Republic Commando drops you into the helmet of a crack Clone Trooper during the period of galactic strife known as the Clone Wars. Instead of developing a traditional story with a super powered hero who singlehandedly saves the galaxy, Lucasarts took a smarter route. Republic Commando focuses on a four-man squad of elite troopers who work together to complete a number of deadly missions. Delta Squad is comprised of RC-1138: the Boss (no, not that one), as well as RC-1262 (Scorch), RC-1207 (Sev), and RC-1140 (Fixer).



Sure, they're all clones, but since when did identical DNA mean you had to be totally derivative? Each member of the squad brings something different to the table in terms of personality and combat skills. Scorch handles demolitions, Sev is the weapons expert, and Fixer hacks whatever needs haxin'. The advantage of their unique personalities is twofold: they don't all come across as boring Jango Fett knockoffs, and their differences pave the way for some great squad-based gameplay.

As the Boss, you'll give orders to the rest of the squad using context-sensitive commands. Though the interface is fairly simple -- you're not going to be navigating complex menus Rainbow Six style -- it adds enough depth to the combat to avoid the dreaded "just another shooter" territory. The squad can be ordered to secure an area, seek out enemies or back off, and more specific commands are available for each clone trooper to take cover, use turrets or breach doors, or even lay down sniper cover.

When you're not issuing commands to your squad, there are plenty of aliens and droids to blast to pieces, and Republic Commando delivers the weapons in spades. From traditional blasters to sniper rifles, concussion rifles, rocket launchers and even wookie bowcasters, there's a ton of variety -- and that's before you introduce thermal detonators, flashbangs, and other grenades into the mix.

Though Nintendo's consoles seem to be home to considerably fewer shooters than Microsoft's Xbox, the visual similarity between the Metroid Prime series and Republic Commando would give the game a good "in." The HUD will feel right at home to anyone who's seen through Samus's eyes, as will the alien environments. Of course, Metroid and Republic Commando diverge pretty significantly when it comes to gameplay, but the likeness is there, nevertheless.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.