March 5, 2001
Star Wars isn't just a couple of movies, it's an institution. People worship it, not by the handful but by the millions and anytime LucasArts announces a new Star Wars game it's guaranteed to generate a lot of interest. Star Wars: Starfighter is the first Star Wars branded game heading to the Playstation 2 from Lucas Arts, and it's looks awesome.
Star Wars: Starfighter includes gameplay that leans more towards the arcade style of Rogue Squadron then the simulation style of X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter on the PC. Lucas Arts are trying hard to make this a fun game, and there is little doubt that they will succeed. Development of this title is taking place within Lucas Arts and you can be sure that there will be stringent quality controls on this game to make sure this is the best Star Wars game yet. Sony will also be pleased as this game is currently set for release only on the Playstation 2.
Star Wars: Starfighter puts you in control of several fighter planes, including the Naboo Fighter from Episode I. This game is actually set in the same timeframe as the movies, although the characters and events are not related until the final battle over the planet Naboo. During the game you will play three different characters including Rhys Dallows, a Naboo fighter pilot, Vana Sage, a former Naboo fighter pilot, and Nym, who is seeking all sorts of revenge on just about everybody, but ends up teaming with Vana to help destroy the Trade Federation.
The game should also provide plenty of variety. You begin the game you playing the role of Rhys for several missions in a Naboo Fighter. Soon after you switch to play Vana in her craft, the Guardian Mantis before finally taking control of Nym and her semi-circular Bomber craft. The developers are planning on having 14 different environments to fly in, although you can't fly seamlessly between areas. Each of the 14 missions takes place in different environments such as a lava-based planet, a water based planet, and in space and around a massive Trade Federation station.
LucasArts have done themselves proud graphically with this title. There is little to fault as the fighter planes zoom around the player. The explosions are equally impressive and hopefully LucasArts have been able to harness the Playstation 2's emotion engine to reduce any chance of slowdown. That seems to be the only thing that could derail this game from greatness.
Star Wars games have always been a mixed bag. Some, such as X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter and POD Racer, have been tremendous fun while others, such as Masters of Teras Kasi and Shadows of the Empire have failed to impress. Fortunately, there is a lot of early buzz surrounding Star Wars: Starfighter, and it is all good. With impressive graphics and familiar settings for millions of people this game should be an instant hit.