18
Sep 03

I don’t think the Star Wars drought

Do You SeePost a comment • 431 views

I don’t think the Star Wars drought (presumably dating from Jedi Knight, the high-water mark for FPSs before Half-Life), lasted quite as long as Magnus does. The 2001 PS2 game Starfighter was a fine space fighter game, in the tradition of their older X-Wing and Tie Fighter series, with control simplified for console use.

It does face the question of what makes it a Star Wars game as such. There’s no cameo from any character from the films. This is on the whole a good thing – the books and comics are already slicing the main players’ lives up into infinitely thin strips of time to have wacky adventures in. Even Kyle Katarn, star of Jedi Knight, got “fleshed out” (mechanically recovered) in a trio of graphic novels.

There’s also no lightsabers (fair enough, they’re in space) or force powers (though they get tacked on for 2002’s Jedi Starfighter). But a few minutes’ play suggests that the most essential element of the universe is the sounds. The noise of laser fire in space is enough to convince you that this is a Star Wars game.

As was the case in Jedi Knight: Seeing Stormtroopers and shooting them up is fine, but to cut them down with a lightsaber that sounds right, and then take their gun and hear it fire is the real spine tingling moment. That, and discovering that the damn things really can’t shoot straight.

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