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 Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Impressions

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PostSubject: Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Impressions   Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:31 am

Star Wars: The Old Republic may still be several months away, but today another Star Wars MMO was released. Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, from Sony Online Entertainment, is based on the animated TV series and is aimed at a much younger audience than Bioware's massively-multiplayer offering.

We had a little time with the game shortly before its launch. For those who are expecting a massive world filled with quests and adventure, you'd be well advised to try before you buy -- a simple matter, considering the game can be downloaded for free. Clone Wars Adventures is essentially a collection of arcade-style games that can either be accessed by wandering around the central hub area, or by simply clicking a button on the menu. The games include racers, shooters, block puzzles, tower defense games, fighting games and variations of some of the more popular flash games.

Most of the games can be primarily controlled with the mouse, such as the shooter, which involves steering with mouse movement and clicking to shoot. Other games require arrow keys, like the pod-racer. None are particularly difficult in the early stages, but as you complete early levels, you unlock more challenging ones. The higher levels of the tower defense game, we're told, get pretty hairy. Everything seemed to control pretty well, given the simplistic nature of them, and the rules were straightforward enough for each game that they were able to to fit on a small window at the start.

Completing games nets you some money to spend in Clone Wars Adventure's in-game store to acquire clothing for yourself and furniture for your home. It's all purely decorative stuff, but you can get the expensive status items to show off to your friends. You can also unlock trophies to put in your trophy room, for those who want to complete every little thing. Curiously, of all the games, only two have direct multiplayer capabilities at the moment -- Light Saber Duels and Speeder Bike Racer. The rest have asynchronous competitive modes, like high score comparisons.

Admittedly, the most compelling thing about Clone Wars Adventures is the update schedule. The development team has worked closely with George Lucas and co. to create content that will coincide with episodes of the third season of the Clone Wars TV show. As episodes of the show air, players will be able to play sequences of the show within the game the very next day.

To play all of the games on all of their various levels, you'll need to be a subscriber, which costs $5.99 US a month. Is it worth it? Perhaps. There's no need to purchase anything to play the free games, and $5.99 isn't a huge amount of money to pay for the membership component. Some of the games are surprisingly high quality, but they're all still mini-games. It's by no means a traditional MMO, but more of a sack of single player games with some social interaction spattered in between. You can judge for yourself whether you'd like to subscribe by downloading the free-to-play portion at the Clone Wars Adventures website.
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