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Star Wars: Death Star Assault

For: Mobile

Take on the Evil Empire in spangly mobile 3D

Product: Star Wars: Death Star Assault | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: 3D, Film/ TV tie- in, Shooter | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 420KB | Reviewed on: W800i other handsets | Version: Europe
Star Wars: Death Star Assault Mobile, thumbnail 1
Congratulations! You're the billionth person to read this, a review of the billionth Star Wars game produced since the series' beginning some billion years ago. You have won a prize!

You haven't won, of course. Nor is this the billionth Star Wars game - but, boy, does it feel like it, so familiar and predictable it has become to see a game based around the climaxes of the very first Star Wars trilogy.

It's the first time it's been attempted for a mobile phone, however, so it's worthy of some fair evaluation though, and some merit points for effort.

Not that much merit, as it happens, because although Star Wars Death Star Assault presents you a nice-looking action title, the gameplay is, simply, only just above average.

It's ambitious enough, taking the notorious assaults on the two Death Stars, and turning them into a fast-paced action game.

Playing as Luke Skywalker, you're locked into a warmongering attack on the evil Death Star, shooting down TIE Fighters and TIE Bombers that get in your way through the first few levels, soaring over the surface of the battle station in the next, and then engaging in the iconic trench run to fire a missile at an exhaust port and rid the galaxy of terror.

The problem is that in the films these sequences seemed dramatic and full of danger. But in Star Wars Death Star Assault, there's no real sense of peril and it's not consistently engrossing, because when it's not being too damn easy it's being extremely irritating.

You can zip through the first few levels with your eyes shut (or your targeting systems turned off, Star Wars nerds might like us to quip), which means that, for a start, it takes a while to start presenting any kind of challenge. But then, once you get the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon during the attack on the Death Star Mk 2, the difficulty goes all over the place – challenging one minute, boringly easy the next.

This has the overall effect of making you repeatedly wince - with every other gasp as likely to be at the hot and cold gameplay as the scrapes you get your spaceship into. But then again, the wincing noise you might make is a saving grace given the music itself is so spectacularly awful, being about seven notes from the Star Wars soundtrack on a tinny loop.

All of which is a shame, really, because this game looks really nice and moves at a fairly decent pace, the dinky 3D graphics showing that lots of effort has gone into capturing the visual essence of Star Wars during the more busier, more active moments. When you graze by the super Star Destroyers in the later levels, say, or fly close to the Death Star, it's quite impressive.

Unfortunately, the feeling you get is that the game could have done with a little more fine-tuning before being released; the concept and visuals are solid enough, but they're let down by the uneven gameplay.

It all leaves Star Wars Death Star Assault as a cruel offering. It looks great, making it perfect for showing off your new phone to your mates - and will surely please any trilogy die hards out there.

Just don't let your mates touch the phone and play the game, or you'll all end up a little disappointed.
Star Wars: Death Star Assault
Reviewer photo
Michael French | 14 December 2006
A nice looking but ultimately unfulfiling take on Star Wars' best bits
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