For years, Star Wars fans have looked at the Clone Wars with the same sense of awe that American History fans have the Civil War or WWII. These were the battles where Obi-Wan made himself a war hero, Anakin began his descent towards the dark side, and the Empire was born. Until now, little was known about what really happened at the Clone Wars, but by the end of the game, most questions will be answered.
Surprisingly enough, the game starts right before the end of Attack of the Clones. Jar-Jar has just screwed the entire galaxy by voting to give Palpatine the powers to create an army, Yoda has set out to Kamino to inspect the Clone Army, and Mace and the Jedi are on their way to Geonosis to rescue Anakin and Obi-wan. The intention of the game is that you'll participate in the battles that will never make it to the movies, since Episode III is supposed to open up with the last battle of the war. In addition to connecting Episodes II and III, Clone Wars also serves as a link to the Expanded Universe by bringing in Exar Kun and Ulic Qel Droma from the Dark Horse comic book series.
As expected, battlefields aren't limited to Geonosis alone, but instead span across six different worlds including Raxus Prime, Rhen Var, and Kashyyyk. At its core, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a straight out vehicle shooter such as Twisted Metal combined with the layout of Rogue Leader or Starfighter. At the beginning of each mission, you will be assigned a vehicle and charged with mission objectives, usually meaning just blast the hell out of anything that isn't on your side. These are obviously some of the more intense parts of the game - especially missions that have you rescuing prisoners or refugees.
As great as these parts are, there is one major flaw that can ruin parts of the game. At certain points in the game, your Jedi leaves his ship in order to take out a power station or make it to another ship. The problem is that the engine has a very hard time handling these areas, turning what should be agile, mystical warriors into cumbersome, mystical warriors. There's really no way you can make these areas easier - just grin and bear it.
Perhaps the biggest addition to the Xbox version is the inclusion of Live support. When I first saw Clone Wars a year ago, I remember thinking how near the game would be online. Little did I know that not only would Lucasarts make my dream a reality, but that they would do it in a way that surpassed my expectations. While players can still participate in the standard Multiplayer modes that shipped with the original two versions of the game, the new Conquest mode is where all the fun is to be had. After forming teams, players are let loose on a giant battlefield littered with bases. As the two teams battle, the can capture bases and create both laser turrets to defend their bases and drones to accompany their units in battle. Players can even take control of a tower and take control of a satellite to relay troop movements to team members. It should go without saying that the online component alone makes Clone Wars worthwhile, even for players who already have the GC or PS2 version.