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Making the Pitch for EA's Star Wars Games


Since the partnership was announced, the future for Star Wars games has never been more talked about than after Disney's hiring EA to churn out Star Wars games. With its debut at E3 this summer, we all know that the Star Wars Battlefront series is getting resurrected, but what other avenues are we forgetting? It was only last month that a list of 20 canceled Star Wars titles over the course of LucasArts's troubled history and that has only gotten this blogger thinking, "What Star Wars games do I want to see? With EA's Battlefront probably due by 2015 at earliest with no other known titles in development, fans may have plenty of time left to speculate about how many other adventures George Lucas's universe has waiting for us. Look, there was absolutely nothing out of Disney's convention last weekend, so this Star Wars fanatic must have something to keep him awake at night. Sit back and enjoy these random ideas. 

Jedi Knight Interquel Game Between Episodes III-IV

With the legacies of Bioware’s Knights games, RPGs have had an undeniable influence over Star Wars both storytelling and game-design. Obsidian had originally discussed its plans to make another Knights game set between Episodes III and IV and that’s exactly what I imagine should be next for Disney’s plate of Star Wars games. Surviving the Purge would place the Jedi characters in the most vulnerable place they’ve ever been in a game of the time-period and an element of Walking Dead-ish choice-making could set the survivalist tone of the plot. Do you choose to stay loyal to our Jedi brethren or rat them out? Stay in hiding and wait for the right time and place or make a lightsaber fueled last stand that could get your order killed? Star Wars has always been a character-driven series and it’d be nice to see it evolve with the immense progress games are beginning to make with choices that are just starting to come with them.

A General Grievous Game


People may still have bad memories of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but for every flawed film in it, there was always one bad-a$$ that happened to make their way into the backround. For Episode III, that character was General Grievous. In a field of other mindless CG droids, Grievous had not only the coolest armor and fearsome voice, he had four-honk’in lightsabers to throw around the room. It’s these reasons alone why Grievous could make for one heck of a video-game combatant to play. Everything would be on the table for cutting, Metal Gear Rising-style, straight up with its wild and chaotic swordplay times four. It’d only be natural to switch up Grievous’s tactics with some sweet wheel-bike segments to plow up clone troopers with, but you’d mostly be able to chop them up with two-saber or 4-saber combo attacks like a battle-droid Raiden. Better yet, as a general to boot, you could call in droid reinforcements to tackle swarms of enemies like Ezio calls in his Assassins. Boss battles would easily be the Jedi that you gain extra lightsaber upgrades from and I see plenty of trophy/achievement potential. . . At the same time, a few flashbacks to explain Grievous’s tragic origins from his EU publications of being transformed by the Intergalactic Banking Clan as a cyborg hit-man of sorts could even deepen Grievous as a character. Slice-and-dice baby!

Star Wars Bounty Hunter II with Boba Fett

Star Wars 1313 made headlines as what could’ve been a good, even great addition to 3rd-person action/ shooter/ games, but there was always on question on my mind: Where was Boba Fett? We may never know who or how interesting the still unnamed bounty hunter from LucasArts’ teaser trailer would’ve been, but there’s no denying that players have been wanting to get their hands on Boba ever since his dad’s 2002 Gamecube game back in the day. Like 1313, it could very well take a few cues from Uncharted with explosive, cinematic set-pieces like shown in the teaser footage with some high-speed chases down Coruscant’s gritty slums. Actual contract kills could act more like a Star Wars Hitman, having Boba carefully lure a target into an elaborate trap whether it be via sniper shot or a clever “accident” at the Cantina. Exploration on more isolated planets hunting prey like Dantooine and Kashyyyk could let you switch between a 3rd-person and a more 1st-person view Metroid Prime view with scanning abilities with your double-parked Slave 1 serving as your Metroid ship to save and re-arm in. Multi-player would most definitely translate over into competing against rival bounty hunters for kills much like Assassin's Creed gameplay, but with more Max Payne-ish shooting matches in between stealth, or like Arkham Origins. Playing Bossk, Dengar, or even IG-88 would be the best. Do it EA! 

