Last week’s revelation that EA had acquired the exclusive rights from Disney to develop new Star Wars games was only the first drop in what is likely to be a slow trickle as new information slowly comes to light. Today, our Bothan spies have returned with more news regarding EA’s intentions towards the fabled franchise.
As reported last week, Bioware, DICE and Visceral are the 3 EA studios being granted first crack at the galaxy far, far away. Of those 3 though, it appears DICE is the flyboy who gets to go into the garbage chute first. EA just opened DICE LA (no, my caps lock is not stuck) in, you guessed it, Los Angeles. The studio will be “a key cog” in its Star Wars plans and is located very close to Activision, with a clear purpose:
At this point, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is the Highlander of video games. Or the Dracula, if you think the franchise is a soul-sucking waste of pixelated space. Rumored to have been canceled in 2008, the specter of Battlefront 3 continues to haunt the Internet, with concept art and dark tales springing up from the most random of places.
Personally, I was a rabid fan of Battlefront 2, so every time one of these stories surfaces, I feel a mix of both pain and excitement. Excitement at the idea that maybe the game isn’t dead, just in hiding like Yoda, waiting to be released by some secretive developer. I feel pain because I know the world isn’t always that perfect and likes to crush my dreams.
So, it’s with a mix of those feelings that I post some supposedly uncovered footage of Battlefront 3 alpha gameplay, shot off-screen from an early PC build in 2008. Man, this brings back memories of some epic space battles, and heroic moments that involved mowing opponents down with a lightsaber.
The coolest part of the footage was leaving a base on the surface of a planet and flying all the way to a spaceship in orbit. Seriously, if anyone out there is a part of making this game a reality I will kiss you on the mouth. Any other Sushi-ans as big of a fan of this franchise as I was?
Aside from a few misgivings, I actually enjoyed 2008′s The Force Unleashed. Despite the sometimes buggy way that all of its different engines would work together, it still managed to be a good game with a great Star Wars story that filled in an important part of the canon. Taking on the role of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, you guided Galen Marek, nee Starkiller, through various worlds until you reached the final confrontation on the first Death Star.
The game was filled with great moments and definitely seemed to have some promise of better things to come lurking around. We’ve seen a few games this generation that used the first game in their series as sort of a tech demo, a jumping off point for bigger and better things. The Force Unleashed seemed poised to make this leap when it was announced last year at Spike’s Video Game Awards, so how does it do now that it’s on the second iteration? Is this game any good, or has Star Wars disappointed us for the last time?
I’ll admit that I’m anticipating The Force Unleashed 2 despite my current misgivings with Star Wars, but let’s face it: George Lucas’ eminent sci-fi franchise will continue to hold a special place in my heart despite all the attempts he makes at destroying my childhood.
The Force Unleashed is one of the few things in the last couple of years that I’ve enjoyed about Star Wars (except for the Republic Commando books), so a sequel is just what the doctor ordered. Despite the fact that I played it at PAX 2010 and liked it a lot, some people (Anthony) were worried about the lack of gameplay being shown in the trailers. Well, take a look at the launch trailer for The Force Unleashed 2 and let your fears be put to rest:
No too shabby if I do say so myself. October is kind of a ruinous month, considering that every Tuesday from here on out delivers a must-play game. Medal of Honor is next week, followed by Fallout: New Vegas then The Force Unleashed. It will be tricky to manage all these games, but how are you guys going about it? Is TFU2 a day-one purchase or are you saving it for the upcoming slump?
Personally, I really enjoy the current trend of developers taking time out from building their games to film little documentaries that highlight certain aspects of their current projects. The Force Unleashed 2 appears to be no exception, and a video diary recently hit the internet that highlights the story of the Force-powered sequel, and expands a bit on the roles that Yoda and Boba Fett will play. The two producers interviewed in this video constantly mention a “darker tone” for the sequel, which, coupled with the appearance of Fett and Yoda, definitely serves as a less than subtle allusion to the Empire Strikes Back. Since this is the second chapter of the Force Unleashed, this comparison is most fitting. Much as Luke discovered more about being a Jedi in the second movie, I think we can expect to see Starkiller make the same sort of journey.
I’ve got a lot of hope for the Force Unleashed 2, and I think it can capitalize on the potential of its successor, just as long as the developers can even out the difficulty. What do you guys think? Eager for the second game? Anyone become a little bit more interested after watching this video?
If you ask anyone with a brain cell what their favorite Star Wars movie is, chances are it will be The Empire Strikes Back. This movie has all the right ingredients to make a great film, and it’s surprisingly dark to boot. This is the first Star Wars film to show us just what the series is capable of out of the grubby hands of George Lucas, and I’m forever thankful to director Irvin Kershner for giving us this cinematic masterpiece.
My personal fawning aside, The Empire Strikes Back is also known for it’s cinematic Battle of Hoth which pits the Rebels against the titular Empire on the snowy wasteland planet. Naturally, such a big exciting fight is perfect fodder for video game recreations, and since 1982, we’ve had almost a dozen interpretations of the Battle of Hoth. Kotaku put up a nice post collecting all of them, but I’m going to share my favorites after the jump.
