Star Wars games used to branch out into seemingly every Genre. You had shooters like Republic Commando and Battlefront, RPGs like KOTOR, and a ton of action adventure and starfighter games. There’s only one problem. All of these came before the final entry in the prequel saga, an era most consider the golden age of Star Wars gaming.
However after the release of Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars gaming took a massive hit. After 2005 the only games released were a few games based on The Clone Wars TV series, Star Wars: Empire at War and the two Force Unleashed games. The Force Unleashed games easily being the best received out of these with their introduction of a fan favorite character in Galen Marek/Starkiller. Unfortunately after 2010’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, LucasArts wouldn’t release another game developed in house again. That wasn’t because they’d run out of ideas though, we all know the disappointment that was the cancellation of the much anticipated 1313 game. Then the rumors of the Darth Maul game cropped up further disappointing fans of Star Wars gaming when they turned out to be false.
Those games were canned because in 2012 Disney bought Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars for four billion dollars and decided shortly after that they didn’t want to continue in game development selling the license to Electronic Arts. They have since released only a handful of games: A barebones Battlefront game severely lacking content, failing to live up to extraordinarily high expectations. Another Battlefront game that is an absolute gem, but hampered at launch by a complete mismanagement of the title by EA. Along with some mobile titles, and a cancelled single player game that saw the end of visceral studios, this is all we’ve gotten.
Since Electronic Arts has acquired the Star Wars license they’ve completely neutered all story telling aspects of Star Wars video games. Gone are the days of the stories of Revan and Meetra Surik, buried somewhere deep in the Jedi archives. The only story that Electronic Arts has told is that of Iden Versio and Inferno Squadron. A story that left players frustrated due to it being marketed as an imperial story and turned out to be another defector story that the Star Wars fan base has seen more times than we can count.
That leaves us with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a Star wars game in a genre we haven’t seen since The Force Unleashed II. That alone makes this game something special. The fact that this is a Respawn Studios title also makes this game special, before forming their own studio, they were a part of Infinity Ward where they helped create two of the best first person shooters of all time in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. Since becoming their own studio they’ve created 2 very good games in the Titanfall franchise, the second criminally under preformed in sales and reviews, and also a Titanfall spin off in Apex Legends. All the evidence points to the fact that Respawn seems up to the challenge to take on a narrative story in the Star Wars universe.
Everything I’ve seen from Fallen Order so far makes me believe this game is going to be what Star Wars fans have been missing, thanks to the story using pieces from the extended canon such as the inclusion of The Inquisitors, something we’ve only seen in Star Wars Rebels and some various comics so far. Fan favorite Saw Gerrera, a character that first made his appearance in The Clone Wars animated series and has since made a live action appearance and an appearance in Star Wars Rebels. KX-series droids will also be making an appearance as enemies within the game, the only Kx-series droid we’ve seen in canon so far is K-2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Purge Troopers are also coming back from legends, however not the same as many of us remember, no longer are the super soliders in bulky armor. They are now remodeled as Jedi slayers, an enemy in game that is shown to be challenging.
Aside from fan favorite characters, and a *hopefully* compelling story. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s gameplay looks exciting, with crisp lightsaber combat, smooth execution of force powers on helpless Storm Troopers and fluid movement options throughout the game all designed to make you feel like a true Jedi, something we haven’t felt for nine years.
Combining these story and gameplay elements and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is shaping up to be strong in the force this holiday season. It releases on November 15th, 2019, and hopefully will usher in a new era of Star Wars games.