Star Wars Video Games Are Great

Over my many years of enjoying video games, quite a few of those have been Star Wars games. It’s a good franchise with quite a lot of world built around it through various games, books, and the movies (of course). In this post, I’ll tell you about a few of my favorites without spoiling too many details of the stories. I know you’re terribly surprised that I like Star Wars games.

Note: before I continue, be aware that when Disney acquired Star Wars, they removed all but the main movies and current cartoon shows from canon. The old games and novels are now referred to as “legends”, so they may be accurate or may not be. Essentially, Disney can use what they like and ignore what they don’t.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

This is one of the many games that I own multiple copies of. In this case, I own the standard disc-installed PC version of the game as well as a Steam copy. I had to start here as it is one of the most popular Star Wars games and one of my personal favorites.

Knights of the Old Republic

The game has a thoroughly epic storyline where you follow a force-sensitive character who eventually becomes a Jedi. As with most RPG games of its era, you get to choose a lot about the character: name, appearance, gender, skills, traits, etc. As an RPG, it’s quite story-driven, so you’ll be making choices throughout the game, and those will often correspond with either the light-side or dark-side of the Force. Having a character alignment system based on player decisions should feel familiar to gamers today, but was not common when this game was originally released.

As Star Wars tends to, the game starts you off in the middle of the action; you’re aboard a ship during a space battle. There’s a quick bit of exposition to get you into the story, and the first scene is more tutorial than anything else.

As with most BioWare RPG games of the era, this game leverages an underlying rules system that will remind people of Dungeons and Dragons, since it is a D20-based system. I’m not familiar with the exact rules of the Star Wars D20 system, but I’m sure this is somewhat close to that pen and paper game’s rules.

For anyone who has played BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights games, this will feel very similar as those use the Dungeons and Dragons rules. And if you’re into BioWare’s newer games, you’ll feel some of where Mass Effect and Dragon Age came from.

Note: If you read my wife’s blog posts, you’d know that we love this game. We named our cats after characters from the gameJolee and Juhani.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Strangely enough, for those who know that both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic (The MMO) were created by BioWare, this game is made by Obsidian Entertainment. I don’t know the details for that, but I do know that this game was rushed to completion and not entirely finished when it was released. All the same, Obsidian did make some interesting additions and create a fun game here.

KOTOR_II

It’s built on the same engine as the first game and continues the same story. We follow new characters for this one, but it will reference things done in the previous game, so it’s best to have played that one first. Although don’t be disheartened by the canon being set from the first game. It needed to make choices about what the player chose for the first game in order to pick up here. I believe the canon is that the first game has a male protagonist and the second game has a female protagonist, but you’re obviously welcome to choose how you like.

The second installment in this series adds some new concepts to the game, especially with regards to the relationships your character has with her companions. This will feel very familiar for people who’ve played modern, western RPG games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

I mentioned that the game was rushed, but the Internet has banded together to save the day. There are community patches, which will fix bugs as well unlock content that was cut from the game before release. The content was cut to meet a deadline, so it’s unfinished content. It’s available if you’re interested though.

Note: if you’re into it, my wife did a series of posts about revisiting Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 when she did a replay of it years ago.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I & II

I first played this game on a console, which is great for this style of hack-and-slash gameplay. While the Knights of the Old Republic series could do well on either PC or console, this one shines nicely on a console. I know people that like hack-and-slashing on PC though, so do what you like! Personally, I like getting comfy on a couch when playing a game where I’m running around swinging a lightsaber.

The_Force_Unleashed

Force_Unleashed_2

I’ve paired these two together more for my convenience than anything else. I greatly enjoyed both of them and they follow one of my favorite characters to have ever been part of the overall Star Wars franchise, Galen Marek AKA Starkiller. I’m also a big fan of the actor who did the voice and motion capture work for the protagonist; and luckily for me, he attended a gaming convention near me where I was also in attendance! Needless to say, my wife was not happy about it (she wasn’t at the event). We’re both huge fans of his from this and other work he’s done.

This Force Unleashed series has a fun concept, since you’re starting out working for the Sith rather than the Jedi. Most games start you on the light side and let you choose a path, but this one starts you allied with the dark side. You still have some control of things, but it’s a good difference. In the game, you start as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, so you’re traveling around the galaxy doing his bidding. In these travels, you get to hunt down the Jedi. The events take place between the original trilogy and the prequels, so it fits a nice area of the overall story.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

One of the better known N64 and PC titles in the Star Wars universe is Shadows of the Empire, which features daring protagonist, Dash Rendar. As you may expect, he’s a “Han Solo”-type character. The game was received well enough at the time. It’s not renowned for any reason, but it is still playable if you’d like to. There are purchasable versions of it on gog and Steam.

Shadows_of_the_Empire

The story is set mostly between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and has you loosely involved with the events of the films. The game released with a novel and comics in a move likely to build hype for Star Wars leading up to the special editions of the original trilogy.

The game featured a few game modes, so it’s not just running around. There are scenes where you’re on foot as Dash, scenes where your ship is “on rails” and you shoot at incoming fighters, there are literal “on rails” levels where you jump along train cars in a 3D platforming style of play, and there are scenes where you ride around on speeders. There’s plenty of variety, and the chance to fight IG-88. In all, it’s a fun game to check out if you enjoy Star Wars!

Wrap Up

Yes, I know there are many other great Star Wars games. For example, I own the games in the Rogue Squadron series, but I just wanted to wrap up this post. I’ll write something about the Rogue Squadron series at some point.

If you’re looking for more used-to-be C-canon for Star Wars goodness check these or any of the other classic Star Wars games. You won’t regret it!

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