 Star Wars: Solo

 

Harrison Ford’s name is synonymous with everything that’s cool about the original trilogy’s human side to Star Wars and it’s about time that we finally get to play his dashing smuggler rather than watching his swag on-screen. The few poor attempts at a “Han Solo game” like several old GBA and PC games involved a pixelated Millenium Falcon than Han, but I’m talk’in about a true-blue Solo experience. Preferably before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, we’d get our hands on a still late twenties-something Han only early into his career with Chewie. The gameplay could mostly owe itself to Uncharted and Gears’ cover system while fully realizing a Max Payne style  “bullet time,” sending Han leaping off of platforms and out from corners wasting punks with slow-mo blaster shots to the head. Odd jobs and “favors” to crime bosses would take us to the grittiest slums of Nar Shadaa, Mos Eisley, and Kessel. Ideally each level would act like its own mini-open world like Hulk Ultimate Destruction’s and have a few cool side activities like Sabaac tournaments, swoop bike races, and maybe womp rat hunts akin to Red Dead Redemption’s. Maybe it’s story would finally give us our first on-screen glimpes as to why Han and Lando broke up their friendship prior to Episode V and its last level even featuring Han’s legendary “Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.” Why haven’t we played this yet?. . .

Star Wars: Civilization 

The Star Wars galaxy is utterly huge and as many level-based games, or even open-world games as we could get from it, the biggest dream of every Sith Lord and avid video-game player has been to conquer all of it. We’ve seen games like Star Wars Galaxies and The Old Republic try and give us a moderate sense at universe building but even while more personable ways to go about seeing each planet individually, there’s no question in my mind that having entire star systems to play with Civilization style would be even more intoxicating. If you’ve had problems deciding how to negotiate or annihilate nations on earth, how much more epic would it be making galactic choices. Building and launching your faction’s Death Star, Sun Crusher, or Galaxy Gun at your foe to blackmail them at the bargaining table for those last ion cannons would be strategic thinking made for Star Wars. The space map would be enormous, maybe to the fault of nearly crashing today’s computers, but the scope and size of establishing your own galactic empires, republics, or even Jedi/Sith Orders would keep me awake for many a night. 

Yuuzhan Vong Dead Space

      

I’m not a horror enthusiast, yet even one such as myself can’t help but admit the enormous, perhaps grand potential that the Star Wars universe has in it for scaring the crap out of us. Joe Schreiber’s 2009 novel of “Death Troopers” was the franchise’s most recent attempt at giving our galaxy far, far away the spooks, and while creepy zombie storm troopers was a mildly inventive idea, there’s little doubt that the Expanded Universe had a few more creepy critters of its own. The ones that most prominently come to mind are the New Jedi Order's Yuuzhan Vong. Immune to being sensed in the Force, armed with weird organic technology, sneaky, and just downright vicious, the Vong were what nearly brought down the Rebel Alliance’s New Republic. Their ships are made of grotesque, odd plant-like as much as Yuuzhan Vong warriors are and being stuck in one of the literally city-sized pod ships would be freaky amazing for an EA Dead Space like entry. 

Jacen Solo, Jedi heir to the Solo family name, was imprisoned in one for weeks of torturous indoctrination at the hands of the Vong with the ex-Jedi Vergere as his only guide through the pain, albeit a double-talking deceptive one. He’d easily be the Isaac Clarke equivalent to Star Wars’s semi-sane Force-wielder battling is way from succumbing to a dark-side fueled nightmare. Or maybe include Jaina Solo and Uncle Luke along for the ride for a co-op session, explaining them away as hallucinations in-game or as a rescue-party. Fighting your way through every corridor with nothing but your wits and Force powers, no lightsaber, no cloak, with Vergere at your side feeding you lies would be epic and would no doubt please seekers of an M-rated Star Wars experience.

