I exploit the phrase ‘worst Star Wars video games’ within the headline above, however that does not imply I hate the video games on this record, as such. There are some disasters in right here, certain, but in addition a number of I’ve actual affection for. It’d simply be nostalgia, however the ups and downs for Star Wars video games kind a captivating arc, one which’s largely tied to LucasArts’ personal inconsistent historical past as a writer.
I would not advocate any of those video games until your tolerance for Star Wars is properly above common. This is how one can take a look at that: have you ever learn a Star Wars novel or comedian within the final two years and loved it? Have you ever seen the prequel trilogy greater than 5 instances? Have you ever learn greater than three Wookieepedia articles within the final six months on objective?
If the reply to all three is ‘sure’, you may most likely like a few of the video games on this record. Hell, I’ve accomplished a minimum of half of them, some a number of instances, however now I will calmly critique them for the needs of leisure. And since they deserve it.
Insurgent Assault I and II
Launch date: 1993/1995
I do know a minimum of one individual studying this may suppose, “hey, I appreciated Insurgent Assault, each for its tacky cutscenes and the very fact there wasn’t loads of different Star Wars fiction round on the time, novels apart”. I really feel your ache. The late ’80s and ’90s had been fallow instances for followers of the saga, and video games stuffed that 16-year hole between the trilogies higher than something, notably when LucasArts was on good kind.
This barely-interactive duo of FMV-powered on-rails shooters is considerably worse than the opposite Star Wars video games launched round them on the time, nevertheless, and so they supply little past novelty worth once you play them now. The goal range-style capturing in house and on-foot clearly has nothing on X-Wing and Darkish Forces.
The badly lip-synced, live-action FMVs of the second particularly have a sure ironic attraction. The footage appears prefer it was shot in your uncle’s storage, the place the partitions have been plastered haphazardly with vivid inexperienced paper to kind a inexperienced display screen. I’ve some affection for Insurgent Assault’s earnest slice of budget-feeling previous Star Wars, however even on the time, it wasn’t adequate.
Shadows of the Empire
Launch date: 1997
Oof, it hurts to place this one in right here, as I’ve reached the credit a minimum of six instances, most lately final yr. Shadows of the Empire tries its hand at every little thing—third/first-person capturing, bike sections, aerial fight, house fight, turret sections, platforming with a jetpack—and is nice at none of these issues. It is fairly horrible to regulate, notably within the on-foot ranges, though the GOG model works properly by default with a 360 pad.
The story is ready between Empire and Jedi, and sees you enjoying as a discount bin Han Solo-esque protagonist referred to as Sprint Rendar, who’s about as contrived and ’90s as a Star Wars hero will get. Shadows’ launch was additionally heralded by a not-bad tie-in novel by Steve Perry. Whereas it is barely plausible as Star Wars canon, it is roughly as authentic-feeling because the tales informed in Marvel’s present Star Wars comics, the place there’s an evil model of and , and Poe Dameron goes on the lookout for a .
Shadows is simply not a great recreation, regardless of a enjoyable number of Star Wars planets, like Hoth and Coruscant, and boss fights with the likes of IG-88 and Boba Fett. It has all the correct substances for a great Star Wars recreation in its decisions of backdrops and set items—it is only a dangerous shooter. Higher are the automobile sections, notably the arcadey Battle of Hoth opener.
Some neat trivia: LucasArts journey video games legend Tim Schafer is credited as ‘By no means Actively Tried To Sabotage The Mission!’ on Shadows of the Empire. That is as a result of when he was bored within the previous LucasArts workplace making his personal video games, he’d go trouble the Star Wars workforce as a substitute ( from the superb ).
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Launch date: 1999
Developer: Large Ape Productions
Throwing two video games out with commerce embargo-lovefest The Phantom Menace was an attention-grabbing strategy by LucasArts. It doubled their probabilities of having successful, and so they had one with the superb Episode I Racer, which was mainly WipEout with podracers. It is nonetheless not on GOG or Steam. It ought to be!
