Posted by: pop-break | April 25, 2013

Remembering the Classics: Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

luke kalamar performs Jedi mind tricks …

Classicsheader

It should come as no surprise that I absolutely love the entire Star Wars franchise. I enjoy every installment and really can’t get enough of it. I read on April 3rd that LucasArts was closed by its new parent company, Disney, and has become a licensing only company. As an avid consumer of LucasArts products throughout the years, I was just one of many who were upset by the recent news. This is obviously a tragedy as there were extensive layoffs across the entire company, but that’s compounded by the fact that LucasArts has been around since 1982 and has entertained millions since. In honor of both the company and those who spent their careers producing some phenomenal titles, I’d like to talk about two of my absolutely favorite games based in the Star Wars Universe.

256px-Swbbox

The first is the Star Wars: Battlefront series, specifically Battlefront I (2004) and Battlefront II (2005). Both of these games game out for the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox (I personally only had them for the Xbox.) While these were only two of the few titles I ever got for the Xbox, I loved every second. In this humble writers opinion, Battlefront II was superior to the first and I clocked way more hours on that than the original, but both were really top of the line games. The gameplay of the entire series is best described as a first-person/third-person shooter that encompasses Star Wars locales and characters from all six current films. The main goal of each battle is to destroy all enemy forces and take over the command posts. The first Battlefront also featured some heroes and villains like Luke Skywalker or Count Dooku that would help you in battle, but were controlled by the computer. Battlefront II expanded on this concept with even more main characters and were playable. There were even some levels that only had heroes or villains. Yes, playing in a battlefield filled with your favorite characters going all out is as amazing as it sounds. Battlefront II also featured space battles which are obviously a staple of the entire franchise.

My time playing the Battlefront series, specifically Battlefront II, extends far beyond the lifetime of the original systems. As recent as 2011, a full six years after Battlefront II came out, I was able to pop it into my friends Xbox and spend hours playing. It truly is a sign of a good game when the excitement really never dies. In fact, playing Battlefront II with three of my closest friends was all I did for one of my birthdays in high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do for a party, so I just had three friends over and we fought against each other for hours. We even blasted Boston’s Greatest Hits album through surround sound speakers as the game music can get old after a while. Something truly magical happens when you realize “Higher Power” and “Peace of Mind” oddly work when you’re a Storm Trooper trying to gun down your lightsaber wielding enemy. At the time, it’s all I could have wanted and it’s one of my favorite birthday celebrations.

250px-Kotorbox

The second series is Knights of the Old Republic (which will be called KotOR for short). KotOR first graced the Xbox and PC back in 2003 with the sequel KotOR II: The Sith Lords coming out one to two years later. The gameplay for both games is role-playing based with you as the main character and a handful of companions that can join you on your quest. Who you are in both appearance and skill is determined at the very beginning, and whether you are on the side of Light or Dark is determined based on your actions. Both games take place thousands of years before the original trilogy and focus on the age-old battle between the Sith and the Jedi. KotOR II is different from the original in that you can train your companions to become a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord like yourself, which was a welcome addition to an already very entertaining title.

In all honesty, the original KotOR is probably the biggest reason why I bought the original Xbox, along with Halo: Combat Evolved. It took some time, but I finally got an Xbox with KotOR and Halo and was a very happy gamer. I have never played a game quite like KotOR before and was completely blown away. I had already loved the Star Wars franchise for a long time, but never really had a chance to both explore the early mythology and create my own Jedi Knight. KotOR changed this and I enjoyed every second of it. Both my brother and I couldn’t get enough of the game, and when we heard that a sequel was coming out, we couldn’t help but get ecstatic. We bought KotOR II the moment it came out and enjoyed it even more than the original. One of the reasons I liked KotOR II more is the aforementioned ability to make your companions lightsaber wielding badasses. How cool is that? My love for KotOR encouraged me to get future Bioware titles such as the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series of games. The gameplay is similar in all of these games so if you like one, you’ll love the others.

newlucaslogo

Neither Battlefront nor KotOR ever got their much sought after third installments, and with LucasArts not developing games anymore the future of these two titles are both completely up in the air. I know for a fact that I’m not alone in wanting a Battlefront III or KotOR III, and it’s upsetting that it’s even more unlikely that they will ever happen. It’s even worse that videos and screens have surfaced showing that the now indefinitely delayed Star Wars: First Assault was secretly planned to become Battlefront III. However, with the licenses for these two titles available to be picked up by any developer, hope still remains. Some might even call it a new hope that can lead to a strike back of sorts for games that will allow a return of the Jedi. So here’s to hoping that someone smart out there realizes they can make millions producing these games and can do each series’ justice. Until that magical day comes, at least we have the original titles to keep us happy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: