Special: LucasArts didn't have a lot to show at E3 2005, but its two new Star Wars titles on display were impressive, notheless. Check out Kyle's impressions of both Battlefront II and Empire at War.
Star Wars: Battlefront II (PS2, Xbox, PC)
Becoming the top-selling Star Wars
videogame can't be an easy feat. One-upping it with a sequel must be daunting but that is just what LucasArts and Pandemic Studios are doing with Star Wars: Battlefront II
Building upon the epic combat formula established in the first Battlefront game, Battlefront II will again emphasize team-based multiplayer combat in a galaxy far, far away. This time combat will take to the stars as massive space battles with up to 24 PS2 players, 32 Xbox Live Players, or 64 PC players in the same game. The space battles bring a whole new batch of familiar scenes to the home video game console with Death Star and Tantive IV interior levels all set to go. What's even better is that you can go from inside one of these vehicles, into a starfighter or transport, and onto another ship as part of a boarding action. This should add limitless depth to the game's multiplayer campaign.
Of course, not everything about Battlefront II is about the multiplayer. The single player experience is getting an infusion of excitement from three gameplay modes and playable Jedi characters. If the AI is making any kind of an advance at all, we will be in for quite the treat.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Like it's big brother, the console version of Battlefront II
, the PSP rendering of BFII will feature a multiplayer mode, this one taking advantage of the WiFi capability of the PSP for four-player co-op or competitive modes. The biggest difference between the two versions of the game will be the shift in design of the single-player campaign to a more "on-the-go" friendly mini-campaigns. What is even more of note is the fact that this will be the first portable title that LucasArts has published itself.
Star Wars: Empire at War (PC)
Real-time strategy is a genre that Star Wars videogame nuts have felt neglected in. Sure, there was the galactic combat Rebellion
, the ground combat Force Commander
, and the more balanced Galactic Battlegrounds
, but none of the three of really filled the RTS niche well while maximizing what Star Wars has to offer. That is where the upcoming Star Wars: Empire at War
comes into play.
Empire at War is a persistent real-time strategy title that takes place in the gap between the recent Revenge of the Sith
and the classic A New Hope
. In it we can watch Darth Vader's rise to power and the creation of the Rebel Alliance. Playable as either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance, Empire at War will feature combat across the galaxy far, far, away in places both familiar and new.
Both space and ground combat will play a large role in Star Wars: Empire at War with the actions in one theater carrying over to the next. This persistence, coupled with the fervor over the Star Wars franchise, will make Empire at War a success with both RTS and Star Wars fans alike.