LucasArts Games is back, but with a brand new look and name under Lucasfilm Games. It may seem like a small thing to be excited about, but the implications of what this may bring are something to get excited about. It shows that Lucasfilm is ready to take things to the next level and capitalize off of the current success of Star Wars.
It also brings up some retro game possibilities. Considering the extensive history of titles that LucasArts originally brought into the gaming world, there are quite a few that deserve to be brought back to life with a modern revision. Star Wars video games have always been popular, but not many people have played some of the classics that have built the foundation for modern Star Wars titles.
LucasArts also made original titles like Indiana Jones, which is coming back to modern times through MachineGames. Tim Schafer of Double Fine fame also made his gaming industry debut working with LucasArts, spearheading cult classic titles like Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and of course, The Secret of Monkey Island.
Which games from LucasArts would you like to see again? Here are 10 of our favorites.
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is a classic title created by Raven Software, which went on to develop Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. It originally launched in 2002 on PC, GameCube, and Xbox and way later in 2019 on PS4 and Switch. The game followed the life of Kyle Katarn — a retired Jedi turned mercenary. It sported a multi-view toggle with first and third-person options, intense lightsaber fights, force powers, bowcasters, blasters, and more
The closest that we got recently to a comparable title would be Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. Fallen Order is a great lightsaber-only, third-person action adventure game, but Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has a larger focus on shooter gameplay compared to Fallen Order. There is also a large multiplayer element to Jedi Knight II. You could play in game modes such as free for all, team deathmatch, capture the flag over the internet and LAN, or test your skills out on bots. You could only use the lightsaber in multiplayer though, which was pretty great considering it made for intense battles when combined with forces powers.
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces came out in 1995 for PC and 1996 for PlayStation, and if you were ever looking for a Star Wars game that plays like DOOM, this is it. This fast-paced first-person shooter title was a thrill to play, bringing new FPS elements not even seen in DOOM at the time. Looking back at DOOM 2016 and DOOM Eternal, a Star Wars: Dark Forces revival could work. A fast-paced, high-octane shooter where you're tearing through Imperial forces? Yes please.
Battlefront II by EA Motive has sort of already achieved this, though the game itself is a revival of an already older and established Star Wars title. Battlefront II is basically the "Battlefield" version of a Star Wars shooter, which leaves the door open for other varying types of FPS Star Wars titles to be made. You could ask, "what about remaking it like DOOM?" Could you imagine playing a fast-paced, first-person shooter running around on an Imperial Star Destroyer and blasting masses of Imperial Storm Troopers? It might work, but Dark Forces should go in a different direction.
Star Wars: Dark Forces should go the gameplay route of Call of Duty. Bring down the fast-paced action, and make it a bit more tactical with a wide variety of weapons that you can still choose from. Create an extensive singleplayer campaign and multiplayer and re-tell the story of Kyle Katarn, the protagonist of Star Wars: Dark Forces, and the discovery of the Dark Trooper Project.
Grim Fandango is a LucasArts Games classic that is held near and dear to many hearts. This title was created by LucasArts and directed by Tim Schafer, who is now head of Double Fine Productions. Grim Fandango is an adventure game where you could move your character, Manny, around in a 3D environment and interact with characters and objects, which was pretty new for 1998! Grim Fandango received high acclaim for its art direction and design, but, unfortunately, did not do well in sales when released and ultimately did not continue.
There is a remastered version of Grim Fandango that was released on PC and PS4 in 2015 and then later on Switch in 2018. It's a great way to re-experience the original with updated visuals, but what about a modern remake from the ground up? Think of Grim Fandango remade in the vein of Life is Strange or Tell me Why. Visuals could sway in a different direction, but the core gameplay would be a perfect fit for Grim Fandango.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Racing twin-jet fighter engines down an uncontrolled race track at insanely high speeds? What's not to like! Star Wars Episode I: Racer is a classic racing title that capitalized off probably the best thing to happen in Phantom Menace: pod racing. With how modern racers look and how they play, a new pod racing game would be a blast to play.
Put this title remake in the hands of a developer like Playground Games (Forza Horizon), and it would absolutely stand out as a racing title. Add in options for simulation settings or an arcade mode, and include a large list of racetracks to choose from with an online multiplayer racing mode.
Even if we don't get a remake, Star Wars Episode I: Racer did get a remaster in 2020, so you can now relive the classic experience in higher resolution.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
There are already not enough real-time strategy games on the market, so why continue to deprive fans of something that could be incredible? Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is the Star Wars version of Age of Empires, which makes sense since both games were made by Ensemble Studios.
The great part about reviving a title like this is that not a whole lot would be needed to revitalize it. It just needs a simple facelift to bring the graphics up to par with current standards and to refine the gameplay to ensure the factions are all balanced. Let us unleash hordes of Wookies against droids again!
