The Perfect Formula for a Star Wars video game

The recent announcement of the latest entry in the Star Wars: Battlefront series has set the Internet abuzz with excitement as fans from the beloved series are excited to jump back into the franchise that lets them fight their way on both sides of the Star Wars universe. Battlefront 2, my entry point into the series, allowed players to fill the shoes of clone troopers during Order 66: Operation Knightfall, or simple minded droids under command of General Grievous. Obviously, you were allowed to play through epic battles from the original trilogy such as the Battle of Hoth and Endor, but it was such a fun experience. It’s hard not to think of it as the definitive Star Wars experience.

But what if the next Star Wars game wasn’t going to be Battlefront 3, created by D.I.C.E.? What if it wasn’t a giant third and first person Battlefield-esque experience? Sure, I’m excited for the next Battlefront entry, but I’m a single player guy. The lack of a proper campaign mode tempers my excitement for the game a tad bit.

I love thinking of the many possibilities of different Star Wars games. The Star Destroyer-sized one I continue to come back to time and time again is a Star Wars game developed in a similar vein as Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series. Rocksteady’s Caped Crusader series features action packed gameplay centered around perfecting various combos and using Bat’s extensive arsenal of gadgets.

Batman + Star Wars =?

Batman + Star Wars =?

The dark playground that is Gotham City provides great platforming for the Caped Crusader. Imagine playing as a Jedi or gadget-centric bounty hunter in a similar city, such as the dark bowels of Coruscant or a brand new city. The player could use the various buildings and landscape of the city to traverse around the game world. As a Jedi, they could Force jump and use the structures of the city to bounce around from place to place. The bounty hunters could employ an arsenal similar to Batman’s, as various grappling hooks and jet packs could serve as means to get around venues such as Coruscant, Naboo, or hopefully unknown planets. It just sounds like such a clear answer that I hope we don’t have to wait long for a similar incarnation.

I can’t help but think of the cancelled Star Wars 1313 when my mind wanders to potential Star Wars game. Star Wars 1313 was developed by LucasArts with Unreal Engine 3 as it revolved around a young Boba Fett coming into the legacy of the legendary bounty hunter his father was known as. The footage released a few years ago felt like the game was going to be a cross between the Uncharted series and a Star Wars story centered around a bounty hunter such as a younger Boba Fett. This game, from both the original concept and released footage, sounds like it would be more accessible as the platforming and cover based combat of the Uncharted and Tomb Raider series allow for cinematic gameplay moments such as the ones featured in the Star Wars 1313 trailer.

The emphasis on grounded, more human characters would make for an accessible Star Wars game, but I think the brand would succeed in the video games industry if they focused on the grit of the Star Wars universe. Sure, you can control both sides of the intergalactic conflict in Battlefront. However, future installments would benefit from combining the dirty, action packed sagas of bounty hunters and various other Star Wars-esque criminals. Imagine leading a band of paranoid bounty hunters and intergalactic poachers who roam the galaxy tearing down giant Rancors, hunting rare Wookies, or even get caught up in an unwinnable battle with the Sarlaac Pit. This would be my ideal Star Wars game as it would give us a unique opportunity to play as people who may seem like bad guys to some, but to others they’re only trying to make money in order to survive in a ruthless galaxy.

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The topic of survival brings me to an important point in my quest to search for the near perfect formula for a Star Wars game in a galaxy far, far away. The gaming community seems split on machinations such as Titanfall and Evolve, shooters with a fun and interesting premises, but absent of a separate single-player campaign mode. While Titanfall sold a very respectable 4.58 million units worldwide across the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC, reports came following the game’s initial launch that the servers were empty. Players and critics alike felt like there simply wasn’t too much to do until the DLC arrived and by then it was simply too little too late. Evolve was slammed with the same criticisms, but also struggled to sell more than a million copies. To me, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Star Wars: Battlefront 3 faces similar criticisms.  Name recognition along with the release of the game relatively close to The Force Awakens will surely drive sales. However, can the Battlefront series survive if there is a loud vocal backlash against a game sparse on content outside of multiplayer functionality?

These are going to be questions that are posed for years to come as Disney revives the Star Wars brand. Consumers and gamers alike shouldn’t be faced with deciding between LEGO Star Wars adventures, Knights of the Old Republic, and Star Wars: Battlefront. There should be a diverse mixture of Star Wars games that take advantage of how far the craft of creating video games has improved over the years.

Or they could just confirm that Star Wars 1313 is still alive and kicking and I’d be all good.


 

Liam Crossey is an executive features editor for The Game Bolt who is a new fan of the Star Wars universe. He thinks the idea of Jedi, though, is a very delicate type of character to include in any narrative form. He’s retweeting stuff on Twitter