Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II

-LucasArts/Factor 5 (2001)

 

 

Summary:

Live the original trilogyís greatest on and off-screen battles.

My Thoughts:

Rogue Leader puts you in the original trilogyís battles better than any Star Wars game before it. You bravely fly down the first death star trench, topple huge AT-ATs with your tiny Snowspeeder, maneuver the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid belt, and take part in the best space battle in the Star Wars trilogy - the Battle of Endor. You will then scrape your fighter on the sides of the small and windy Death Star II exhaust port and save the galaxy from the Empireís tyranny.

The off-screen missions are also very good. Youíll fight over Bespin, attack Star Destroyers head-on, steal the Imperial Shuttle Tyderium, and defend fellow Rebels trying to retrieve secret data from a crashed Star Destroyer. The only mission I didnít like was the Ison Corridor Ambush. You fight in a foggy nebula where its difficult to see anything and make out where you are in relation to the other ships. Your targeting computer does help a little in this stage, but not much. The best mission in the game is the Battle of Endor, complete with my favorite Star Wars music, Into the Trap. Near the end of the mission you need to take out not one, but two Star Destroyers. Itís simply incredible.

Your personas in these missions will either be Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles. Wedge is even voice by Denis Lawson, the actor who portrayed him in the movies. Iím sure he doesnít have a whole lot of acting gigs lined up, but itís nice to have at least one of the real voices in the game.

The graphics are more detailed than any Star Wars game before it. All the ships, landscapes, laser blasts, and explosions look great and are as close to movie-perfect as Iíve seen in a Star Wars title. There is some footage pulled directly from the movies and itís integrated into the game very well. Of course the music is the same score weíre all fond of.

You have a hanger full of familiar ships to pilot. There is the X-Wing, Y-Wing, B-Wing, A-Wing and Snowspeeder. As you play youíll unlock the Millennium Falcon, a TIE Fighter, and Fett's Slave I, but it wonít be easy. You need to earn medals in each mission that unlock the ships that give you points to spend on new missions. However, the regular missions are difficult enough to get through on their own and some will have you cursing The Force for letting you die so much. Youíll be seeing the ďMission FailedĒ screen a lot, usually from Imperials gunning down the cruisers youíre supposed to protect, but youíll also be shot down by plenty of turbo lasers. The cruiser commanders really start yelling at you when theyíre getting hit. Obviously, you are the only one to make a difference in this war. Be prepared to play through missions over and over because those gold medals are real tough to obtain. Itís too bad because many casual players may never get to see the Falconís missions or the best unlockable mission of shooting down Rebel scum as Lord Vader in his TIE prototype.

Unfortunately, there is no two-player mode. This game would be so much fun with a friend (and maybe a little easier). There are a few little extras in the game. You get the teaser trailer for the game, a making-of documentary, and even an audio commentary. The audio test is the best Iíve ever seen. Itís a TIE Fighter flying around and its sound goes through all your surround speakers. The game is presented in sweet Dolby Surround so you really should be playing it that way. It adds so much to the game. Also, when you fire up the game you are treated to Stormtroopers dancing to the Cantina music.

As difficult and sometimes frustrating as the game can be, youíll keep coming back to it because itís simply one of the best Star Wars games out there.

Score: 9.0

-Shawn     

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