Earlier this week, an announcement came out that delighted me greatly. As from the title, LucasFilm Games is once again in business. Oh, it was always in business as LucasArts since the Disney takeover, with a skeleton crew acting as a licensor of the brand. They’ve worked mostly with EA across these last seven years to bring authenticity to their Star Wars games, but now things are getting bigger.
The name of LucasArts has once again become LucasFilm Games, and it seems they are intent on making the most of this new era for the gaming division of the company. The end of the announcement article of this new era stated to keep an eye out for news coming soon, and it seemed they wanted to prove they are serious about this rebranding through a number of announcements.
The following day announced that a new Indiana Jones game was in development at MachineGames, executive produced by Todd Howard of Bethesda Games Studios. It’s been a long time since any other LucasFilm IP got a chance to shine as a video game. Whatever this game turns out to be, it’s got a great team working on it, and should be able to explore the whip-cracking world of Indy in a way we haven’t seen before.
When this was first announced just before the EA Play Live of 2020 (with more info coming during it), I was ready to get into it. Fleet Battles looked a lot of fun, like Supremacy from Battlefront up in space. The story also felt like it might be interesting, with the flipping between New Republic and Empire during the events of post-Endor. While I’m not the best at flight combat, I still enjoy it and wanted to get into it with this game.
The prologue of the story felt good in mission execution, with it taking place just after the events of A New Hope. Starting as the Empire, it runs you through basic flight manoeuvres and combat options, then at a certain point swaps to the Rebels as they jump to the same location to act as backup, and both forces come together in a clash of lasers as the Rebellion completes its mission.
At that point the game asks if you want to continue or jump back to the menu. Fleet Battles was the main reason I’d got the game, so into some multiplayer against AI I go. Before getting into that, though, I have to say that the flight mechanics are top tier even if they can feel a bit floaty with a controller. Everything feels as it should, with the ability to divert power to a specific system giving a bit of strategy in how you fly.
After the trailer that showed off what gameplay elements will be within the new game, I set to writing about it and realised I had never posted this article. This one, set to have been the finale of my concept articles, changes the outlook from general to specific, as I target specific portions of two of the movies to give details of how I would have seen them play out.
I’m looking at the story, using what we’ve been told about the game as well as my own concepts I’ve been crafting for it, to give that rundown of how I would progress the story. There’s been no changes to this article since the new trailer dropped, so some of the things I talk of here could already be disproved. I don’t mind that, as this is purely to show my own concepts just like those other articles.
The first film I’ll look at is Attack of the Clones. The story here splits the two mains of Anakin and Obi-Wan, with The Complete Saga having followed Obi-Wan to Kamino and Geonosis. There’s story elements with Anakin that get skipped there, but can be given time to shine with this new game bringing more importance to the freeroam elements.
The second is from the latest film. The Rise of Skywalker might be fast-paced, with plenty of locations seeing screen time, but that just offers plenty of exploration within the freeroam. In terms of story, I’m putting focus on Kijimi, as the Force-dyad between Rey and Kylo Ren gives a great opportunity to craft a level almost as trippy as the visuals within the film during that fight scene. But that’s not all I’ll focus on when I get to it.
If you’ve been following me with my articles over the past year, you’ll know that I’ve been talking up LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. From E3 last year, from reading of impressions to the closed demo and everything that TT Games has been saying about it, I’ve felt that this could be the greatest of all LEGO games, and even become one of the best Star Wars games.
Now, at Gamescom, we have the one thing we’ve been waiting for. A true look at how the LEGO formula is about to be evolved. No raw gameplay footage, just the trailer, but that trailer gives snippets of various gameplay elements we can expect to see within the game. Space battles, open world exploration, in-level exploration, boss battles… There’s just one thing that strikes me about all this, though.
All the gameplay we see takes place from one perspective. That’s fine, since it’s meant to be showing the improved gameplay and camera elements, but at no point can we see a second character that the player might be able to take control of – even in the background. The only time a follower character can be seen is during the battle with Rey and Ren on the destroyed second Death Star, with BB-8 rolling toward the battle in the background.
You’ve seen me talk about my experiences with the two Jedi Knight games that Aspyr have ported to the Switch. I enjoyed what I played, but they felt like they were showing their age. Still fine games, but plenty of little quirks that can sour the experience. I’d never played those two before, except a brief outing on Academy, and I’d never played this next one either.
