I can understand the rationale behind the latest Star Wars game, that is, Star Wars Kinect. Star Wars, I believe, has always been a franchise for the kids that we adults have taken with us from our childhoods. So with that, I have no problem with the more “kiddie” Star Wars games like that one or the Lego series because it lets the younger audience get into our beloved franchise without having to worry about the giant continuity snarl that is the Star Wars universe.
So that means the last two major Star Wars games we got was the Bioware MMO The Old Republic and The Force Unleashed II. The Old Republic is a fine game, but runs into a problem that fans of the movies like me, don’t care about things that Knights of the Old Republic fans will enjoy. I actually found it to be a little jarring that The Old Republic takes place so long ago in the Star Wars universe, but everything feels exactly the same. I often joked with my friends that it was really just an alternate universe Star Wars or different universe all together that just happened to have a lot of the same things mentioned in Star Wars.
Then there is The Force Unleashed….uh…where do I begin? Star Wars has a kind of transmedia continuity that is suppose to be enhanced by the numerous side stories that go along with the main films. They don’t intrude on, but merely strengthen the characters from the films and they are meant to give you a better understanding of what is going on, while the films don’t require you to know what happened in, say, the video game. Take Star Wars Bounty Hunter for example. In that game, we got to see how Jango Fett was before Attack of the Clones. We got to see how he met Zam Wesell and Count Dooku, and his motivations for becoming the template for the clone army and wanting an unmodified clone to be like his son.
Both Force Unleashed games opened up a continuity can of worms that I think should be buried. The first game was bad enough, making the empire accidentally form the Rebel Alliance, if only because it makes the Emperor in Return of the Jedi seem more like a short-sighted idiot rather than this brilliant master planner. When rewatching the movie, everytime he said something along the lines of “everything is going exactly as I forseen it” I kept shouting at the TV “yeah, like that whole rebel alliance thing? How’d that work out for ya?”. But at least Starkiller died to prevent any “well why didn’t he just destroy the Death Star?” or “where was he the whole time?” questions.
Then TFU2 came along and basically said “screw continuity” and proceeded to make everyone in Star Wars look like a bunch of idiots. In the canonical light side ending, Darth Vader was captured and taken to Dantooine (you can look it up on the Star Wars Wiki) where he was rescued by Boba Fett. So then I’m watching A New Hope where Leia lies to Tarkin about the Rebel base being on Dantooine with Vader right there and Vader does nothing. The whole point of torturing Leia was to find the hidden Rebel base, which isn’t all that hidden if Darth Vader was there and escaped (and even more reason for the Rebels to desert it). There is also a ton of other inconsistencies that make The Force Unleashed games real boil by blood, aside from Starkiller being so much of a mary sue that it makes the game’s main story uninteresting and confusing for those who are deeply into the Star Wars lore, but this isn’t suppose to be a rant about that, it’s suppose to be about being mindful of the future of the Star Wars games.
So, while everyone is different I’m just going to flat out say what I want in a Star Wars game. Well, I want it to enhance the story of the six main films without changing them. The N64 game Shadows of the Empire really showed us how events skipped over in the films (such as the several month game between Empire and Jedi) could be used to tell more exciting stories featuring the heroes we know and love. It also needs to feel like Star Wars and not rely on gimmicks like being over the top, off the wall, crazy. Jedi Academy is one of my favorite Star Wars games of all time simply because it gave you the iconic force abilities and treated the Star Wars universe with respect. My favorite move was to use Force Choke and then move that person over a bottomless chasm and then let go. It didn’t need their heads to explode or some other BS like that, it was simple, and the mechanic allowed enough freedom that I felt like I thought of that all on my own, as opposed to having it be the only option.
So what possible Star Wars games are available that should be made right away? Well let’s start off with the obvious sequels. Only God knows why Bounty Hunter 2 starring Boba Fett has never been made. Personally, I would love to see that and have it take place near the start of his bounty hunting career, maybe when he first donned the armor and had to make a name for himself in the first few years of the Empire and given how popular of a character he is, the game would undoubtedly sell.
Speaking of the early years of the Empire: Republic Commando 2 or Imperial Commando. The first game was like Metroid Prime, meets Halo, meets SOCOM and it was amazing. It also was one of those games that really showed us that the clones had personalities and could think for themselves. Who would have thought that four clones would have been so radically different, but Boss, Sev, Fixer, and Scorch of Delta Squad showed everyone that it was entirely possible. So if Republic Commando showed us the inner lives of the Clones who fought in the Clone Wars, then maybe its time the Storm Troopers got the same treatment.
But Star Wars is more than just shooting things with lasers. It’s also about cutting things with lasers so what kind of game could be made starring the Jedi. Well, as we all know, about a million Jedi survived the Order 66 and the Jedi purge, because a lot of them showed up after that was suppose to have taken place. Why not set a game inbetween episodes 3 and 4 featuring a Jedi’s struggle to survive and maybe even fight back against the Empire? If I were to make this game, I would definitely implement a character creator just like in the Jedi Academy game, with the ability to use multiple Force powers and choose what kind of lightsaber style to use. I think a game like this should really choose to focus on how the player would act in this universe, instead of making up some convoluted story where your character was the most powerful whatever in the galaxy and it’s only cause of your mercy that the Emperor is still alive or something like that.
Well, those are my thoughts of what the next Star Wars game should be like. Of course, the very nature of Star Wars means that there are many stories to tell as their are stars in the galaxy, so be sure to leave a comment about which Star Wars game you would like to be seen made.