Star Wars: The Clone Wars
After the huge success of Rogue Leader on the GameCube it was always going to be a difficult task for any Star Wars game that came after it. The Clone Wars might give the impression that it is going to be more of the same in regards to the quality of gameplay but in actual fact this is not the case, which will disappoint those of you who were expecting something special.
Although the game is called The Clone Wars, it actually picks up where the film leaves off. Controlling either Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi you'll have to battle your way through 16 action filled missions spread across 6 Star Wars worlds. Those of you who have played Rogue Leader will notice that this seems like the game is far bigger but you'll be disappointed to know that this is not so, at least in practice anyway, but what this game does have that Rogue Leader didn't, is a multiplayer component. The four modes on offer are Duel, Control Zone, Conquest and Jedi Academy. In many ways the multiplayer side of the game is better than the single player game, although you should note that there are no AI opponents.
If Rogue Leader had a fault (besides the lack of subtitles) it was a tendency to be overly difficult and bog the gamer down on certain missions for ages. The Clone Wars swings the difficulty firmly (too much many would say) the other way. As we mentioned earlier there are 16 missions but the ease with which they can be completed, means that you're only going to be playing the single player campaign for no more than a couple of days instead of the weeks/months that Rogue Leader took to complete. You're not always confined to a vehicle/craft either, which might come as a surprise to some. The missions, though easy, are varied but regardless of the objectives it still feels a bit too repetitive for it's own good. There are three difficulty settings, Padawan, Jedi Knight and Jedi Master and whilst there is a noticeable difference in the challenge that is on offer there is no reward for completing missions on a higher difficulty setting. Each mission has it's bonus objectives and those are great for adding some replay value to the game, some of the bonus material is a waste of time for deaf gamers as the movie clips are unsubtitled.
The game looks good although I'll stick my neck out and say that Rogue Leader looked better. The game can also be switched to a widescreen format too for those who have one of these televisions. The framerate dips occasionally which is a shame and at some stages, The Liberation of Kashyyyk (that is spelt correctly) mission springs to mind, the framerate drops into single figures during a hectic battle and you feel like all control is lost. The developers also added some distance fogging on missions where you aren't in a confined space, in order to hide the short draw distance that this game has. It looks unsightly and spoils the look of the game. The cutscenes are of an OK quality although some do look poor.
Rogue Leader offered virtually no feedback for the deaf gamer and sadly The Clone Wars is just the same. There are no subtitles whatsoever in the game. You can get a brief mission briefing by pressing the start button once you are inside a mission but this doesn't hide the fact that during a mission you will receive verbal hints and advice from other characters and these hints are not given to the deaf gamer. In all honesty the text information that you are given on the pause menu is just the barebones of what is given verbally in the cutscene prior to a mission. The Control Zone multiplayer game is also problematic for deaf gamers as it relies on gamers hearing an audio cue to signal that a control zone has changed to their colour. The other modes also have verbal content and whilst it doesn't make the games unplayable it is a shame that deaf gamers weren't considered.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is yet another Star Wars game that simply does not live up to expectations. The poor provision for deaf gamers ruins what was an OK game at best. The single player campaign was far too short. If you don't have Rogue Leader yet you would be better advised choosing it over this, but check out our review and you'll find that although it's a better game it still doesn't cater for deaf gamers.
Overall Game Rating: 5.6/10 The Clone Wars is a short lived campaign combined with a good multiplayer component and the whole thing is not very welcoming to deaf gamers.
Deaf Gamers Comment: You can access mission briefings by looking at the pause menu but in virtually every other respect it makes like difficult for deaf gamers.