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Bringing back Knights of the Old Republic seems like an obvious choice. It's a golden relic of classic Star Wars RPG games. Created by BioWare, Knights of the Old Republic brought to the table everything a Star Wars RPG needed. It takes place 4,000 years before the Galactic Empire is formed so you get to create your own character and experience an era in Star Wars not often talked about.
The game did also have a very successful sequel called Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords. This sequel continued with the RPG gameplay that fans adored when it originally launched in December of 2004. The combat gameplay evolved from turn-based in the first game to pausable real-time combat in Knights of the Old Republic II. It would be great to see the developers, BioWare, revisit this classic at some point in time and give it the modern remake the game desperately deserves.
Worth noting that there is a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game called Star Wars: The Old Republic that came out in 2008 and is still kicking, but it's not the same as the original title. An MMO has a lot of difficulty recreating a high quality single player experience.
If a remake were ever to happen, developers would need to stick to the dedicated singleplayer experience that fans know well from the originals. If Dragon Age can continue with very similar gameplay, there is room for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Though considering BioWare is now owned by EA, there isn't much chance we could see a reboot of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, unfortunately.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
Star Wars: Republic Commando is a tactical shooter that follows Delta Squad, an elite commando force of highly trained clone troopers during the Clone Wars. Sporting fantastic first-person shooter combat and a highly intriguing story, Star Wars: Republic Commando is one of those must-play Star Wars games. Breaching into rooms, defending squad positions, riding shotgun in a gunship, and fighting Geonosians, what's not to love?
Star Wars: Republic Commando originally launched in 2005 and featured some fantastic gameplay mechanics you don't often see in FPS title. Actually being able to command your squad to defend entrances or to breach and clear a room was almost unique to see at the time.
Even though the title's remake is highly unlikely (it's part of the Star Wars: Legend canon, not the main one), if it were to ever continue on, there is a similar game they should take notes from. Take Star Wars: Republic Commando, slap it together with Rainbow Six Siege gameplay mechanics using Unreal Engine 5, integrate a gritty singleplayer campaign with a competitive online portion, and you've got yourself a game.
Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebellion — the video game, not the board game — is a real-time strategy title from 1998 akin to Stellaris. Picking either the Rebels or Imperials, you built up custom large fleets of battleships and fighters to take over planets in the galaxy. Combat encounters were basically simple simulations, your fleet versus theirs. You could watch everything in real-time or auto-simulate to see the results faster. You also needed to make sure you managed resources properly and defended key planets to win.
Star Wars: Rebellion did not receive great reviews originally, but with a little bit of refinement and newer features, the game could be a hit with tactical RTS fans.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Everyone knows about the popular Disney+ show The Mandalorian, so let me introduce to you Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, which is basically Mandalorian: The Game. This third-person action-adventure game puts you in the shoes of the famous Jango Fett, allowing you to jetpack around, fire off rockets, and blast down enemies from above. Considering how extensive current third-person action-adventure games are currently, a revitalized Star Wars: Bounty Hunter game would fit right in with modern games. It could also capitalize on the popularity of the Disney+ show, especially with the Boba Fett show coming our way.
I know that almost everything listed so far has been from Star Wars, but we would be remiss to not talk about Full Throttle. This is another graphic adventure video game created by Tim Schafer, and could definitely use a full remake.
Full Throttle plays very similarly to Day of the Tentacle and The Secret of Monkey Island as a third person graphic adventure video game. You play as a character named Ben who is hell-bent on taking back his life after it was destroyed by Corley Motors CEO Malcolm Corley, head of the U.S.'s last motorcycle manufacturer.
Even though Full Throttle is a point-and-click adventure, recreating the game in the vein of how Telltale made The Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead would be a good fit. Games like The Wolf Among Us and Tell Me Why have shown that there is a new way to tell and play narrative-based games with stunning visuals, 3D movement, and branching dialog choices. With its gritty and dark story, Full Throttle would be a blast to play with this type of gameplay.
What about the other classic titles?
A few titles did not make a list, primarily because most already live on in a modern successor. Games like Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars: Squadrons, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order are perfect for scratching that need to run around in the Star Wars universe. There currently isn't a wide variety of modern Star Wars titles to play, but with the rebranding of LucasArts into Lucasfilm Games, we have hope for the future.
Meanwhile, Indiana Jones is coming back through MachineGames and a brand new Star Wars title has been announced from Ubisoft Massive, the creators of The Division. Even though these may not be direct remakes of classic titles, it's great to see more titles be made under these brands. If you do end up playing some modern Star Wars titles, Make sure you are on top of your game and wielding the force to the best of your ability with some of the best headsets for both PC and Xbox.