Star Wars: Rogue Leader


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 10

Sound: 10

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 9

Video games are about the only place in the world where the words "Star Wars" conjure up some really nasty thoughts. Sure, there are a few great games, but just the thought of games like Masters of Teras Kari (PS One), Yoda's Stories (GBC), Shadows of the Empire (N64) and Jedi Power Battles (PS One) make fans cringe. Thankfully, Lucasarts has done George proud creating a game that is not only a near perfect recreation of his films, but is also one of the most engrossing video games ever designed.

Any game that begins with a carbon copy of one of the most famous scenes in the history of cinema deserves credit. Taking Luke Skywalker's X-wing over the Death Star and eventually into the awe-inspiring trench run is a video game experience unlike any other. Other scenes like Hoth and the Death Star battle II are also in here. The other stages might not have been in any of the films, but fill the storyline holes to keep the game moving. Two players can also go head-to-head in the multiplayer mode, giving the game almost limitless replay value.

While the Xbox may be getting all the recognition for it's graphical ability, nothing on the market comes close to this game. More than once, you'll be forced to stop playing and just stare, completely unaware that you're being blasted out of the sky. The games cinemas deserve even more credit as the opening sequence alone makes the player think they're watching the special edition of the movie (possibly fooling some into believing their watching a DVD version). The lighting effects are outstanding and the ships are meticulously detailed. Even the most hardcore fans will be hard pressed to find any flaws in the games non-stop attack on the senses.

To make sure the game is as accurate as possible, Lucasarts went all out in the sound department, even going as far as hiring some of the original actors to play their roles. Fans will also recognize classic lines from the film inserted into the games dialouge. The music is a no-brainer as the Star Wars theme blares in the background and the sound effects are also ripped right out of the Lucasfilms archives. Gamers lucky enough to have a good surround sound system will literally be bombarded by Tie Fighters from the rears and will be able to recognize where ships are located just by using their ears. No one could possibly be dissapointed with the effort here.

It's easy for a game to look and play great with today's technology, but the gameplay is still king. This is the only area where the game begins to falter. To put it blatantly, this games is HARD. Not just "re-do the stage two or three times to get it right" hard, we're talking "Go buy some controllers in bulk" hard. The enemy fighters are relentless and there are numerous occasions where there is simply so much going on, it's impossible not to take damage.

Your wingmen will help out once in a while, but the majority of the time, they fly around aimlessly with almost no clue of what to do even when given orders. The game also awards players with medals depending on how well they did completing the stage. Getting the gold is not only an accomplishment, but enough to make friends bow down before you. This is also one of the few ways to unlock hidden items, meaning most people won't see some of the best things the game offers.

The "killer-app" title can be easily applied to Rogue Leader. There isn't another game on the console that will cause players to drool uncontrollably while playing at launch. While the games unreal difficulty will turn many gamers into raging lunatics, most will be so shocked by the graphics, that they'll replay the stages as many times as possible just to look at them. Besides, if it gets that bad, find a friend you don't like very much and take 'em out in the muti-player mode.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 01:21 PM