the premise at least is not without some niche merit.
In mechanical terms, the structure is little more than a device to allow play to switch between the lightsabre-wielding Jedi and the gun-toting clone troopers, the two main character types found in the game. This helps to keep the basic combat from feeling more immediately repetitive than it is. When playing as a Jedi-style character, you wield a lightsabre and enjoy a Force 'push' move to stun or shunt enemies around environments, off ledges and so on. Character animations lack basic fluidity, thereby defying the encouragement of a score multiplier to attempt stringing together combos. The result is a stilted flow of combat that lacks either the smooth acrobatics of The Force Unleashed or the solid workmanlike unfussiness of the LEGO Star Wars titles.
LucasArts is offering an Xbox Live demo for Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes.
It's sad to admit it, but kids today probably couldn't pick Admiral Ackbar out of a police line-up. And that's just the start: they couldn't tell you where Endor is, or explain why you should never accept the offer of a timeshare in Alderaan either, and they'd almost certainly struggle to provide any useful information regarding the Millennium Falcon's performance on the Kessel Run.
LucasArts has confirmed the existence of Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes, the cartoon-styled action instalment rumoured last month.