The Star Wars games we really want to see
Recently we lined up in appreciation of the best Star Wars games ever made, and there have been some truly good ones. With Star Wars about to make a huge comeback in 2015, we'll hopefully get a few more, but what form should they take? Do we want to be Jedi? Fly X-Wings? Play tower defense against relentelss Ewok attack?
All of those and more, it turns out. Here are a few games we'd love to see made in this era of renewed Star Wars frenzy.
Knights of the Old Republic 3
Tom S: You’re thinking it. We’re thinking it. Some guys at Bioware are probably thinking it, or have thought about it, or are making it right now—what about new Knights of the Old Republic? Or, failing that, a Bioware RPG of some description that looks a lot like KOTOR but doesn’t rely on any of the extended universe that the new films will avoid, and doesn’t rely on anything they’ve had to make up for their mammoth TOR MMO. EA have the license, DICE are building Star Wars assets in the Frostbite engine for Battlefront, Bioware are working on things they haven’t announced to anyone yet. Could it be?
I’ve been replaying KotOR again recently. It’s not the most nuanced Bioware work, as you might expect in a universe where good and evil are clearly demarcated. Do you pet the baby or eat the baby? Eat, you say? Here’s your ketchup, would you like some Dark Side points with that? It’s a lighthearted homage to Star Wars’ pulpy adventure roots, but it would be interesting to see what a more measured Star Wars RPG would look like from Bioware’s experienced current team. Backed up by EA’s big money, it could be a stupendous spectacle too.
Star Wars Trilogy Arcade
Samuel: This is a re-release rather than a new game, but one of my favourite Star Wars games in the late ‘90s was the arcade cabinet that took players through the three films (the not-total-rubbish ones). It was essentially an on-rails shooter, but quite a refined one, with joystick-controller lightsaber battles in between the battles of Yavin, Hoth and Endor. Someone should definitely unearth this and port it to PC. I last completed it in a rough arcade back in December [pictured] where I was about ten years older than everyone and had the best time. Ideally, the game wouldn’t charge me £10 every time I play it on PC.
Red Fett Redemption
Wes: Look, this is a no-brainer: Red Dead Redemption, but Star Wars. There was a tie-in Bounty Hunter game on consoles back in 2002, and it wasn’t terrible. But let me be Boba Fett, or a customized Mandalorian badass, and give me some open world alien planets to explore while tracking down the galaxy’s scum and villainy. I want to scoot around on a landspeeder or tauntaun or some other space horse. I want to jetpack up to the top of a cliff to watch a binary sunset. I want to save up credits and upgrade my ship so I can eliminate bounties in dramatic dogfights or board larger ships and take a bounty alive.
And hey, there’s probably a perfect tie-in opportunity here: one of the rumored Star Wars spin-offs is rumored to star a bunch of bounty hunters stealing the plans to the original Death Star. Don’t waste this chance, Disney.
Tom S: Rogue Squadron has aged poorly on PC, so most of my good memories of the series come from Rogue Squadron 2, a visually impressive GameCube exclusive released back in 2001. There was a Rogue Squadron 3, but I’m told that's probably best forgotten.
I want a new PC game that lets me fly X-Wings through grey trenches without the fiddly trappings of a full X-Wing sim, and I want to do it with friends, on comms, so we can say things like "RED ONE RED ONE TIES ON YOUR SIX" to each other, and "ROGER RED TWO EXECUTE EVASION PATTERN OMEGA", and "CRASHED INTO A POLE LOL". I remember there was even a score-attack element to Rogue Squadron that let you unlock missions to fly the Millennium Falcon and Darth Vader's Tie. The fact they were hidden away as secrets made them feel more like special treats than gimmicks.
Speaking of which, the Falcon is definitely in this year's new Star Wars movie, and I’d quite like to fly it through the new movie’s fighty flight sequences. What can I say? I'm a sucker for fan service if it's as well crafted as the Rogue Squadron games.
Samuel: A follow-up to the classic Star Wars: Podracer on PC with Oculus Rift support, you’re thinking? What a great idea! But that’s not my idea. Instead of racing down canyons in high-speed hover vehicles with VR heightening the effects of having Sebulba scream past you, instead you take on the role of a tiny maintenance droid on the Mos Espa starting line, desperately darting out of the way of oncoming traffic and trying not to die. It’s Frogger for the 21st century. Kids will love it. Why isn’t EA making this?
