At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Dave Wickham GameCube LucasArts Factor 5 1-2 Here
Requirements Buy from Amazon.co.uk
At the time of writing, we did not have a requirements section. Click here to buy Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike review

You get a copy of Rebel Strike. Eagerly, you put the disk in your GameCube, awaiting much destruction and carnage (all in the name of fun, of course). Something appears on screen! Hey, it's all the characters...dancing? Yes, it's one of those intros.

As you may be able to guess from the title, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike is the third installment of the the Rogue Squadron series. Which I suppose means that, following the naming scheme of the films, the next game in the series will be called “Rogue Squadron: Episode 1”, but I digress. In Rebel Strike, you play various members of the rebel group, in both ground-based and flying missions, attempting to ultimately bring down the Imperials.

The “airborne” (for lack of a better word) missions are really what makes the whole Rogue Squadron series, and Rebel Strike is certainly no exception. The spacecraft handle wonderfully, and they are truly a joy to fly. It can be a bit difficult to find your bearings sometimes, but other than that I have absolutely no qualms with flying missions - ground-based gameplay, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish. It is something you will despise from the second you start the tutorial level. It sucks. The biggest annoyance in ground-based objectives is the extremely shoddy camera – you can't change its location, and when it decides to change itself it's usually the worst possible time. It's either zoomed out far too much, so your character is a group of three pixels on the screen, or it's impossible to see around the corner - you get the idea. Thankfully flying missions make up the bulk of the game, usually with two flying sections to one ground-based section per level, so as long as you can stand those you should be OK (and if you can't stand them, you probably should stop reading now and don't bother picking up a copy – you'd be wasting your money).

There is one area which can extremely easily let down a flying game; the controls. A game may have the best gameplay ever, but if the control system feels like it was designed by somebody with an upside down controller, it won't be fun. The designers obviously took inspiration from the wonderfully comfortable Gamecube controller, and made controls to match – everything fits naturally into the controller with no hyper-sensitive analogue stick, or shooting with the Z button involved anywhere. This compliments the aforementioned handling of the spacecraft nicely; hell, even the terrible ground-based objectives have decent controls.

The box claims GBA compatibility, but there isn't all that much you can do with a GBA connected – just give orders privately in multiplayer games to avoid cheating. This is a welcome addition if you have the hardware, but it feels like it was added so the box could sport the “Game Boy Advance Compatible” logo; certainly not any reason to rush out and buy a GBA.

Ah yes, I've not mentioned multiplayer yet – there are five forms; 4 versus, and one co-operative. Strangely the co-operative mode isn't the same as the single player mode; it uses the Rogue Leader levels. Nevertheless, if you have some mates over it's pretty good fun, and having different missions means that if you've played the whole game through before, you won't get bored of knowing what's going to happen next – provided you've never played Rogue Leader, of course – as can happen with other games such as Halo. The four versus modes available are Dogfight, Rampage, Tag & Defend and Special. Special is, as the name hints, where all the multiplayer levels which wouldn't fit into any of the other categories get dumped. Multiplayer isn't really anything special – you probably won't see many Rebel Strike parties – but it makes for some decent action if you're tired of playing other games with your friends and just want to play something, anything to keep the boredom away.

Rebel Strike supports Dolby Surround Pro Logic II, so if you have a decent audio setup you should be able to get superb sound quality out of it. The obligatory Star Wars theme is in there as well; could you have a real Star Wars game without it lurking somewhere? In what has become a recurring theme, the worst sound is in ground-based sections; it isn't bad quality, however a lot of sounds get repeated (one Imperial trooper death clip is the main culprit), which is pretty annoying and destroys any slight semblance of realism which may have existed beforehand. Still, the rest of the game has good audio, and won't blow up your speakers.

Finally, on the graphical front, Rebel Strike is pretty impressive; not ground breaking, but certainly better than many GameCube games I've seen. The only real let down is death scenes; they always look extremely fake for some reason – either you just suddenly fall down, your craft blows up perfectly symmetrically, or it just looks fake. Still, if you're good enough, this shouldn't happen too often wink.

Ratings

Graphics Pretty impressive graphics - not up there with the pre-rendered Resident Evil though. 8/10
Gameplay Pretty fun, when you're in a spacecraft and not walking. 8/10
Value At the time of writing, we did not have a value for money ranking. 0/10
Lifespan Enough levels to keep you going for a while, then there's the co-operative mode when you've finished. 9/10
Audio Good audio, let down by occasionally repetitive sounds. 7/10
Overall If you don't mind playing through some bad levels, pick this up and give it a go; you don't have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy it. 8/10

Click here to buy Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike from Amazon.co.uk.

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