There are great Star Wars video games and there are terrible ones. Then there are ones you know are lacking something. I’ve played a few Star Wars games that missed their true potential. These felt rushed, are full of glitches, or fall short of its predecessor.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords (Xbox, PC)
The first Knights of the Old Republic was a life changing experience for me. It turned me from Star Wars fan to fanatic. Unfortunately, the sequel does not deliver anywhere near the same experience. The developer, Obsidian, was apparently rushed by LucasArts to finish the game in time for Christmas 2004. Knights of the Old Republic II misses its true potential due to glitches and the content cut from the game.
Some of the glitches were minor, like characters walking through walls. Others were severe and caused dialogue loops where your character couldn’t progress because another character wouldn’t give the correct dialogue option. These loops would force the player to restart the game, making them replay missions over again.
While playing the game, it’s clear that story lines and places are missing. Characters’ stories are left unresolved. Places like the planet M4-78 and the Droid factory are mentioned as important but never visited. The ending of the game is disappointing, as events are talked about but not shown. After the final battle, there is simply a “what do you want to do now” dialogue exchange. There is a list of the cut content here. For players who have the PC version, mods have been created by fans to restore the missing content from the game.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP, PC)
The premise sounded so cool. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, players are Darth Vader’s secret apprentice. I played it on the PS3. The game felt unbalanced, alternating between easy, repetitive hack and slash combat to frustrating missions like pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky. The different levels went by quick and the designs weren’t exactly breath taking. I never felt fully immersed in the game, even with the ability to make Starkiller good or evil. The “good” and “bad” endings felt unfinished and tacked on. Another problem is with all the different systems the game is available for, some consoles got different levels or other modes. The targeting and controls were bigger issues with the Wii version. The Force Unleashed was a fun, but super short game. I wanted to fall in love with it, but ultimately felt it never reached its full potential.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Gamecube, PS2)
It’s the game about Jango Fett the bounty hunter, but actual bounty hunting takes the back seat to platforming and action/adventure. To find a bounty, players must switch from third person view to first. By doing so, Jango scans the people around him to see if they have a bounty on their head. It’s awkward and impractical to do while in combat. If Jango does capture a bounty, they simply disappear. There’s no struggling person to contend with. The camera is also frustrating. The view goes through walls at times. During tight corners, the camera moves and bounces making it almost impossible to see what you’re doing. Bounty Hunter is still a pretty solid, fun game even with the flaws. Perhaps if it focused more on bounty hunting, it would have reached its potential.
These three Star Wars games aren’t horrible. I have played and enjoyed them all. But, I still feel they fall short from being truly incredible games. The potential for greatness was in the video games, but due to glitches or feeling rushed, it was never realized.