With the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney is now becoming that galactic empire that most people would fear. Never has Darth Mickey been this powerful, and the prospect of new movies, media and merchandise means fans of all things Star Wars will have a new emperor to bow to. This also means that LucasArts, the gaming faction of Lucasfilm, is under the Disney umbrella, and after shelling $4.05 Billion for the rights, Disney is going to want to explore every avenue of reaching every kind of Star Wars fan. After the well-received MMORPG The Old Republic, there has not been anything noteworthy to come out from LucasArts (and no, a terrible Kinect game and Star Wars: Angry Birds do not count).
Now, the wide speculation as to where Disney can go with the new license has no bounds. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said the company is “likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console” but that console games would be looked at “opportunistically.” With the new game Star Wars 1313 being recently announced and revealed (which will be a next-gen game) and the increasing fervor of an Episode 7, let the opportunistic debate begin then! Here are some games that gamers would gather for and celebrate like ewoks on Endor.
The original Xbox was the system that revolutionized the First Person Shooter genre with Halo, but another genre that truly felt fresh and exciting was the Action/RPG combo that was Knights of The Old Republic. With impressive graphics, a narrative that was expansive and mixed with intrigue, romance and drama, gameplay that was unique and challenging, it became one of the staple games of the original Xbox. It featured fully fleshed-out characters, choices that you would make during the game and had to pay the consequences for, and a surprise of a twist ending that would make M. Night Shyamalan jealous. KOTOR 2 didn’t have the same commercial and critical success as the first iteration, but a third game on a next-gen system on a more epic scale like Mass Effect 3 (Bioware developed both properties). Yes, The Old Republic has some semblance to KOTOR, but a new, fully fleshed out third game to complete the trilogy would be great.
Another original Xbox game that brought a fresh spin to the First/Third-person shooter genre was Star Wars: Battlefront. Almost sounds like Battlefield, yeah? Well you are not far off. It was in that vein that Battlefront played, with different armies at your disposal, and the player swapping out classes and weapons/abilities in the middle of a massive war. Battlefront 2 brought in actual ships for intergalactic battles that spanned through the whole Star Wars universe. Sadly, plans for Battlefront 3 have not come to fruition after switching developers. Skipping a next-gen system could be what was needed to give Battlefront 3 a new boost of life.
We’ll stick with the Xbox for one more game and one of my personal favorites. Republic Commando was a squad-based FPS in which you controlled an elite Clone trooper and go through missions with your 3 other commandos. It was a fast-paced shooter, where you relied on your squadmates that were responsive to your commands. Smooth graphics and intelligent A.I. were selling points for it, but it severely lacked with no online or offline co-op. Being able to gawk back and forth on Xbox Live with 3 other friends, passing out commands and shouting “cover my ass!” in a massive shootout would bring hours of competitive gaming.
A slew of other Star Wars properties like Rogue Squadron and Jedi Knight could eventually be revisioned, but the aforementioned 3 games might be ones that would be the catalyst for a new generation of Star Wars games. Other IP’s like Indiana Jones and the Monkey Island series are also available, but time will tell what direction Disney takes now that they posses the power of the force.
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