Review – Star Wars: Republic Commando (Switch)

Originally released in 2005, Star Wars: Republic Commando is one of the most popular Star Wars games. There were many reasons to like him: It combines the tactical, team-based gunplay of Rainbow Six with one of the darkest and most gruesome settings in the history of George Lucas’ franchise. It shows the filth and cruelty of the Clone Wars like few Star Wars products do. It also featured the first licensed heavy rock song in Star Wars history: Clones, a group of ash from Northern Ireland.

The only major problem with Republic Commando is that it was released on a less popular console, at the end of its life cycle. The game was later ported to PC and was also available on the Xbox One via backwards compatibility, but it took sixteen years for it to finally arrive on Nintendo’s console. This is, of course, courtesy of Aspyr, the same company that released Episode I: Racer, Jedi Outcast, and Jedi Academy. While those earlier versions worked better and looked better than their original counterparts, the Switch version of Republic Commando is sadly an anomaly: a supposed remaster of an old game that looks and plays worse than the original…

Why do they look like they are possessed by a demon? It does sound stupid.

Basically, it’s pretty much the same game as the 2005 one. The campaigns are all there, the voices are intact, and even Ash’s clip is still available in the Extras menu. Unfortunately, the multiplayer, which was one of the most famous features of the original Republic Commando, is completely absent. I’m not going to lie, this absence is a fiasco. I understand not wanting to invest in an online server, but this game was damn entertaining, even in splitscreen. This could (and should) have been added to the whole package.

Aspyr has decided to focus exclusively on single player campaigns. Well, I don’t really like this strategy, but given the excellence of Republic Commando’s individual missions, I can forgive it. The game as a whole is exactly the same as before. I also added the ability to change the button layout to something more modern (reload with X and jump with Y? Really?) and to use the switch’s gyroscope to add an extra layer of false immersion to the overall experience. So far so good, right?

The super battle droids look menacing, but it’s nothing an EMP grenade can’t handle.

The problem is the quality of this remaster, if you can call it that. It’s simple: This version of the Republican order looks rough. The original game was dark, but it was hard to play in handheld mode because everything looked so dull and colorless. Turning on night vision doesn’t help either. Characters fade into the background, objects are hard to distinguish on screen, and the once-rich color palette of the original Republic Commando has disappeared in favor of a grayish-brown mush. The original game was much better in comparison, and that’s no exaggeration.

The optics aren’t even the biggest culprit, it’s the performance. For reasons I don’t understand, the Republican command is incredibly bad on the Switch. I’m talking about cases where the framerate falls into the 10s, especially in more open areas like the surface of Geonosis. Even standing in a narrow corridor, the refresh rate can fluctuate between 60 and 20 in an instant, and I can’t tell you why. Other games like Episode I: Racer, whose source code is much older and probably much harder to remaster properly, works well on the Switch. Hell, the PS4 version of Republic Commando doesn’t have this problem.

20 frames per second of pure action.

The Republic Commando Switch port is by far the worst version I’ve played, with poor graphics and a frame rate that makes the Xbox OG version look like an RTX 3080 in comparison. Still, even Republic Commando’s advance is still very entertaining, as it is one of the most combative and unique Star Wars games ever made. If you just want to play this classic on the go, go ahead. But don’t expect to fall in love. If you’re looking for a complete remaster, like Aspyr did with Episode I: Racer, forget it. Buy it on PS4 instead.

It may have been a graphically impressive game at the time, but there’s no reason why the Switch version of Republic Commando should look worse and perform worse than the Xbox original. The team play is as good as ever, and the combat is excellent, but the inconsistent framerate is a hindrance.
A bit compressed, but it’s an average (like, great) Star Wars soundtrack combined with a gritty but decent voiceover. The Clones of Ash music video is still in this package. This is the most disappointing version of Republic Commando ever released. That said, even the worst port of this game is still a lot of fun, thanks to its dark tone, great story, and fun characters.
Last block : 6.5

Star Wars: Republic Commando is available now on PS4, Xbox, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

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A copy of Star Wars: Republic of Commando was provided by the publisher.


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