Why We Need An Open World Star Wars Game

E3 2016 Star Wars

If you guys are anything like me then these next ten months are going to be torture as we wait for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi to be released. The hype will slowly build with teasers and trailers and click bait articles about how this person dies or how that person is still alive etc. and fans will slowly go crazy the closer to the date we get.

In the meantime, as my fix from Rogue One starts to drain away, there is a nice gap that could be filled with an amazing new Star Wars game. Of course Battlefront 2 is expected to come out this year but there is definitely clamour for something different. We have Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars game but that won’t be released until 2018 and that’s even further than the next film. I think it would be cool to discuss the kind of things they could do with it, though.


What would work

Star Wars Battlefront

Now, seeing that the early reviews for Horizon: Zero Dawn look pretty darn good, how great would a new action RPG set in the Star Wars universe be? There are so many fantastic settings for it as well as characters and classes. The character could be a Jedi, or a Sith or a totally new race that we’ve never seen before. I’m thinking something along the lines of The Force Awakens, but even better.

An open world Star Wars game would blow everyone’s mind, I’m sure of it, and I think that would be a great way for Visceral or anyone else to go. Something like No Man’s Sky would probably be too large and would alienate a lot of fans but being able to visit various locations on various planets would undoubtedly be extremely appealing for fans who have been asking for a game like this for some time now.

Think about how vast the Star Wars Universe is and how much room for exploration there is. I think giving players control of a character and just letting them go nuts would be perfect. We’ve seen how well this kind of thing works with games like GTA, Far Cry and now apparently Horizon: Zero Dawn, so why not with Star Wars? The impression I got from the E3 teaser of Visceral’s game is that it may possibly be along these lines but that’s probably my inner fanboy’s dreams and there is really no way to know as of yet. Watch this space, though.

Horizon Zero Dawn

It has all but been confirmed that Battlefront 2 will have a campaign mode to go with the glorious visuals and stunning vistas that we experienced with the last game. I’m all about the story in Star Wars so I think that’s great but a shooter like Battlefront can only go so far. That’s not to say that a linear feel to the game wouldn’t go down well though. If we had a linear story similar to The Last of Us then I think a stripped back version of a Star Wars game could work too. When I say stripped back I mean no real RPG features and more of an ‘along for the ride’ feel with no control over the story.

This may not be to everyone’s taste but it could be massively successful: My favourite Star Wars game to this day was Star Wars Episode One: Jedi Power Battles for the PS1. It was linear in terms of you played through various missions from Episode 1 with various characters. I never thought it needed to have more RPG elements or anything like that but I was simpler then. A great story could really propel any character or game type forward into iconic status.

In fact, regardless of the game type, the story could probably be the most important thing about whatever kind of game Visceral churns out. Information gleaned from the E3 teaser suggests that it will take place during Emperor Palpatine’s reign and not in and around the events of the Episode 7 and Episode 8. That’s cool with me as there is so much unexplored land and stories around that time.

What it does mean, however, is that we will already know the overarching plotline in that the Empire is ultimately defeated. I’m pretty sure that’s not a spoiler, by the way, because doesn’t everybody know that? Anyway, knowing that means Visceral will have their work cut out to create a character and story which we really care about seeing as we know how it’s all going to end anyway. That could be a tough ask.


What wouldn’t work

Star Wars Battlefront

As I touched on previously, a game with scope like No Man’s Sky would definitely be too much. I don’t mean billions of planets but a game that’s too large could easily feel barren and cold. Having said that, I’d like something larger than, say, an Assassin’s Creed map.

Of course this depends on the style of game they go for. Personally, I feel like anything less than an open world game would disappoint me; I know that I said a linear game based fully around the story could work earlier. I’d also like to note here that it could be a massive gamble. If they went that way with a story mode of about 20-25 hours with some kind of multiplayer tacked on then they would really, really need to get it right. I’m talking in-depth story, great characters and plenty of lasers and lightsabers. Otherwise it may just be a disappointment for a lot of fans, not just me, who have been waiting for a story driven Star Wars game for a long time. I’d prefer a GTA-esque game with plenty of hours I could pour into it. Like I said earlier though, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. It would just have to be epic.

On top of all this, please let’s avoid a dreadful combat system. If our main weapon is going to be blasters then let’s have some great shooting mechanics as well as some cool fist-to-face combos so as to avoid a cover based shooting game (nothing against them, but it wouldn’t work). If we are going to have lightsabers then let’s have some even cooler combos and fighting and force mechanics to play with. I’m talking plenty of force powers and maybe even fully customisable lightsabers would be an awesome addition.

It’s fair to say there are more things that would work than wouldn’t and I am fairly confident about this game being in Visceral’s hands, with Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed people thrown in. There’s a pretty awesome CV there amongst them and my imagination is surely not powerful enough to guess what is going to come out of them all, but I hope it’s open world.

What would work for you?

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