Celebrating LucasArts: Five Favourite Star Wars Games
It’s the weekend! Which means it’s time for another of my Star Wars Saturday blogs.
As you’ll no doubt have heard, LucasArts is no more. I considered writing a piece about how I believe closing the company was fundamentally wrong, but rather than perpetuate more misery I decided to reminisce on just why the company means so much to me. So I present to you my five favourite LucasArts developed Star Wars games, in no particular order:
Although X-Wing and Rebel Assault had already previously let me live out my rebel pilot fantasies, it was Rogue Squadron that really pulled me in. For endless weeks I played it, replaying it over and over. The variety of levels was fantastic, of course there was Tatooine and Hoth as expected, but there was also EU favourites like Kessel and Corellia. It was also a great excuse to buy the N64’s Expansion Pack which pushed the game to the dizzyingly high resolution of 640×480!
Released as a tie-in to Episode 3, Republic Commando was a fresh change in that it didn’t star any Jedi. Instead you were on the front lines shoving your blaster into people’s faces and fighting shoulder to shoulder with fellow clone troopers. Tragically the game ends on a cliffhanger, there was a sequel planned but it was never released. Still, it stands well on its own as one of the most grim Star Wars games released.
Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight was the first Star Wars game that really made me feel like a Jedi. The game itself was a strong sequel to the original Dark Forces shooter, but the added Jedi element is what made this game really stand out to me. There was spades of fun to be had just playing with Force powers. I’m going to break my own rules and include the expansion pack in this entry as a bonus: Mysteries of the Sith, if for no other reason than it let you play as Mara Jade.
Episode 1 Racer
Although I didn’t play it quite as much as Rogue Squadron, I definitely lost whole days to Racer. Rather than stick you playing Anakin, the game let you choose any of the wacky alien characters we met in the movie. The exhilarating racing was complimented by the customization system letting you purchase individual parts for your podracer. There was a huge selection of games released alongside Episode I, but Racer was the best of the lot.
Day of the Tentacle
Okay, it’s not a Star Wars game. Darth Vader is technically seen in the game on a calendar so let’s call it a loose tie-in? I just couldn’t resist putting it on the list. Charming, hilarious and with brilliant art design, Day of the Tentacle made me fall in love with adventure games. Everything listed so far is a little rough to drop back into these days, but not this. It holds up just as well as it did back in 1993. Sure a lot of the staff from the game had already left LucasArts long ago, but the game inspired a love of LucasArts as a brand that never left me.