In yet another desperate bid to become (or continue its reign as) the least loved publisher in the industry, EA has decided to cancel its upcoming open-world Star Wars video game, as was originally reported by Kotaku on Tuesday evening according to three sources close to the title.
Following its early days as a linear action title by Visceral Studios (Dead Space) before their foreclosure, it was later announced that the title would be completely revamped, save for some of the original audiovisual assets, and turned into an open-world title to be developed by EA Vancouver. This awful news may come as a shock at first, but considering we’ve been subjected to Jar-Jar Binks, Leia Poppins and the digital hatchet job that is Han and Jabba in the CGI’ed re-release Star Wars: A New Hope: Lucas Strikes Again, maybe we should’ve seen this coming.
For the sole purpose of making you feel as angry as I am about this, I’m going to perform some insane conjecture about this title that will never be. “Open-world Star Wars” sounds to me like it would’ve been called Grand Theft Alderaan or maybe Red Dead Rebellion. And considering it began its life as a project from The House that Isaac Clarke built, and that some of its original assets came over to the latest iteration, let’s go ahead and assume you’d play as a gruff-but-troubled humanoid with limited Force powers and probably a sweet-ass blaster or three.
Of course, if we’ve learned anything from Knights of the Old Republic I & II, Star Wars: Galaxies, Shadows of the Empire, The Force Unleashed, Rebel Assault I & II, the Jedi Knight series and most of the other 649 Star Wars games released in the last 25 years, there’s absolutely no reason on God’s green Earth for developers to believe that any of us would like to play as any of the main characters of the films, and there’s only a fleeing interest on any player’s part to experience the stories or main battles of the films as well. If we’ve learned anything else from those games, it’s that the coolest ones are set around the time of the original trilogy of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi (and I’m grandfathering in The Force Unleashed since it’s between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope). So in terms of timelines and characters, I’m going to have to assume that Grand Theft Alderaan would’ve taken place smack dab between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but because I’m a glutton for punishment let’s say it’s probably on a really badass planet like Coruscant or Kessel, which brings me to my next point.
When we hear “open-world,” we all know the franchises that come to mind. Most of them have bustling cities (Grand Theft Auto, Mafia) and a variety of factions vying for control over the area (Red Dead Redemption II, Sleeping Dogs). Kessel would make for a great setting in this case, since it’s always up for grabs by various crime lords in search of its Spice – and we all know, he who controls The Spice controls the universe. You could play as a Han Solo type, starting as an underling and climbing the ranks to help topple rival gangs and get the Spice. Same thing with Coruscant, where you could be an undercover Jedi doing a whole Yojimbo / A Fistful of Dollars thing setting up the villains to play off of one another and put you on top, working your way ever closer to infiltrating the Empire’s headquarters. Man, that would be cool. Either one of those locations and setups would’ve been great, not to mention the speeders you could drive from hub to hub and the RDR-style blaster fights you could get in with enemy jerks. If you’ve seen any Star Wars films or games, you also know how prone they are to infiltrating bases, destabilizing reactors of some sort and blowing shit up, all of which has “open-world” written all over it – as does the movies’ penchant for characters getting into trouble in nightclubs and bars, which go together with open-world games like chocolate and peanut butter.
Man, this game would’ve been hotter than Satan’s taint on a summer day in Hell. Once again, our hopes are dashed, just after we’ve recovered from the devastation that was Star Wars 1313. Lick your wounds anew, gamers; there’s always the possibility we’ll wake up tomorrow and this will all be a bad dream – like that scene of Anakin and Padme rolling down a grassy meadow, which I’ve completely erased from my memory.
What would you have wanted in this title? Sound off in the comments.