Criticism of Modern Star Wars Games

The problem with almost all Star Wars games, and what needs to be changed. If you're a game designer, pay attention!

Ever since I was a small boy, gaming has been one of my favourite pastimes. I began way back in the days of Amiga, with my favorite game being The Faerytale adventure”. Yes the spelling of fairytale is incorrect, but that’s exactly how the game was spelt. The game was very rudimentary from a graphics perspective, as all games back then were. But it had a fantastic storyline, and the gameplay was exceptional. Basically you were a little man fighting against ghosts, skeletons and all kinds of nasties. I won’t go into exactly what the game was about, except to say the gameplay was very simplistic. But it was extremely addictive. As any avid gamer should know, again doesn’t need to be complicated to be very addictive. Consider top selling games like Angry Birds, for example. Or Minecraft!

But back when I was a child, all games lacks one critical element: immersion. Although games could be addictive, they didn’t put you right in the action, as if you were there. They didn’t quite feel like you were in control, and making all the decisions.

What Makes an Addictive Star Wars Game

To understand what makes an addictive game, first consider what makes a frustrating game. I particularly despise games that involve characters that are difficult to control, or feel like everything is scripted – including the character’s movement.

I’m a bit of a Star Wars fan, and am quick to purchase any games involving the use of light sabers. With one particular exception, all such games were a disappointment to me. This is basically because I didn’t feel like the controls accurately matched what I wanted to do. For example, if I want to swing my lightsaber and decapitate an enemy, I should be able to do this - assuming I had some skill. But just about every Star Wars game is in my view is like Tekken. And certainly Tekken may be a very popular game. But it just doesn’t resonate well with me, and I really don’t like such games because they are all about massive slam and unrealistic wham-bam moves that frankly look and feel like BS.

Simply put, fighting games like these are extremely unrealistic. They do NOT give you a sense of achievement when you make the perfect move. They aren’t immersive. In my view they are clumsy and annoying. When you hit your opponent, the screen shakes, there are ridiculous sounds and flashes of light, and it is disorientating. This to me isn’t fun at all. It’s like a pinball machine with 20 different balls bouncing around. It is just messy and inelegant. It doesn’t matter how great the graphics are. If the gameplay isn’t fun, the game is a waste of space on my shelf.

Have a look at Tekken gameplay so you see what I mean:

In contrast, consider my favorite Star Wars game of all time, which is Jedi outcast. Soon gameplay and lightsaber fights are in the video below:

Obviously the graphics in Jedi Outcast are quite poor by modern standards. But keep in mind is quite an old game.

Now let’s fast forward quite some time to one of the latest Star Wars games, Fallen Order. One of the fight scenes is in the below video:

Fallen Order is probably the second best Star Wars game I have played. I’m speaking specifically about the lightsaber duels in each of the games. Although a Star Wars fan, I’m not interested in playing as a storm trooper.

Why Jedi Outcast Is Still More Fun and Addictive

By looking at the two Star Wars games in the videos, most people would probably think Fallen Order would be the better game. Don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic game with great graphics, and the gameplay is good. But it still lacks something, which is why I still prefer Jedi Outcast. Why? For the same reason I love open world games: FREEDOM.

This means freedom to control my lightsaber however I want, and to hit on my opponent wherever I want - to AIM slashes and strikes. This capability is seriously lacking in every other Star Wars game I have played.

Even the latest "Fallen Order" is a bit like Tekken: big smashes, crashes and slams. But where is the absolute control? Where is the freedom? This freedom of movement is critical in making a game addictive. The gamer should feel like they are in full control.

Let’s put it into context. With Jedi Outcast, I can attack a storm trooper and literally cut off whatever part of him I choose. Granted this may be a bit morbid, but after all it is a combat game. Can I cut the legs off a storm trooper in any other Star Wars game? No. What if I had a taste for decapitating an opponent? I can’t do that with any of the modern Star Wars games. They lack the freedom of control and choice.

Perhaps games need to be friendly for children. But how about us adults? I’m not saying there needs to be blood and gore. Why not introduce a setting that gives us the choice of what we can do to opponents? After all, Jedi Outcast allows us to use cheat codes to vary such a setting. It just makes the game that much more satisfying, and addictive.

If you are one of the designers for Star Wars games, please, take my advice into consideration. Give us freedom to wield our lightsabers as we want. I don’t mean give us more complicated and annoying combination moves. Make gameplay INTUITIVE. I mean give us the graphics of Fallen Order, with the freedom of Jedi Outcast.

If you want to make a perfect game, combine the open world environment of Farcry, with the graphics of Fallen Order, and freedom of lightsaber usage from Jedi Outcast (although with more realistic models and behavior of the lightsaber). Make a game like that, and I’ll buy it. And so will every other star wars nerd.

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