Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Review - Qui-Gon Binn?
Neil Kewn (Murxidon) - OnRPG Journalist
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures is a free to play browser-based online game from Sony Online Entertainment, based on the popular television series of the same name. Released in September, the game has already hit over one million registered users and promises an action-packed online experience. With new updates going live after each episode has aired, there is sure to be a lot of content in the coming months, but what's on offer for the Star Wars fanatics now?
The Limited Adventures of Jariah Mynockneedler
As the game is squarely aimed at the youth of today, registration is appropriately straightforward with the game generating a random Galaxy conquering name for you. You can, of course, choose your own name, but the game's first suggestion sounded so remarkable I just had to take it. Other than that, character creation is limited, with only three races to choose from (humans, Twi'lek, and clones) and three premade heads. Once registration was complete and the game finished downloading, Jariah Mynockneedler found himself in a room with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu and other Star Wars mainstays. The opening scenes introduce the game in a typically cinematic fashion, but it isn't long until you're given your lightsaber.
Me and Mace go way back
Clone Wars Adventures would struggle to define itself as an MMORPG. There is no huge world to explore, no professions to level, no monsters to slay and no items to loot. The game can be best described as an interactive chatroom, where players congregate in a very small playing area and chat, perform strange emotes and play arcade games.
If you're not the social type, then playing arcade games is exactly what you will be doing, because that's all Clone Wars Adventures has to offer. A multitude of Star Wars themed activities make up the bulk of the game, all available by clicking on an icon at the bottom right of the screen or by speaking to the appropriate Star Wars character in any of the themed rooms. Mini-games take many forms, but most take their inspiration from other well-known games you usually play instead of working, such as Tower Defence and Bejeweled. Fortunately, each game offers a pleasant twist that keeps things fresh, if only for a while.
Play Arcade Style Mini-Games, You Will
Each game is well made, with flashy presentation and a suitably dramatic voiceover detailing the situation before you begin. Most games are split into different levels which range in difficulty, but the basic gameplay premise of each doesn't stray too much from level to level, so it's not long before boredom begins to set in. Hopping from game to game can provide a few hours of Star Wars-themed entertainment, but the end result is frustratingly hollow, as the credits awarded aren't put to a lot of use.
Playing arcade games earns you Republic Credits, which can be used to purchase new gear from the numerous stores available. There are new costumes to buy, pets to adopt, novelty weapons to wield and new emotes to annoy other players with. This is all well and good, but the gear you collect doesn't amount to much, as very little of the equipment you buy carries over into the games you play. Each of the outfits stays true to the artistic style the Clone Wars series employs, and are pretty well detailed. Trivial in the long run, but at least you have the option of running around the place as Han Solo.
Starfighter - Shoot anything that moves
House Prices Rise In Space, Too
A Player Housing mechanic features predominantly in Clone Wars Adventures. Each player is given their own instanced home right off the bat, which you can customise to your heart's content. Beds, desks, lamps and other furnishings are divided into themes, each giving your home a noticeably different style. Other players can visit your humble space abode and comment on the amount of cash you just spent, but very little more. The furniture you buy is purely for aesthetics, and can't be interacted with. More impactful purchases take the form of Modules. These are specific upgrades to your home that can be added to store your ships and weapons. Other Modules provide some droids for you to destroy, and one even starts a party at your place, because who doesn't want to party with Anakin Skywalker and seventeen Clone Troopers?
Free to play isn't the most exciting term in gaming anymore, because it usually indicates stumping up cash somewhere down the line to experience the game properly. Clone Wars Adventures is no exception, and free players are extremely limited in what games they can play, what items they can buy and what beds can reside in their home. The Jedi Membership is a premium experience that unlocks most of what the game has to offer. Priced at $5.99 a month, becoming a Jedi, so to speak, grants you access to all of the arcade games (there are currently six pay to play games), and most of the furniture, costumes, weapons and other items found in the store. On top of this, certain items can only be purchased by spending more money on Station Cash. Yes, Sony Online Entertainment's infamous in game currency makes its way into Clone Wars Adventures, and is required to have the most exclusive gear, even if you're already paying a monthly fee.
You too can have bragging rights, at a price
Attack of the Graphically Impressive Clones
Production values of Clone Wars Adventures are high, and the licence has been used to full effect here. Visually, the game is excellent. The central hub, whilst only consisting of small rooms, looks great and character models are top notch. The artistic style of the Clone Wars television series is present throughout, and fans of the show will notice their favourite characters dotted around each area. The typically excellent Star Wars musical score makes its way into the game. Ambient music compliments the social experience whilst famous John Williams compositions back up the action.
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures isn't a game for everyone. Besides attractive, fun mini-games there isn't a whole lot else to do. The social aspect is encouraged, but with only a few games enabling multiplayer and expensive premium items leaving most out in the cold, older players will find little to enjoy. Clone Wars Adventures is a game for Clone Wars fans, and with updates promised after each television episode, they should stick around and see what's on offer. If you're looking for something to tide you over until The Old Republic, this probably isn't it.
- Great artistic style
- Some fun, deep mini games
- Better than the Prequel trilogy
- Not a whole lot of useful content
- Social aspect is underwhelming