As we wait for more Star Wars games to arrive, I'm breaking down some of the games I'd love to see out of the franchise in the near (hopefully) future.
It’s been about five years since EA snagged the exclusive license to make Star Wars games and so far...we don’t have much. We have two Battlefront games (the second was good despite being mired in controversy at launch), and a list of canned titles and promises. It can be a bit frustrating, but I’m not here to bash EA and am genuinely hopeful/eager to see what else they can produce.
As we wait for more Star Wars games, however, my mind keeps turning over ideas for things I’d love to see/play with in the galaxy far, far away. As such, here are some Star Wars games I think other fans would enjoy as well.
Rogue Squadron/Black Squadron
Read just about any of my gaming articles and it’s clear fairly quickly how much I love a good flying/dogfighting game. Star Fox and Rogue Squadron were pretty much constantly in my N64 when I was younger and it’s still among my favorite genres (though the pickings are much slimmer these days).
Considering one of the biggest aspects of Star Wars involves starfighters duking it out, oftentimes in pitched battle against superior forces, it blows my mind that EA still hasn’t tapped this well. Sure, we have starfighter battles in Battlefront, but this isn’t the same as a dedicated game, featuring a new story/exploits of our favorite fighter squadron.
Hell, this seems like a great time to deliver a Black Squadron (the Poe Dameron led team) game. It would tie-in to the new Star Wars trilogy, give us new enemies and ships to play around with, while still delivering on that sweet, sweet Rogue Squadron style action we crave.
XCOM Style Strategy Game
This is definitely a personal preference considering there hasn’t been a turn-based strategy Star Wars game before; but that just means it’s high time for one! The slower pace of turn-based strategy games may not seem like an ideal fit for the “faster, more intense” style of action the franchise is known for, but I think it would be perfect.
Turn-based strategy games are a lot of fun and allow for some serious depth, while still being highly addictive. The XCOM games have mastered this genre and I think XCOM 2 is an ideal template for what a Star Wars game could be like. In that game, the war against the aliens is already over and humanity lost. As such, you’re on the lamb, scrounging resources and fighting a Guerilla War from a hidden/mobile base with the odds stacked against you...Sound familiar?
Imagine something like that, with all the base building options, as you lead the Resistance against the First Order (or even go back to the Rebellion/Empire time period). It works thematically, but would open up new storytelling and gameplay possibilities the franchise hasn’t explored before.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the most compelling Star Wars stories told in video game form (at least in my opinion) was from a role-playing game. Knights of the Old Republic, and its sequel, are still highly regarded for good reason. More than giving us a compelling story, the RPG format allowed players to feel like they were actually PART of the journey and affecting the galaxy far, far away.
I’m not saying we need another Knights of the Old Republic game (though, Lord knows I sure as Hell wouldn’t complain if we got one), but it’s definitely time for Star Wars to explore the RPG genre once again. RPG games have grown exponentially since KOTOR first hit consoles two generations ago. From Dragon Age: Inquisition, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and The Witcher games there are a lot of great examples Star Wars could take advantage of the modern RPG model.
Just the thought of immersing myself in 50-60 hours of Star Wars story with compelling characters and an open world (galaxy!) to explore has me salivating.
Real-Time Strategy Action
If flight sims/dogfighting games are among my favorite genres, you can nail down Real Time Strategy as my top favorite gaming category of all time. It's what I grew up with and one which seems perfect for the Star Wars universe. After all, the primary idea behind Star Wars is a galaxy at war, with large scale combat engulfing entire planets and systems.
Throughout the years, Star Wars RTS games have released to mixed results. Some have been incredible and remain fun to play today (Empire at War and Galactic Battlegrounds), while others were horrible misfires. Even with plenty of success in the genre, it's been OVER a decade since the last RTS excursion in the Star Wars franchise.
With the wealth of new lore and territory to cover thanks to the new trilogy, books (Thrawn’s back as well), and shows, this seems like the perfect time to make another Star Wars RTS game. Imagine taking control of the early New Republic as they battle the last dregs of the Empire in the immediate years following Return of the Jedi. Maybe even take command of the First Order as they begin to consolidate their power as they work to build the Starkiller base in secret. There’s a lot of possible ground to cover that would keep us playing for hours on end.
Considering how many times Podracing has been mentioned in the new Star Wars canon (especially in books/comics) and that Solo: A Star Wars Story featured "street racing" as a prominent idea...It's surprising the Star Wars games haven't delved back into racing games. The Racer games (Episode One Racer and Racer Revenge) launched on earlier generations with positive reception all around. From a personal perspective, the Racer games are some Star Wars games (aside from KOTOR) I've spent the most time playing around with.
The arcade style racing, along with the ability to upgrade your podracer, made for a surprisingly deep experience that was easy to dedicate plenty of hours into. Best of all it gave a great sense of out-of-this-world speed, as you struggled to control your podracer at 900 mile an hour (or more) speeds! The first game was ported to a bunch of systems but it only had the one sequel, Racer Revenge, and it's been over 15 years since that released.
With all the new material on hand, it's a great time to revive the podracing franchise and give us the chance to explore new tracks, planets, and racers. Hell, throw in the Swoop Bikes and speeders to really spice things up and add some content. At the moment, all we really have is a remastered version of Racer Revenge on the PS4...
Speaking of remasters...Why the Hell have we not seen more of these for the Star Wars games?! The only remasters we really have on the consoles are the four that came with the special Darth Vader PS4 that launched with the first Battlefront in 2015 (Super Star Wars, Bounty Hunter, Jedi Starfighter, Racer Revenge). Don't get me wrong, these are amazing games and I've played them a BUNCH since their re-release, but there are so many other great Star Wars games throughout the decades that fans would be eager to play on modern consoles.
It seems like leaving money on the table when it comes to remasters, as you know updated versions of Republic Commando, Knights of the Old Republic, Rogue Squadron(s), and Jedi Knight games would sell like hotcakes. At the very least, it'd be nice to be able to play these titles on a modern system (Switch please!), for younger generations to be able to play for the first time.
While many games are playable now thanks to the Xbox One backwards compatibility, some full-on remasters on all platforms would be much appreciated!
Star Wars games have a long history. While not all of them were hits (some outright sucked), there were a bunch of successful experiments that would be worth revisiting. I'm eager to see what EA and Respawn have coming next, but I'd really love to see some of these ideas above touched on in future games.
What Star Wars games would YOU love to see get made at some point?