With the recent news of EA’s closing of Visceral Studios and move of the Star Wars project there to EA Vancouver, there’s been plenty of speculation on what the revamped game may look like. Since we’re probably not going to know either way for a while, I thought of a more important question: what kinds of Star Wars games would we like to see? The possibilities are almost endless, but I have a few picks in mind.
#5 Star Wars: Empire at War II
Star Wars: Empire at War was a great Star Wars RTS by Petroglyph Games. The game featured story campaigns for both The Empire and Rebel Alliance, and later on, a campaign focused on the organized crime found in the Star Wars underworld as part of the expansion pack, Forces of Corruption. The galaxy-spanning campaigns were a whole lot of fun to play through, though the space battles were the real star of the show. The real-time strategy genre isn’t exactly booming right now, so I don’t know how likely a sequel would be these days, but the Empire at War community has remained active with some impressive mods released over the years. If for some reason EA does want to go the Star Wars RTS route, I hope Empire at War serves as a significant source of inspiration.
#4 Knights of the Old Republic III
A new entry to the KOTOR series isn’t incredibly likely given that it would have to be canon and Disney has basically given BioWare its own creative space to play around in that era through Star Wars: The Old Republic. The reason this isn’t higher on my list is because, frankly, Star Wars: The Old Republic is KOTOR III, for better or worse. The game is far larger in terms of the story it covers than both the first and second games combined at this point and BioWare Austin has spent years fleshing out the era through SWTOR. I’ve said it before, but if you’re waiting for KOTOR III, you really should just play through SWTOR. That said, I’d still like to see a modern take on the games instead of having to work within the structure of an MMO, but it’s not a huge priority for me. Perhaps an entirely new Star Wars RPG series set in one of the canon eras would be a better idea.
#3 Star Wars: Imperial Commando
Star Wars: Republic Commando surprised many when it released in 2005. The first person shooter by LucasArts centered on a team of elite Clone commandos called Delta Squad. It was games like Republic Commando and shows like The Clone Wars that really humanized the clones of the prequel eras, showing off their varied personalities as individuals. For Republic Commando, this resulted in a surprisingly compelling story, buoyed by the well-written individual members of Delta Squad. The combat was great, too.
A sequel called Imperial Commando was in the works at some point, but it was canceled. This is one I feel EA should pick back up in some form. I’d love to see a more tactically paced Star Wars shooter with a compelling story and interesting characters. It would also be a great opportunity to tell another story from the Imperial POV. The opportunities for multiplayer would be considerable here, too. Rainbow Six: Siege Star Wars edition, anyone?
#2 Jedi Knight Sequel
The legacy of the Jedi Knight series goes all the way back to 1995 with the release of Star Wars: Dark Forces, an FPS which was remarkable in its own right for many of its technical innovations. But that’s not why we talk about Dark Forces all these years later. Dark Forces is loved not just for its game mechanics and level design (which were impressive for the time), but for its story focused on the Imperial Dark Trooper project and original characters, such as series protagonist Kyle Katarn and his partner Jan Ors. Kyle’s path from mercenary to reluctant Jedi Knight through the game’s sequels was memorable. Katarn was a nuanced, complex character, who struggled with accepting his usage of The Force due to his very real desire for revenge after the murder of his father. This more realistic look at The Force wasn’t really something we had seen in Star Wars up to that point.
Even if Katarn and his story can’t be brought or rebooted into the current Star Wars canon, a new game series along the same lines would be a real treat. The lightsaber combat in the later games, particularly Jedi Academy, featured quite a bit of depth, so much so that its still played in multiplayer today. The series deserves a sequel of some sort and I feel a modern take on its lightsaber combat would be a huge draw for multiplayer.
#1 An X-Wing Sequel
I know, I know, this is probably not at the top for many of you reading this, but let me just have this one. I’ve been clamoring for a new Star Wars space game for years and playing Starfighter Assault in the Star Wars: Battlefront II beta reignited my need for a new space-focused game. The last game in the series, X-Wing Alliance, is probably my favorite Star Wars game of all time and there’s been nothing like it since. I’d love to see something a bit more sim-like, as XWA was, but I would just as gladly take a more arcade approach like SWBF2’s Starfighter Assault at this point. I spent most of the SWBF2 beta just playing Starfighter Assault over and over (Criterion’s done an incredible job), so I don’t care what you do, just give me a whole game about space combat. I’ve waited long enough.
What Star Wars games would you like to see made? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!