The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
As one of the most beloved and popular franchises in
history, Star Wars has had countless forays into every medium possible,
including films, books, TV shows, and, of course, video games. The issue has
been that of quality vs. quantity, however. Certain Star Wars games are often
seen on many top 10 best games of all-time lists, and yet the same can be said
for the top 10 worst games lists. Now that the ball rests in the corners of EA
and Disney, the former of which will be handling most of the big name console
and PC releases, there are a number of directions where the series can go.
First and foremost, do away with direct movie tie-ins. Star
Wars is known for the depth of its universe and there is absolutely no need to
waste time with showing us a story that has already been told. I remember
playing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith back on the
original Xbox. Mechanically, it wasn't the worst video game ever made, but by
telling the exact same story as the film and featuring dull force and combat mechanics,
it did nothing to better the franchise. And that was one of the better tie-in
That being said, I want to qualify that not all movie
tie-ins are inherently bad. For instance, the Lego: Star Wars franchise
is very enjoyable and follows the story of the six main films. The difference
between Lego: Star Wars and the direct tie-in games is that Lego did
something different. They used the environments and set pieces to create unique
experiences; ones that are not necessarily based directly off of the events of
the films. In addition, by removing any actual dialogue, all of the cutscenes
are charming and cute to watch and aren't diluted by SD cut-ins of film scenes.
If Star Wars Episode VII is to get a movie tie-in, they would be best to not
rehash the film onto a controller.
A shot from Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Personally, I couldn’t think of a better company to hold the
Star Wars license than EA. While they aren’t the perfect company and I can
agree that a lot of their flak is deserved, we as gamers would be remiss to
overlook their accomplishments. I’m not here to tout EA so I will stop there.
But two major companies, DICE and BioWare, are both owned by EA and their
pedigrees make them the perfect candidates to make Star Wars games.
What EA needs to do is look at what made Star Wars games
successful in the past. Which games won over the most hearts, sold the best,
and that are still played to this day. The two biggest that I can think of
are Star Wars: Battlefront and Knights of the Old Republic.
To be fair, it has already been confirmed that DICE is working on a Battlefront game
which is set to be released concurrently with Episode VII. Their work on
the Battlefield series gives them enough credibility to expect an
excellent Battlefront game. I feel in that sense, EA is moving in the
right direction with Star Wars games.
But that is only the first step. In addition to being known
for extravagant and epic battles, Star Wars is also known for the incredible
scale of its universe and the sheer number of potential stories that are able
to be told. The races, character archetypes, politics, and size of the galaxy
leave for unmatched depth. While the stories of the six main films are
excellent, they only tap the surface of how great Star Wars stories can be. For
example, one of the best RPGs ever made and my personal favorite game of
all-time, Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR), takes place thousands
of years before the original saga and features, without question, the same
caliber of storytelling. The original KotOR was developed by BioWare
and is often considered a sort of spiritual predecessor to the excellent Mass
Effect series. A sequel was developed by Obsidian which left the
series with a cliffhanger. Though BioWare also created The Old Republic, an
MMO which supposedly continues KotOR’s story, I think a full-fledged
story-focused RPG is long overdue for the Star Wars universe. KotOR already
has well-established characters, planets, and story elements and I think that
it makes for the perfect setting for a good Star Wars RPG.
KoTOR, often lauded as one of the best RPGs of all-time.
There are, of course, a few other places that Star Wars
still needs work on. For example, we have yet to receive a quality game that
gives players the full powers of a Jedi. Force Unleashed came awful
close, in fact I am an apologist for that series, but those games have quite a
few problems on their own. Give us a game that captures what makes the Jedi so
appealing: namely creative force powers and intense lightsaber battles. In
addition, a third person Uncharted-style bounty hunter game that shows the
gritty side of the Star Wars universe, previously shown as the
now-cancelled 1313, would also be welcome. Maybe even a top-down RTS game
à la Civilization would fit nicely as well.
Simply put, the scope of the Star Wars universe
is massive enough that any variety of amazing games can come out of the
franchise. The way I see it, the focus needs to be less on putting out as many
games as possible and more on fewer, albeit greater, games. What do you guys
want to see from Star Wars in the coming years?
Thanks for reading, guys! I would love to hear what you guys think. Criticisms, compliments, suggestions, anything.
This piece was originally published by gizorama.com.