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May 1, 2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
6/5/2005LucasartsThe Collective1-2$89.95

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Time to use that light saber!
Before we even start the preview of Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith I'll warn you there are some very minor spoilers either through the surrounding screenshots, or the text. This game, as you can surmise from the title, ties in closely to the movie and a preview without some references is, well, impossible. Those of you trying to remain totally in the dark about the movie may want to skip this preview for now.... just know that it's looking pretty good at this stage. And now onto the (minor) spoiler filled preview...

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Fighting side by side.
You still here? Good. As you are all aware the third movie in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is coming out this May and just as day follows night (or night follows day!) LucasArts are putting the finishing touches on a game to tie into the movie. Let's start with the storyline. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith takes place after the Clone Wars which began at the end of the previous movie. This third movie is dominated by Anikan's turn to the dark side and transformation to Darth Vader. Along the way friends become enemies, and a hell of a lot of characters won't make it through unscathed. The game will include battles against bosses such as Count Dooku and, most likely, General Grievous who appears as a new character in Episode III.

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This will be a classic moment...
As well as following the storyline and sequences of the movie the game will also feature missions that expands on action on the silver screen. Some of these moments were cut from the final film, while others are exclusive to this game, or expanded on what happens in the film. A prime example of this is Obi-Wan needing to battle his way off the planet Utapau while in the movie he apparently stealths himself away after encountering General Grievous. Time will tell how well these are integrated into the game, but it has been fairly successful in several other recent Star Wars games and you can bet your bottom dollar that these have required approval by Lucasfilm, if not George himself. The game will also include some all-new characters not seen in the movies.

In terms of gameplay Episode III will follow most other Star Wars, and indeed many other movie, tie-ins. This is a third person action adventure game split across 16 levels set on four worlds including Coruscant, Utapau and Mustafar. The game is played from the viewpoint of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Not only are the Jedi equipped with light sabers but as in the movie each also has the ability to use force powers such as include Force Stun, Sith Lightning and Jedi Mind Trick. As with LucasArts' many other titles we can expect all the main characters to make an appearance through the game.

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Battle on the bridge.
One of the biggest moments in the game, and of course the movie, will be the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The games developers had access to the movie sets (well, the green screens at least) at Fox Studios to get a feel of the action. The game makers also had access to stunt coordinator Nick Gillard who assisted the development team in ensuring the characters all move realistically right down to foot movement. Even Hayden Christianson offered input into his characters movements and posture in the game.

The developers are also including a 2-player competitive mode obviously to re-live some of the potentially awesome on-on-one fights. Not only will you be able to use the two main characters but also others including Mace Windu, Count Dooku and Darth Vader to name a few. Hopefully a co-op mode will also make it into the game for any suitable levels.

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Roger, roger.
What some of you may have noticed is that this game isn't actually being developed internally at publishers LucasArts but rather at The Collective. While this company has deveoped Indiana Jones & Emperors Tomb and Wrath Unleashed on PS2 , i has also developed much better titles on other systems. You can also guarantee that LucasArts will be keeping a close eye on the games progress.

As you can see Episode III is a wonderful game graphically. The modelling of the main characters is quite remarkable and even at this early stage the preview trailers from the game indicate that the developers have also put much effort into the animation. The backgrounds also look splendid with references taken from the upcoming film as expected. The game will also include 12 minutes of film footage from the final movie to tell the story - if you want to remain spoiler free for the movie you may want to wait a week or two before buying this game - if you can hold off that is.

Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith will be released in early May, two weeks before the release of the movie.