If you are a Star Wars fan, this day is for you! May 4th is the Star Wars Day since 2011 and was chosen as a pun referring to the “May the Force be with you” phrase.
We know that several games from our favourite IP are in active development thanks to a partnership between Disney and Electronic Arts. One of those is Star Wars Battlefront II, but we expect more from Visceral Games and other studios selected to work on a Star Wars game. And while we wait for EA Play in June, it’s worth bringing back some favourite titles.
Here’s a list of my six favorite games from the Star Wars universe, but don’t hesitate and share your favourite productions in the comments section below!
Star Wars: Republic Commando
Released back in 2005 on PC and Xbox, the game is available on Xbox 360 as well thanks to a patch released two years later. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of the game being released in Backward Compatibility on Xbox One, or miraculously remastered for the current-gen platforms.
Republic Commando lets you play as the leader of a Clone team known as Delta Squad. There aren’t many Star Wars FPS games and this one is surely one of the best among those. As you might get from the title, it’s not a story about Jedi and that’s one of the reasons why it gathered such a fanbase.
The other argument is the fact that it’s a rare shooter that grants you the control over your team. Depending on the situation, you can use specialization of each member of your squad – demolitions, sniper, hacker / engineer. There are also objectives that need team cooperation and that includes proper orders during fights.
Unfortunately, the sequel titled Imperial Commando that was in concept phase, got canned. With Star Wars Battlefront II releasing this year, maybe we’ll get a spiritual successor of Republic Commando somewhere in the future?
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords
This is a highly sentimental entry for me as I was responsible for a full guide and walkthrough being released in 2012. The original Knights of the Old Republic is a title that defined how science-fiction RPG should work and it influenced further work of BioWare. But with the sequel we received much more of the Expanded Universe (EU = everything beyond the core canon, i.e. comics, games, books that aren’t movie adaptations etc).
Some hope that a rebooted KotOR is currently in development, but meanwhile it’s worth remembering The Sith Lords. The game had bugs and various problems, it was released unfinished, but it’s hard to disagree with the statement that Obsidian Entertainment managed to expand the lore, to create interesting characters (Kreia!) and most importantly continue the IP in a proper style.
The game is now available on Steam with Workshop and other features being included. If you install the phenomenal The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM), it gets even better. And even now it’s a story worth discovering / refreshing, especially when it comes to the topic of the Grey Jedi (Kreia!).
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
This one is a tricky one, but if there was one MMORPG that could get resurrected, I would bring back this fella. And I think about the original vision for the game before it got expanded with any expansion or “perfected” with the Combat Upgrade or New Game Enhancements (NGE).
I remember reading one of the Polish printed magazines about video games, where a story of the first Force-sensitive player was described. That was a time where learning any Jedi-inspired skills was literally unavailable for a normal user, especially in Poland with me playing via 56k modem.
But that story was part of me joining the Star Wars Galaxies. I knew that somewhere there is a player that managed to discover the ways of the Force, build the first lightsaber and stay alive. Because his achievement became an event inits own, with developers continuing the story and other users starting the hunt in the name of the Empire.
And then many bad things happened to this MMO, including the two mentioned major patches (with NGE making Jedi a starting class!) and some hacking disasters. Star Wars Galaxies was closed in December of 2011, but the game was already dead long before that day.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D
There are fan-favourite oldies like Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter, but when it comes to space flight simulators, my heart is with Rogue Squadron (with “3D” being added for the PC version). I remember flying around AT-ATs, protecting the city on Corellia and even the World Devastators during Battle of Calamari.
As a fan(atic) of Star Wars, I got my mind blown with then-ultrarealistic graphics and the possibility to visit various worlds that I knew from books and comics (and while the former were released in Poland, the latter were hard to obtain).
What I especially loved in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was the level of addictivity, with various times to reach in each mission, three medals to grab and various unlocks throughout the game. A remaster, maybe? Please?
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
When it comes to FPS games in the Star Wars universe, most of you probably think about Dark Forces as this title did a proper set up for everything that came up next. But for me the title that will be forever alive in my heart is Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, a sequel that resulted in the Jedi Knight sub-series.
Kyle Katarn is definitely one of the most recognizable characters from the Expanded Universe, alas not one fully explored or masterfully written. But with Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II we received a game that explored the galaxy beyond the Jedi-Sith fight known from the Original Trilogy.
I love this game for the cutscenes recorded with live actors that reminded me of the movies. It was also the first time someone else than the heroes of the trilogy held a lightsaber. And how surprising it was when Jerec and his Dark Jedi appeared. And, for the first time on screen, I saw lightsaber blade of a different color than the ones from movies! How excited I was as a kid!
There was also the full expansion titled Mysteries of the Sith, which allowed to further explore the lore and play as Mara Jade, the future wife of Luke Skywalker (that’s the only canon story, Disney!) created by Timothy Zahn. One would have hoped for more!
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Definitely the latest title among those mentioned here, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had to appear on my list thanks to the feeling that was left after using Force powers as Darth Vader walking through the forests of Kashyyyk. The gameplay, as told by the developers, was intended to be easy to learn and very spectacular.
And while some of you might not be fans of the story of Starkiller (the name now absent in the new Disney’s canon, but used as a nod in Star Wars: The Force Awakens), all have to agree that the game had the right feeling when it comes to fighting with the lightsaber in hand and the Force at your disposal.
After Star Wars: Dark Forces IV: Jedi Knight III: Jedi Outcast II: Jedi Academy (I know that’s not the proper name, but when it came to the third game, it got messy and I needed a place to write that…) it was our best chance to feel powerful as a Force user. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long with all those new titles in development…
And I would like to say sorry to all those Stormtroopers with infinite respawns. I know I’ve used you to grab some achievements on my Xbox 360, but you were very helpful, indeed.