Geonosis: Monster Arena 


Though Episode II can be unfortunately remembered for insipid Naboo meadow frolicking and emo Hayden Christiansen, there was still one good reason to see it: those awesome monsters. If you clapped giddily at the sight of the Geonosis Arena’s Reek, Nexu, and Acklay (yes I still remember those names after so long) and dreamed of sitting them on your shelf, how cool would it be to play them? Like a killer version of Star Wars Pokemon, you’d have that sweet arena with Count Dooku and Jango Fett looking down at you to battle your beasts against each other, but to the death. A progression system for evolving your creature could follow Pokemon the same way through a Separatist genetic engineering scheme and finding more monsters could take you through the planet’s caverns and deserts Monster Hunter style, killing what you can capture and wasting what you can’t. So you say that Geonosis’s bland rocky parts would get pretty dull, even in HD, after a while. Who’s to say that desert’s the only thing Geonosis has? I say screw George Lucas’s dumb standard for entirely uniform planets. It has genesis in its name, so why not diversify the planet with jungle and forest regions with huge Geonosian hives hanging from Kashyyyk style trees? In any case, I still want the Reek to win and run over Anakin. 

Jedi Temple Parkour game


The Prequel trilogy only gave us the smallest of snapshots of the magnificent Jedi Temple, but how great would it be to explore the fullest extent of its secrets? As plenty of Expanded Universe books go into detail telling, the Temple is just as big on the inside as it looks. It’s about the size of a small city and from the Jedi Archives, the Room of a Thousand Fountains, training rooms, hanger bays, and council rooms, there’d be oodles to see. A Prince of Persia parkour gameplay could be fun free-running up and down its ruins during or after the Jedi Purge learning about its history and collecting all of its treasures as a returning Jedi seeking to rebuild it. Imagine looking out into empty halls and towering visuals akin to a Star Wars Ico. Beauty aside, you still need enemies. Luckily the Temple is known for holding Sith prisoners in its bowels as well. Better yet, why not add in some psycho Force spirits of the fallen to mess with you along with blood-thirsty Sith at your back? Evading the ruins still-present Imperial guards and making use of your Force powers on Sith and Devil-May Cry style. 

Need for Speed: Pod-Racing 


As a child who used to run around his room with a Lego pod-racer in hand going “Zooooomm, zoom, zoom” I can say that Pod-racing is easily the best gift the Prequels gave as far as an addictive fictional sport. It’s basically NASCAR on Steroids, the blinding speeds of EA’s Need for Speed team would be fools not to tackle their take on Star Wars’ favorite racing pass-time. Ordinarily a fresh take game design would be called for in developing for a different franchise, but I'd say that pod-racer skins over NSF's cars and Star Wars planet tracks in place of earthly ones would pretty much do it. Just factor in different crash physics, splice in more pod-racer related sabotage gameplay like wire-cutters, blaster fire, and shrapnel bombs, in place of EMPs and spike-tracks. Maybe just for fun put in a few trash-talking locker room-esque segments for multiplayer lobbies. Getting to push rivals around in a hangar hub, or even partying at Jabba's afterwards with your shiny trophy would be a ball. Lastly, just give me blindingly fast visuals and explosions and I'm good to go. 

Anything Star Wars X-Wing/Tie Fighterish

Lastly, put me behind that X-wing cockpit. Yes, anyway you can. Original Trilogy, Expanded Universe, it really doesn't matter to me as long as I get some Tie-Fighter shooting in anyway I can. Or even a Y-Wing, or an A-Wing, or heck even a B-Wing. Memories of Rogue Squadron and Star Wars: X-Wing have stayed with me for a long, long time, and blasting stuff from a ship is as classic Star Wars as you can get. That is all. 

Given up on Star Wars games already, like the ideas shown here, or have a game idea of your own? Put out any comments below and thanks for reading. May the gaming be with you.

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