Jawa Sandtruck Simulator
Tom S: Experience the dusty romance of Tatooine’s open desert. Sit back and enjoy the ambience of a fully modelled sandcrawler cockpit as you travel from trading post to trading post, carrying cargo safely so you can sell it for profit and take your next job. Plot routes carefully to avoid sand raider ambushes, but don’t worry! This isn’t about combat, it’s about cruising over the dunes as Tatooine’s dual suns set, and gliding past rich local landmarks, like the picturesque sight of a yawning sarlacc pit. Wootini!
Samuel: Jizz is a genre of music in the Star Wars universe (nothing rude, I assure you), and I was horrified to learn that the Wookiepedia page for ‘musical instruments’ brings you a list of 156 entries (why George?). This leaves ample room for a musically themed Star Wars game that encompasses every musical number from that universe: Evar Orbus and His Galactic Jizz-Wailers playing non-committal jazz at the cantina, that 1995 furry FMV man singing what is clearly awful noise in Jabba’s palace, Max Rebo the blue elephant playing piano and so on. This could single-handedly revive the rhythm-action genre.
Death Star Tycoon
Chris L: Managing a huge government construction project is no easy feat, especially if it’s a moon-sized weapons platform capable of destroying planets and is constantly under attack by terrorists in X-Wings. While facing challenges like a rigorous, perhaps even unrealistic construction schedule designed by the Emperor, and the occasional force-throttling of your lazy foremen by Darth Vader, get your Death Star built on time and avoid critical design flaws like a small exhaust port leading straight to your vulnerable reactor core and a tractor beam control station that’s not kept under lock and key. Keep the station staffed with troopers, keep the hangars stocked with TIE fighters and shuttles, keep a few hovering torture orbs on hand for any visiting dignitaries, make sure your garbage mashers don’t get overfilled, and send teams down to Endor to routinely scrape the ewoks off your shield generator.
Above all, keep that thing operational! Just because it’s only half-built doesn’t mean the giant superlaser shouldn’t function.
More X-Wing/Tie Fighter
Samuel: Here’s what I’d do with a new X-Wing or TIE Fighter game: go the full Elite: Dangerous route. Old ideas upgraded with contemporary features. You could choose to side with the Empire or the Rebels, defect, act as a smuggler and so on. Just piloting your ship between systems, selling goods then gradually moving up in the galaxy’s pecking order, all built on the never-really-bettered foundations of the X-Wing series. Using the Oculus Rift. Dressed as Wedge Antilles.
Little Biggs Adventure
Samuel: I’ll be honest—much like Karl Pilkington, I started with the title then worked backwards for this one. But stay with me, here. This isometric adventure would see Biggs walking up and down Toshi Power Station, which is apparently the social hotspot for no-hoper moisture farmers on Tatooine, moving power convertors up and down and making repairs to his T-16. The story would be about growing a mustache and dreaming of big adventures at the Rebel Academy, all the while foreshadowing Biggs Darklighter’s fiery death.
The return of Jedi Knight
Tom S: We’ve pondered a Jedi Knight reboot before, but a new Jedi Knight game needn’t go in that direction, especially when Blade Symphony proves that Jedi Knight’s multiplayer duels remain as engaging as ever.
In hindsight it’d be a shame to ditch Kyle Katarn as well. He offered us a Jedi that wasn’t just a well-mannered monk splurging rhetoric about the balance of the force. He’s Han Solo with a lightsaber and they don’t even bother hiding that, because it works. He gets to carouse around the galaxy with other rogues and have relationships with them that aren’t built on a foundation of monkish disdain.
Of course a new Jedi Knight would have to fight hard to break free of the shadow of The Force Unleashed, which attempted to modernise the third-person Jedi Knight format by stripping out the frivolous space-adventure and replacing it with… well, it’s hard to know, but the main character, lest we forget, was literally named “Starkiller”. At least you could pick up a chain of flailing wampas and waggle them around until dead.
What new games would you like to see made with the Star Wars license?