While Star Wars fans will most likely be indefinitely satisfied with The Old Republic, not everybody likes the play style of RPGs. On the Xbox, fans had a few options as to how to get their Star Wars fix. One was Knights of the Old Republic, another was the mega-hit Battlefront series. Finally, not quite as popular as the first two, but garnering its own fan following, was Star Wars: Republic Commando.
Battlefront accomplished many things but it fell short of the high bar set by other shooters. Republic Commando however, was a balanced and competent FPS that mixed up the usual Star Wars gameplay by putting you in the boots of the leader of an elite clone commando squad, which translated into emphasized teamwork and tactical combat over the typical charge and fire solutions.
The game was critically successful for its gameplay and its deep storyline, following the commandos through the events of the Clone Wars. The game even inspired a novel series that saw the clones through past the end of the war and into the Empire’s rule. With such a lasting impact, it’s not hard to see why making a sequel would be an attractive prospect to LucasArts, especially after lukewarm receptions to The Force Unleashed 2 and few non-LEGO Star Wars games in development. It’s surprising that there hasn’t and might not ever be a Battlefront 3, but some recent information may be pointing towards a sequel for Republic Commando.
Tim Longo, director of the Tomb Raider franchise and Republic Commando, has left Crystal Dynamics and signed on with LucasArts as creative director on “an unannounced project.” With his history in the company, could he be working on a sequel to Republic Commando? It seems a likely possibility. LucasArts has now licensed the Unreal Engine 3 from Epic Games in a huge multi-year deal. In the news release, Zak Phelps, director of technology at LucasArts expressed some excitement to be working with the critically acclaimed game engine.
“Unreal Engine 3 is a forward-looking solution that shortens the path between inspiration and execution on a wide variety of gaming platforms…We are thrilled to add another exceptional tool to our technology mix.”
Mark Rein, the vice president of Epic was quoted saying:
“LucasArts is now primed to capitalize on Unreal Engine 3’s ability to scale across platforms, from mobile, through PC and console all the way up to the next generation of games. We can’t wait to see what happens when LucasArts combines their talented workforce and amazing intellectual properties with Unreal Engine 3.”
Considering that they’ve recently made some new trademarks, whatever they are working on, we can be sure it will be big. With Tim Longo heading up the project, and an engine known for its shooter implementation, things do seem to be pointing towards a potential Republic Commando sequel or at least a spiritual successor.
How many of you played Republic Commando? Would you be happy for a sequel? For those that haven’t played it, give it a shot, it’s backwards compatible on the Xbox 360, and it is also available on PC.