A long time ago on a PlayStation far, far away……

As people around the world celebrate May the Fourth (it’s the second most important national holiday on Kashyyyk, just after Life Day), we take a look back at some of the key Star Wars games released on PlayStation consoles throughout the years.

PlayStation –

The original PlayStation didn’t really get the greatest share of the Star Wars games. The main releases were from movie tie-ins or simply ports of PC titles. However it would be the start of a long line of Star Wars based-games released on PlayStation brand consoles.

Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995)

Dark Forces was a Doom-like FPS that followed Rebel Alliance merc Kyle Katarn, as he discovers The Empire’s top secret Dark Trooper Project. Fairly advanced at the time, but now looks extremely dated now. It was also one of the first Star Wars games to expand outside the main trilogy’s storyline into what is now known by Star Wars fans as the Expanded Universe.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1995)

Released on the back of the new Star Wars Trilogy, The Phantom Menace was a third-person action game, that allowed players to take part in various events from the movie. Expanding upon some of the key plot point, it also had several playable characters from the film including the Jedi. It was still a fairly standard movie tie-in, even though it featured Jar-Jar Binks.

PlayStation 2 and PSP –

As technology advanced, so did the Star Wars games. As ever there was still the fair share of shoddy cash-ins. But the PS2 and PSP would also see one of the most exciting advancements in the Star Wars video games, since the Super Star Wars games from the early 90s.

Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing (2001)

Released back when LucasArts were free and easy with the Star Wars license. Super Bombad Racing featured super deformed versions of Star Wars characters in this humorous Star Wars-based kart racer. Although it mainly featured the ‘exciting’ cast of Episode I, bonus characters Yoda, Darth Vader and Boba Fett, could also be unlocked. As you can see from the screenshots it was one of THE best Star Wars games ever made.

Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) and Battlefront II (2005)

Finally a Star Wars game that was half decent. The Battlefront series of games were series of team-based third person shooters. Missions took place in locations from all of 6 Star Wars movies. Battlefront II is considered the best of the two console releases, as it not only added the Jedi as playable characters, but also space combat. Battlefront II was released around the same time Revenge of the Sith was released on DVD, and followed the story of Vader’s Fist – the 501st. This was a direct nod to the fan-based Star Wars costuming club the 501st Legion, and finally brought the club into the Star Wars Canon.

The PlayStation Portable saw the release of two more Star Wars Battlefront games – Renegade Squadron and Elite Squadron. Both followed the same gameplay style perfected in the home console versions, but added new features including the ability to create your own character and enter asteroid bases on space maps. Renegade was only available on PSP and alongside its release, Sony made available this highly collectible Vader White PSP.

A third Battlefront game was famously in development, for current generation consoles, at now defunct UK dev Free Radical Design. Leaked footage revealed amazing looking ground-based gameplay as well as seamless ground to space combat. Deep into it’s development cycle, LucasArts decided to can the game. Putting end to one of the most critically acclaimed Star Wars video game series and yet another talented UK Game Studio.

PlayStation 3 and beyond

With technology finally allowing for more realistic looking games. Finally Star Wars games would soon match the experiences of the films. As well as being able to deliver better audio, engine physics and motion-captured performances. It was hoped the PlayStation 3 would be able to offer gamers, the ultimate Star Wars video game.

Lego Star Wars Series (2007 – 2011)

The first Lego Star Wars was released on the PlayStation 2, and since then there has been a steady and enjoyable release of games from the series available for Sony consoles. More recently the PlayStation 3 has been home to Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars games. Based on the highly successful range of Lego Star Wars toys, both the games and toys are loved by children and adults alike. Although the games closely follow the plot of the various Star Wars films and TV shows, developer TT Games have filled them with buckets loads of humor and hidden secrets, which has made them so beloved by fans. Gameplay is based around the highly collectible Lego Minifigures, that take the guise of various Star Wars heroes and villians. Although new features such as vehicles and space combat have been added over the years, it’s mainly played out in a third person platforming perspective, allowing both single and multiplayer play to be achieved on the same screen.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed (2008) and The Force Unleashed II (2010)

Billed by LucasArts as the game that would continue the Star Wars franchise, beyond the seven movies and various TV shows. It boasted an amazing engine that would allow players to truly experience the power of the Force like they never before. It would also see the Star Wars Canon tweaked once again, as it tells the story of events that took place between Episode III Revenge of the Sith and the first Star Wars film – Episode IV A New Hope. In this newly created timeline, Vader has a secret apprentice known as ‘Starkiller’, who’s smacked up to the eyeballs on the Force – hence the ‘unleashed’ nature of the title. Starkiller is set upon the Galaxy by Vader to kill the remaining Jedi and anyone else that gets in his way. Ultimately leading to the fall of the Emperor and the creation of the Rebel Alliance. The first game was fairly successful, becoming the most successful LucasArts developed Star Wars title to date. This lead to a second game – The Force Unleashed II, which was (Darth) mauled by critics and fans alike. Just before The Force Unleashed II was released it was reported that a third game, that was already in development, had also been canned in the great LucasArts ‘Order 66’ purge.

As well as starring in their own video games, characters and item from the Star Wars universe have appeared on PlayStation 3 in other forms. In 2008 Darth Vader, The Apprentice and Master Yoda appeared in Namco’s Soulcalibur IV. Originally only Vader and Starkiller were included in the PS3 release. But Namco decided to make previously Xbox 360 exclusive, Yoda available as later on as DLC. In 2010, as a prelude to US fan event Celebration V, LucasArts released a number of Star Wars flavoured Avatar items for PlayStation Home. Users could don various iconic Star Wars costumes, as well as kit out the Personal Spaces with Star Wars themed furnishings. A new Home Space also opened – The Cantina. There users could sample the delights of Mos Eisley, enjoy the famous Cantina Band on loop, and even check out video from Celebration V.  Never would you find a more wretched hive of scum, villainy and Stormtroopers doing the running man PlayStation Home again.

So what does the future hold for Star Wars gaming on PlayStation? After the great cull at LucasArts the future looks bleak. Although the Star Wars universe is rich picking and perfectly tailored towards video games. LucasArts have never really found a formula that works. The Force Unleashed games had millions of Star Wars fans crying out with excitement, until they were suddenly silenced after playing The Force Unleashed II. But there is still a new hope for the future of the Star Wars video game. As well as signing up high-profile game director, Clint Hocking from Ubisoft. LucasArts have also inked a multi-year, Studio-wide licensing agreement to use the Epic Games Unreal III engine. Last year, a Star Wars ‘Advert’ was discovered online that resembled the US PlayStation ‘It Only Does’ ad campaign, it’s not known if the leaked image was a fan mock up and some secret project LucasArts and Sony are working on together. With E3 right round the corner, the Star Wars title gamers so desperately want, may just become reality.

From all of us at PlayStationer.net

May The Fourth Be With You



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