While we didn’t get the E3 announcement for Battlefront III that everyone was hoping for, Lucasarts did show off some new footage from its upcoming shooter, Star Wars: 1313. This game takes place in the seedy underworld of the capital planet Coruscant. Time-wise, it’s in between the two trilogies, so any newspapers or holoterminals you find will most likely be detailing the traffic jams due to construction on the totally safe, inconspicuous space station in the Alderaan section. The game looks pretty fantastic, almost like an Uncharted set in the Star Wars universe, and as a 360 player, that’s very exciting. Hopefully it’ll be more than just a clone of Uncharted and will look to expand gameplay in a few new directions, but even if it is a clone, it still looks like it’s going to be great. Unfortunately, a release date has yet to be announced. So, here is a list of my top five Star Wars games that should hold you over until 1313 hits the shelves.
[Ed’s Note: Just so you know, all these awesome games are available on Steam and most if not all of them are on Summer Sale discount right now.]
#5- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I
The Force Unleashed series is one of the prime examples of a sequel that really squandered what the original had done. The second Force Unleashed added absolutely nothing in terms of gameplay apart from a second lightsaber, featured a plot that didn’t answer the first game’s cliffhanger ending, didn’t even resolve the main plot issue throughout its own story, and contained one of the most anti-climactic and frustrating final boss fights of all time. So while 1313 is still in development, I would recommend going back to play the first Force Unleashed, then bashing yourself in the head with your replica lightsaber until you forget that a sequel was ever made. The first Force Unleashed was something Star Wars gamers had been waiting for, a chance to be a Force-wielding superhero. Combine that with the eye-popping amounts of violence, mayhem, destructive scenery, and even some puzzling, you’ve got yourself a challenging game that although can be sometimes tedious, is still so much fun to play.
#4- Star Wars: Republic Commando
Really a very under-appreciated game, Star Wars: Republic Commando tells the tale of an elite team of clone commandos during the Attack of the Clones era. Republic Commando is great because it emphasizes cooperation and teamwork, either when playing single player or co-op. Each commando has a special skill that makes them vital to the squad, including tech slicing, demolitions, stealth, security, and long-range weapons. Playing co-op is a lot of fun because it requires that you be aware of what your commando is good at, while also being aware of your surroundings and how your teammates are doing. Since each mission requires a variety of skills, no player gets left out. Playing single player puts you in charge of the squad’s leader, and apart from keeping yourself alive, you’re also in charge of directing your squad mates. This puts a lot of responsibility on the player, but it is oh so satisfying to string together a chain of commands that gives your unit an advantage over whatever enemies you’re facing. The game also has a series of novels about the commandos, one of which addresses how the commandos respond to Order 66, which makes it a shame this game came out before Revenge of the Sith, as it would have been really cool to see how the commandos reacted to that command. Attack of the Clones may not be the best Star Wars film, in fact it certainly is not, but it did bring us clones, and it did bring us this awesome game.
#3- Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
What many claim to be an early predecessor to the Force Unleashed series, Jedi Academy shows us what happened after the fall of the Empire. Luke Skywalker is rebuilding the Jedi Order, and this game tells the story of a young padawan and his quest to become a Jedi. He doesn’t stay in the Academy long though, as he and mentor Kyle Katarn travel the galaxy investigating disturbances in the Force, while learning the ways of said Force. The game features some guns and a couple of types of grenades, but you’re essentially going to be using your lightsaber most of the time. And why wouldn’t you? The game features a variety of enemies, from Sith to bounty hunters, and even some left over Stormtroopers. The game also has a fantastic multiplayer arena mode that is still popular today despite nearly being a decade old. I personally enjoy the multiplayer because of the ability to play as Lando Calrissian with dual purple lightsabers.
#2- Star Wars Battlefront series
If The Force Unleashed series is an example of a sequel that downgraded the series, than Battlefront is the exact opposite. Originally developed as a third-person Battlefield set in the Star Wars universe, this game exploded in popularity. What made it so good was its simple control point-based battlegrounds, its class-based combat system, and awesome use of vehicles. The second Battlefront brought all that back, and then added more. Starting with space combat, players could take to the stars in dogfights and missions of sabotage on enemy starships. Battlefront II also added heroes and villains, giving players the opportunity to carve up enemy combatants as Luke, Darth Vader, Mace Windu, and General Grievous just to name a few. When EA closed Pandemic Studios, it was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. There would be no Battlefront III.
#1- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series
Ah, finally. Knights of the Old Republic I and II are the #1 and #2 of my favorite games of all time. Fantastic storytelling in typical Bioware fashion, as you play a Republic forces nobody turned Jedi set out to stop the Sith Empire, with an incredible twist halfway through the game setting up a fantastic ending. And this is just the first one! This game is all about decision-making, as your choices shape yourself, your companions, and the galaxy. With a smooth combat system emphasizing timing and strategy, KOTOR provides the player with challenges within combat, as well as problem-solving outside of it. There are so many different ways to play this game that you could play both games over and over again and still find surprises while having a blast doing so. It also laid the groundwork for one of the fastest growing MMO’s of all time, The Old Republic. The Force is strong with this series.
Scott Robertson started his own blog (The Fifth Player) in early July 2012 after gaming for nine years. He certainly took his sweet time, didn’t he? In his free time, he can usually be found playing Skyrim, NBA 2K11, Killing Floor, or Team Fortress 2. You can find him on Xbox Live as Scotsman716 or on Steam as Reverend Jones.
If you want to read more on Pandemic Studios and Star Wars: Battlefront, click here to read Scott’s article on The Fifth Player!