At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Matt Bailey Xbox LucasArts The Collective 1-2 (Share screen) Here
Requirements Also on... Buy from Amazon.co.uk
None. PS2, PC, GBA, DS Click here to buy Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith review

Star Wars games have been around for nearly as long as the films themselves. With the first appearing in 1977, around the same time gaming was starting to take off, it's not surprising that there are now several hundred Star Wars titles available across several formats. So, with the last film arriving from the hands of creator George Lucas, it's not surprising to see an official game release. However, will the game follow the likes of Knights of the Old Republic and Rogue Squadron, or will it end up like Force Commander?

Well, the title actually ends up somewhere in the middle. While it's not going to match up to the likes of KOTOR, it's certainly not entirely bad either. The general game mechanics work rather smoothly as you use the right-trigger to swipe away with your lightsabre and the left-trigger to take advantage of force powers. It certainly feels right from the very start, and allows most players to get accustomed to the game very quickly. Of course, this is not much of a surprise considering it's a licensed game, and thus aiming for the mass audience. What also isn't surprising is that this initially fun gameplay can become tedious in the long run. Although things get better as you approach the later levels, with force abilities receiving important upgrades, ultimately there is little variation, and things become a bit too stale to make this an enjoyable gaming experience.

So how does the gameplay work in relation to the movie? Well, interestingly, it does follow the move... but only parts of it. In the decision to make this a lightsabre and force power-based adventure title, only the parts of the film which are relevant to this (i.e. the bits of the movie which are on foot) are used. This means some of the best parts of the movie - like the opening space combat - are not featured at all; the in-game clips from the film only tell a small part of the story, leaving you unable to know exactly why you're doing what you are unless you've been to the cinema. Obviously, this was LucasArts' intention - both in encouraging you to see their sister company's movie, and to avoid spoiling the story for fans who bought the game a couple of weeks before the film's release. However, this makes the game feel like even more of a cash-in, and also gives the impression the game is somewhat incomplete.

Fans will be pleased to hear that the game retains the look of the films, with characters easily identifiable, despite not looking immensely impressive. The environments are also recognisable from the film, but again the engine is shown to be nothing particularly special, particularly in comparison to other recent Xbox titles like Forza or even LucasArts' own Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. This is not helped by the use of CGI clips from the movie itself, which can show the difference in image quality, though some sections transition rather well, flowing from CGI to action. Thankfully there is some good animation which makes it believable, and this can often ease the transition. This is not perfect, sometimes things are a bit stuttery, or just not quite right, but overall, the action is smooth and aids the flow of the game.

The main criticism of the game is probably just how little there is of it. On top of the game's lack of depth, with initially enjoyable but highly repetitive gameplay, the game will also last only a few hours at best. Although on top of the main story mode there are bonus missions (including a playable Yoda and a section from Episode IV), as well as cooperative and versus two-player (share screen) gameplay, these are sections with limited appeal that I found could be completed in about three to five minutes each. Thus you get a package that feels like it's sold you short; it offers a hope of something great at the beginning, but never gets any better, and never even has the time to even try, because it's over before you know it.

Ratings

Graphics The backgrounds certainly have the look of the movie, but as with the game as a whole, are nowhere near photo-realistic, and the characters in particular stand-out in the transition from CGI to in-game engine. 6/10
Gameplay The game flows very well, and the Jedi moves can be accomplished with some ease. However, it becomes repetitive too quickly, and almost becomes a chore to complete. 6/10
Value With such a short lifespan for the title, you do feel a bit short-changed paying full price. 4/10
Lifespan Very short. Around 5 hours in the main game, and then probably another half to an hour of extras. With repetitive gameplay, you won't want to bother finding the extras. 4/10
Audio As you'd expect from a Star Wars title, the music is very good. The voices, although could have been a bit clearer with better audio quality, are delivered fairly well by the actors playing the characters, but it's nothing special. 7/10
Overall So another cheap cash-in? Kind of. If you can find it cheap or get a rental, then Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith can provide some good fun for a few hours. However, with only the on-foot parts of the film included, the game does feel like a half-hearted effort to bring the silver screen to your Xbox. 5/10

Click here to buy Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith from Amazon.co.uk.

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