The opposite was this dangerous third-person recreation that faithfully adopted the arc of the much-derided prequel, taking you to Naboo, Mos Espa after which Naboo once more, letting you play as a wide range of heroes you had little interest in. It seemed first rate sufficient for 1999—and even incorporates a shocking quantity of story, embellishing what was already within the movie, though the Liam Neeson impersonator sounds a bit like your drunk dad doing impressions on the dinner desk.
It is a clunky and sluggish motion recreation, with a rote and unexciting translation of the Pressure. Plus it was fairly quick, and with Racer additionally out there on PC, there was no actual cause to play this. It made little sense that the identical LucasArts would publish a below-average motion recreation simply two years after Jedi Knight, however such wild inconsistency grew to become the norm with Star Wars video games.
Launch date: 2000
Developer: LucasArts/Ronin Leisure
I bear in mind studying PC Gamer within the late ’90s and anticipating Pressure Commander to be one of the best recreation ever. The thought of a 3D RTS set within the Star Wars universe was so interesting, however the completed consequence was such a disappointment. My fundamental drawback with the sport was that the tempo of the battles did not really feel almost as dramatic as you’d hope from a Star Wars RTS. And it seemed fairly ugly.
Making the sport 3D was a daring selection by the developer. Ensemble and Westwood had been nonetheless releasing technique video games in isometric 2D on the time, and loads of the issues round 3D digital camera management hadn’t been resolved but. The 3D fashions are boxy and lack element, and the UI is cheap-feeling. It did not assist that Pressure Commander arrived throughout what was arguably the RTS’s golden age.
Gamers must wait till Galactic Battlegrounds for Star Wars to get its subsequent translation into an RTS, and even then, stuffing Star Wars into the Age of Empires template felt creaky and inauthentic. Petroglyph’s first rate Empire At Battle, launched in 2006, might be as shut as we’ll ever get to the grand RTS that the movies deserve.
The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes
Developer: Krome Studios
After Lego Star Wars, the route of LucasArts’ video games turned additional in direction of kid-friendly tie-ins than the extra sophisticated likes of the Jedi Knight and X-Wing collection. Republic Heroes is a forgettable appendage of the The Clone Wars cartoon, which I’ve tried to look at 3 times on the promise that it will get good after two seasons (as a substitute I simply skipped it and watched Rebels, which is a superb youngsters’ present).
Republic Heroes is sort of a Lego recreation with out the Lego, a light-weight platforming recreation with co-op play. Why trouble when there are 4 legit Lego Star Wars video games out there to play on Steam as a substitute, and about 10,000 Lego video games primarily based on all types of random movies and TV exhibits?
The Pressure Unleashed II
Launch date: 2010
I loved The Pressure Unleashed and its eyebrow-raising concept that the Insurgent Alliance was fashioned by Darth Vader’s adopted apprentice, one which he by no means bothered to say within the movies. As an motion recreation, although, it appeared to exist in a world the place the Jedi Knight video games by no means occurred: QTEs and canned animations by some means grew to become extra vital than utilizing the correct Pressure energy or precision with a lightsaber.
Regardless of that, its presentation of the Pressure as these over-the-top superpowers was fairly thrilling. Plus, in 2008, when there have been no new motion pictures on the horizon, a well-produced new story set in that universe had actual worth. Its sequel seems like a straight-to-DVD follow-up, although, if such a factor nonetheless exists. It is too quick at about 5 hours lengthy, and commits the storytelling crime of getting you play as a clone of your self from the primary recreation.
Environments are recycled, and there aren’t even that many to start with—you may have seen sufficient Kamino for one lifetime by the credit. It is a disgrace, because the fight and animations are extra refined than the unique, however it simply seems like LucasArts had much less money and time to pour into this one. Neither entry was helped by a 30fps lock on PC, and controls that solely actually swimsuit a pad.
On Home windows 10, the Steam model crashes for me on the LucasArts intro display screen. To get it to work, you may need to run it in Home windows XP3 compatibility mode (because of WonderGamer in for that resolution), if you happen to actually wish to trouble to play it.
That is a type of few situations the place I am not too distressed that Lucasfilm ditched the previous Star Wars Expanded Universe and began their continuity once more. It is okay to consign it to the bin, and hopefully EA’s crop of Star Wars video games in improvement yield some higher outcomes than this.