Recently I spoke with Cris “Soup” Lee, assistant producer on the new Star Wars Game The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes. I want to thank Cris and Christopher for setting up the interview and answering my questions.
GVK: What is the background and setting for the game?
The game picks up at the end of Season 1 of the television series, where our heroes are on the planet Ryloth. As the story develops it bridges the gap on to Season 2; the Jedi also encounter a mysterious new villain named “Kul Teska.”
GVK: What are some of the charactares players will be able to play and will they be assigned them during the game or do you get to select who you play at the start of the game?
There are 8 Jedi, and 10 Clone characters to chose from, so favorites like Anakin, Obi-Wan, Captain Rex, and Commander Cody will be playable as well as some new characters like Sergeant Kano, and the bounty hunter Cad Bane. At anytime the player can go back and replay any mission they like as any character they like.
GVK: How will players gain new skills, and what are some of the moves players will be able to make?
As a follow up, will moves be unique to each character?
Players accumulate points in the game by collecting Force orbs, and defeating enemies. In turn players can then spend those points however they like in the Shop to upgrade and customize their characters in the game. Outside of the Shop customization, each character group has a unique ability. Jedi can “Droid-Jak” which is the ability to jump on and control any droid in the game, and alternatively the Clones have a special ability to “slice” security consoles.
GVK: What are some of the locales players will enounter?
Players will see familiar locales from the show, like the planet Ryloth. There’s also the space station mining facility Juma-9, as well as some other new locales to the series like the frozen planet of Alzoc III, and the remote planet Behpour.
GVK: What are some of the enemies players will face and will their be boss battles?
You’ll face off against the enemies of the Republic that you see on the show, including some new droids like the chameleon, and sabotage droids. Yes there are boss battles, so you can expect to see some familiar villains making an appearance as well.
GVK: What type of multiplay will the game offer?
Local Drop-in/Drop-out co-op multiplayer.
GVK: Will any of the voices from the television series appear in the game?
Yes, in fact all of the actors from the show are lending their voices for the game.
GVK: What are some of the differences players will experience playing as a Clone Trooper as opposed to a Jedi, as I would think that being without the force would present new challenges.
Like in the series the Clones and Jedi are always working together, helping each other… while the Jedi are acrobatic and have lightsabers and the Force, Clones are tactical experts with an arsenal at their disposal. From blasters to rocket launchers, thermal detonators, and even jet pack,s the clones have the firepower and the means to get the job done at any cost!
GVK: What can you tell us about the bonus items and in level challenges as well as character upgrades?
Throughout the game are hidden artifacts. By collecting these you unlock all kinds of things from items and abilities to databank info about the series. “Instant Challenges” break up the co-op gameplay and give players the chance to compete against each other for points, ranking, medals, and bragging rights. These Instant Challenges appear as ‘access beacons’ within the game once an area is cleared of enemies; players can then choose to play these instant challenges as many times as they want or ignore them and continue with the story.
GVK: The Star Wars films have always had a dynamic musical score, what can you tell the readers about the music in the game?
Well being Lucasarts, we have the very good fortune of working with all of the Lucas companies on Republic Heroes, so fans will be happy to know that we’ve worked with Skywalker Sound and have gotten a lot of those great scores from the series into the game.
GVK: Will vehicles be a part of the game?
Asolutely! There are STAPs, AT-RTs, as well as missions involving the massive vertical cliff-climbing AT-TEs
GVK: Roughly how long is the game?
That really depends on the player.. There are over 40 levels and with all the artifacts, unlockables, and collectibles there’s plenty to go back for if you’re a true collector.
GVK: What would you say sets this game apart from previous Star Wars games?
With Republic Heroes you get two completely different gameplay styles with the Clones and the Jedi. In addition to playing a pivotal authentic episode in the series you’ll also get to play as 4 brand new clone characters, meet a brand new villian, visit never before seen planets and also get to play as the ruthless bounty hunter Cad Bane. Did I mention the unlockables? Have you ever seen a Star Wars game where you could outfit a clone trooper or Jedi with an Indiana Jones Fedora?
GVK: What have been some of the greatest challnges in the game and the greatest successes?
The greatest challenge is working on a Star Wars game. From rabid fans to hard core gamers it’s not an easy task to create something in a space where so many people have an opinion or expectations. Since Jedi Mind Tricks don’t work, (we’re rabid fans ourselves) we took some of those expectations and really collaborated with all of our partners (internally and externally) to bring an authentic Clone Wars experience that fits right in with the show, and is also a game that fans of any age or skill will love. For me, watching the new generation of Star Wars fans playing alongside the old school generation of fans and enjoying the game together is the greatest success.