It’s hard to believe that we first discovered a Galaxy Far Far Away only 43 years ago. In that time, not only has the Star Wars film franchise grown, but its video game library has increased as well. This huge catalog of games now consists of titles like X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Knights of the Old Republic, the Battlefront series, LEGO Star Wars, Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader, Jedi: Fallen Order, and yes, even Kinect Star Wars. Moreover, after several years of gaming shakeups and successes, what kind of video games can Star Wars fans look forward to in the future? By examining the most recent Star Wars gaming releases, we can put together an idea of what the future may hold.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
After the success of Electronic Arts (EA)‘s Star Wars: Battlefront, fans eagerly awaited the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II. This multiplayer franchise has been a fan favorite for some time. However, the Battlefront II release was incredibly tumultuous and left a bad taste in players’ mouths. This rough launch was caused by the game’s use of loot boxes for unlocking in-game characters. You could spend hours building up your scores to unlock a character, or, simply pay $80 and obtain them. These microtransactions put Battlefront II in a negative light within the mind of gamers and consumers everywhere. Ultimately, EA removed their loot box system, and the only microtransactions are for purchasable cosmetics. But despite EA’s best attempts, the damage from this rough release was already done.
The weak success of Battlefront II was a massive blow for Star Wars gaming. So much so, that EA almost lost ownership of the Star Wars video game license. And speaking of the Star Wars license, EA has repeatedly scrapped several Star Wars games in development by its smaller studios. This is something that has frustrated many fans over the years. What was the future of Star Wars under EA? Finally, this past week it was announced by EA that there would be no more new content developed for Battlefront II. But just like every Star Wars story, there was a glimmer of hope in the galaxy.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Enter Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. When it was announced at E3 2018 that Respawn Entertainment, the team behind Titanfall, was developing the next Star Wars game, there was a lot of mystery in the air. At this time, Respawn was most well known for its multiplayer mech FPS. It wasn’t until Titanfall 2 that a single-player narrative appeared in the series. So the big question was this: “Now that Respawn is under EA, are they going to make another multiplayer Star Wars game with lootboxes?” But leave it to Respawn to surprise everyone with a compelling single-player narrative-based game: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. In this title, you play as Cal Kestis, a Padawan that survived Order 66. While the Empire’s Inquisitors are hunting him, he is also trying to find a Jedi Holocron and help those in need along the way. This game masterfully blends story, action, and fun combat into a thrilling gaming experience.
Moreover, the Respawn team teased even before the game’s release, that Star Wars Jedi could expand into a fleshed-out series. And with the fantastic success of their game, it is no surprise to know that a sequel is in development. Respawn’s sequels tend to be even stronger than their first titles, so I cannot wait to see what they improve and add to this next installment. How will Cal’s story continue to shape the galaxy? Or will we focus on a new Jedi?
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
Vader Immortal is arguably the Star Wars sleeper hit of the past year. This is mostly due to the lack of widespread VR and the game initially releasing just for Oculus. However, Vader Immortal is NOT a game pass on. In this thrilling 3-part series, you take on the role of The Smuggler, who comes face to face with Darth Vader himself. If you have been looking for a fun lightsaber simulation game, this is the best one yet. The VR lightsaber combat is both equally fun and intuitive. You can either follow the fighting techniques the game teaches you, or slash your way carelessly through enemies. Moreover, those that have played this game adored it, and it has received high ratings across the board.
And wouldn’t you know, on Star Wars Day itself (May 4th), it was just announced that Vader Immortal is now coming to the PSVR! With the success and spread of this unique and interactive game, hopefully, we’ll see more immersive Star Wars stories developed by ILMxLAB and Disney Interactive Studios in the future.
A Galaxy of New Games (Not So) Far Away
While the era of Star Wars massive multiplayer games may be winding down, for now, narrative-based titles are at an all-time high. And after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, this couldn’t come a better time. There is an entire galaxy of stories to explore in the Star Wars universe. All of us cannot wait to discover what the Jedi: Fallen Order sequel will be like. We are also curious to see what other galactic stories can be shared in VR. Moreover, with the development of the Star Wars: The High Republic, there is a possibility that we could see games centered in that universe on the (two suns) horizon as well.
What kind of Star Wars games would you like to see developed? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
This article was originally posted Star Wars Day, 5/4/20