- Ryse Confirmed as Xbox One Exclusive
- Battlefield 4 Will Be Available this Holiday for Next-Gen
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Xbox One Media
- Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One Screens & Trailer
- Xbox One Specs
- Mornin '13
- No Backwards Compatibility with Xbox One
- Xbox One Does NOT Have to Always Be Online
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Shown On Xbox One, Timed-Exclusive DLC
- Halo TV Series Announced
- Watch Live TV with Xbox One [Updated]
- Microsoft Announces Its Next Console: Xbox One
- REVIEW: Metro: Last Light
- Peter Molyneux's Godus Going Mobile
Star Wars: Starfighter Review
PII-350, 64MB RAM, 500MB HDD, 16MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jan 20, 02 (released)
|» All About Star Wars: Starfighter on ActionTrip|
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to certain technical difficulties we couldn't post any in-game captures. Therefore, we had to include the screens from the official LucasArts website. We apologize for this and hope it won't present a problem.
Everyone knows there are three fundamental things that make a good Star Wars game: nifty in-game vehicles and characters inspired by those from the movies, a lot of cool Star Wars weapons, and the exceptional John Williams soundtrack. This game delivers most of these factors and if we put its shortness aside, Star Wars Starfighter can be exciting for all gamers (even those who are not enthusiastic about the whole Star Wars trip).
Let's begin with the game's story; I'll have to admit that the idea for it was original, along with the stories surrounding the three main characters, which you'll find to be very amusing at times. These characters are as follows: Rhys Dallows (Naboo pilot), Nym the Feeorin (renowned mercenary leader), and Vana Sage (another mercenary). The plot evolves as you jump from one spaceship to another, putting yourself in the shoes of each character, as the historic events of the Star Wars saga unfold. All of your characters have their own specific goals and will engage in various missions that are relevant to their cause - sometimes the objective is to ransack Trade Federation cargo frigates, while other times it all boils down to plain honor and heroism. So, the good thing is that you'll be able to participate in the events that took place during the Battle for Naboo, whilst having the opportunity to see it all from the perspective of two different mercenaries and a Naboo pilot - who all have one thing in common: knocking out the malicious and greedy forces of the Trade Federation.
Anyhow, if I had to rate this game just for its story and mission scenarios, then I'd give it a very high score. Like I said, the plot corresponds with the movie and each character has a well thought-out purpose in the whole story. Each mission assignment will be appealing, since you'll be able to enjoy it from the point of view of every character. Unfortunately, the missions would be a whole lot more exciting if the levels we're not that restricted. This especially goes for land missions, in which you won't have the possibility of exploring the environment and you are assigned to a rather strict path throughout your venture. The most annoying bit is when you fly up into the sky, suddenly hitting an invisible barrier that automatically causes your aircraft to turn downwards. Pretty stupid. On top of that, it definitely reduces the game's replay value, as well as its gameplay quality. On the other hand, the AI routine works quite well, so you'll have to make an effort to get pass all the ground vehicles, various air-units, and spaceships. If you plan on winning a gold medal after each mission, you're gonna have to sweat a little bit more - plus, there's a limited amount of time for every assignment, which makes it even tougher.
As you start your very first training mission, you get a chance to experiment with the famous N1 Starfighter. This particular spacecraft is capable of many things and is armed with standard dual laser cannons (later on you'll receive additional proton torpedoes - which are limited I'm afraid, but very effective). Afterwards, two more types of crafts will be at your disposal - the Havoc and the Guardian Mantis. The Havoc is operated by the character Nym and its destructive weaponry system can be very useful in certain missions. The Guardian Mantis (thanks to its lightness, maneuverability, and speed) can be described as a most capable and easy-to-use spacecraft. Each one of these ships has a unique set of features in terms of weaponry, speed, and endurance. You will also notice that they all respond differently to your commands. Overall, the controls respond acceptably, so it won't be a problem to get use to them. Moreover, the game remains true to the laws of nature and physics (relatively speaking of course); for example, when you're on a planet, the spaceship will react to the atmosphere, while missions in space are a completely different story.
Still, the main advantage in all Rogue Squadron-like games is the possibility of exploring hidden levels and engaging in various bonus missions. This can be carried out only if you win a gold medal, which proves that you've completed a particular mission with admirable pilot skills. Once you've unlocked these missions, you'll also get a few new aircrafts to experiment with... Well, you can find out for yourselves what they are.
Visually, there are a few points that should be brought up. Number one: there are many different vessels (both enemy and friendly crafts) and they'll just keep on coming. But, it seems that the developers concentrated more on the variety of in-game models, rather than adding more details to them. Also, when you get closer to some of the constructions (like various buildings, turrets, or enemy battlements) you'll spot that some of them have lame textures, which may put off gamers who expected more in the visual department. Number two: in contrast to the poor texture detail, there's a significant improvement (over previous games, like Battle for Naboo) in terms of reflections and lighting effects (sun reflections on aircrafts, nice-looking water surfaces, and so on). And, number three: the spectacular ambiance in certain scenarios, like the one called "Eye of The Storm," which shows that the game creators made a good effort while designing the scenery. In spite of all that, I think it's a shame they didn't expand the levels on Naboo and other planets. I mean, the game shows great visual potential, why not use it all the way?
In the end, the most of the praise should be given to the music and sound effects; basically, a blast festival of famous Star Wars weapons accompanied by the magnificent music score of John Williams. As a result, the legendary spirit of the saga is maintained, and so is the feeling of grand battles and daring feats. What is more, the actors did a terrific job on the voiceovers. Regretfully though, this brings me to a really irritating issue that goes on throughout the game. Mainly, I'm getting sick of the classic movie catch-phrases being reenacted over again (such as "look at the size of that thing" and "I can't shake him"). Don't get me wrong people, there's not a single molecule inside me that would have something against Star Wars, it's just that I'm getting too damn tired of all those little things, which made the movies rock and were exploited in games far too often. However, it's the Star Wars music that keeps ya goin' and the action is great, holding your attention at all times. Star Wars fans will surely be pleased, but it's just too bad you can complete the entire game after one day of playing.
Great classic Star Wars fun and ambiance, with constant action, followed by the outstanding soundtrack from John Williams;
Some of the models need more polishing and they just crave for more details. Some planet levels need to be bigger, and allow more freedom of movement. And I would've rated the game higher if it just wasn't so damn short.
BACK TO TOP