The Star Wars: Battlefront franchise has had a strange and tortured history for a product that should be a no-brainer. You take the famous space and ground battles of the Star Wars universe, mash them together with Battlefield style game-play and let the players muck around as Jedi once in a while. Well, after forcing the famous conflicts of Star Wars onto the tiny screen of the PSP not once but twice, the hotly anticipated third iteration of the sci-fi combat series has hit wall after wall, going through multiple studios like a hot knife through butter.
Originally being tinkered with by Free Radical before they closed down, Star Wars Battlefront: III has shifted gears completely, now rumored to be titled Star Wars Battlefront: Online. The current developers are none other than SOCOM Confrontation makers Slant Six Games. As it stands right now, the title is in pre-production, so it may be canceled before we hear anything more about it. The current plan is to have it in presentable form by 2011, but given the unfortunate history of Battlefront III, I’m not getting my hopes up.
What do you guys think? The Battlefront series has always been a favorite of mine, and the space combat in the second game was a heck of a lot of fun. It’s sad to think that Battlefront: Online may become the next “Duke Nukem”, forced to spend eternity in pre-production while we get strung along with concept art and teaser videos. Who else is hoping for some more Star Wars action?
Welcome back to Cross-Contaminated Media, a series in which I explore successful franchises that have made the transition to video games from other media, and vice versa. I know that in my previous article I promised that I would look at Blizzard’s franchises, but I felt that it would be appropriate, given the recent release of the Ultimate Sith Edition of The Force Unleashed, to take a look at George Lucas’ eminent sci-fi empire.
When the original Star Wars movie was released back in 1977, few predicted that it would become the massive entertainment juggernaut that it is today. For good or ill, George Lucas had the foresight to retain international merchandising rights, and once video games were beginning to enter prominence as an accepted form of entertainment media, LucasArts was founded to capitalize upon this new venture.
LucasArts didn’t find its early success with Star Wars titles, though; in its beginning days it was well known for its clever and inventive adventure games ranging from Maniac Mansion to Monkey Island. The first Star Wars title produced in house was X-Wing in 1993, a fairly deep space-combat simulator made for the DOS operating systems. Though the graphics and game-play appear dated now, the game is still highly regarded in fan circles with the TIE Fighter game being declared the favorite of the series.
If there’s two things I love, it’s Star Wars and shooting people in the face. Thankfully, a nice group of modders calling themselves blackMonkeys shares my love of sci-fi warfare and are hard at work on a total conversion kit for Call of Duty 4 called “Galactic Warfare”, which takes the silky smooth game-play of CoD and fits it in with classic Star Wars imagery.
The trailer for the mod showcases Stormtroopers and Rebel fighters battling it out in Mos Eisely, and it looks like everything that I hoped Battlefront II would be. With the future of the Battlefront series in limbo, I’m looking forward to trying this out when the mod is complete. Check out the video:
Kotaku is reporting that the best-selling The Force Unleashed will be getting some pretty cool DLC in the fall. The content, which has no specific release date as of yet, will be released for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 before the end of the year.
It’s time for all the good boys and girls to make lists for their loved ones for Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever holiday festival you choose to celebrate. I celebrate Christmas, so this is a Christmas list. If that bothers you, don’t worry. I eat poorly and will likely die an untimely death. Now, on with the countdown…er count up, since I start with #1.
So, we all love Star Wars, us nerds. We’re quite fond of it. Especially those who are like me, and gobble up any table scrap that kindly ol’ Lucas throws down to the floor. If that scrap is a demo for a new Star Wars game where I get to do whatever I want with The Force? Watch out.
Apparently, I’m not the only one with an XBox 360 who feels this way. It seems that in a rush of fanboy zeal, the Force Unleashed demo has broken records on Xbox Live.
I was actually surprised by how much Nintendo had to show off in its section, including Animal Crossing, Super Mario Sluggers, Wii Music, Tales of Symphonia Wii and Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels. Since we had a fun discussion about it on GamerSushi the other day, I figured I’d capture some dudes going at it, waggle style.
Everyone knows that one of the first things they geeked out about when they imagined playing the Nintendo Wii was some kind of super badass lightsaber dueling game. This fantasy may or may not have included a sarlacc pit and jedi robes.
Well, in addition to their other two lightsaber dueling games (The Clone Wars:Lightsaber Duels and The Force Unleashed), it seems that LucasArts might have a third one in the works—this one utilizing one-to-one motion with Wii’s new MotionPlus.
Let’s face it, every single kid dreams about having a lightsaber or being able to force choke a bitch. Heck, I even wave my fingers in front of automatic doors and chuckle a little on the inside at my own cleverness. So it was with much anticipation and slight trepidation that I downloaded the demo for The Force Unleashed over the weekend to give my lightsaber a whirl.
All I’ve got to say is: TFU just may be the game Star Wars geeks have been waiting for.