There were plenty of Star Wars games of the old times that I’d never got around to playing, to be fair. The same friend who’d introduced me to the series through Battlefront 2 had showed off the Revenge of the Sith game, but for a number of years, I was content to just collect the new releases and not look back.
Then, when my love for the franchise had solidified, I started to look back on gaining some experience of those older games. I enjoyed my time with some of them, and others not so much, but there was one I was particularly curious about – especially having played an arcade version of it while at Disney Quest in America. Podracing.
It’s been directly one month since I looked at The Skywalker Saga last, giving a rundown of what is set to be within the game and a few of my ideas. I held hope that perhaps this month, we would see something about the game. After all, Star Wars Day would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.
While we didn’t get any gameplay, or even any trailers, we did get to see the key art of the game, with a slip up from the official Star Wars Youtube channel revealing what seems to be the official date of the game. Such a date does fit, what with recent releases for LEGO and Star Wars games. I assume EA are aware of this release, and have no plans to release anything that might cause conflict with TT Games’ effort.
So while there’s no new information to be found (except more confirmation of how much TT are putting into this), I felt it might be worthwhile getting a few more of my thoughts and ideas about the game and how it will play out for all to see. I’ve got a good idea of how I’d want the exploration to be handled, so I’ll start there.
When people are asked what the best Star Wars games are, they usually reply Battlefront or Knights of the Old Republic. When they aren’t fawning over those two series, the next to get in the spotlight is Jedi Knight. Heralded as having the best lightsaber combat of any Star Wars game, Outcast and Academy are standout games for the franchise.
Except… I don’t really see that. If you remember to the last Star Wars Month, I put up a video showing off an early level of Academy. Playing on PC, I was stuck with keyboard and mouse controls, and really didn’t want to mention anything else. Fact was, though, I couldn’t see what people were raving about. Old game though it might be, with terrible movement and gunplay, I couldn’t see anything worthwhile in the lightsaber combat.
Now, with both Outcast and Academy being released on the Nintendo Switch, I felt I could really get stuck into them, away from my awkward use of keyboard and mouse controls. Before I get stuck in, I will say that it still hasn’t been a positive experience.
Microsoft revealed two LEGO announcements during their E3 2019 conference. One of those was the second expansion to Forza Horizon 4 – with a map built of LEGO along with cars built from LEGO. The second was the reveal of The Skywalker Saga.
It seems strange that a standard LEGO game would get its reveal at E3 with one of the big three. City Undercover was different, since that was an exclusive to the Wii U. That such has happened speaks to the scope and innovation that TT Games is putting into this one – even if we didn’t see any of that within the teaser trailer.
Plenty of people seemed to think that it would be nothing more than a remaster of The Complete Saga with redone story scenes and additional levels for the Sequel Trilogy. But then, if that was the case, why would it have been revealed at the Microsoft conference? Even after the journalists revealed what their brief look at the game had shown them, there were some who still thought there would be little effort going into it.
With EA owning the Star Wars licence, the results from that have been rather pitiful. Not because of the games released, but from a lack of them. Take into account this – since they claimed the licence in 2013 there have only been two console games released by them.
Both in the same series. There has been one mobile game released by them, and there are supposedly four games yet to be released by them (one of them being another mobile game).
Now take the period of ten years prior. In 2003 to 2007 (not counting film-based games or LEGO-built ones), we had new entries in the Jedi Knight and Rogue Squadron series, two Knights of the Old Republic games, Galaxies and Empire at War, both Pandemic Battlefronts and Renegade Squadron, and Republic Commando. There were some other handheld and mobile games as well, such as Lethal Alliance.
The original Battlefront of 2004 started Galactic Conquest off. However, the mode has definitely been improved a lot more since this game. The original didn’t even have any strategy involved. The map consists of all the planets featured in the game (bar the two era-specific planets that are not related to the era you chose), with each planet except the era-specific ones having a perk attached to it.
If you own that planet, you can choose the perk per match. There are things like increasing the accuracy of your troops or having an increase in reinforcements, but the only one that really matters is getting your team’s hero out into play. So capture that planet as soon as possible and unleash the invincible lightsaber-swiping hero onto the enemy.