Around two months ago, the first batches of PlayStation 4′s and Xbox Ones hit store shelves. In that time, both consoles have seen massive success in such a short time. As we reported about three weeks ago, the PlayStation 4 has sold 4.2 million consoles worldwide while the Xbox One has sold 3 million units in 13 different countries. Either way, they are incredibly impressive sales.
With this many consoles sold, it presents a possibility. What is arguably one of the best parts about the dawn of a new console generation are the opportunities it presents to revive a new franchise. In the series we are calling “Wanted Comebacks,” Analog Addiction editors will be discussing which series they want to see make a triumphant return to the new consoles and why.
To start this series off, Analog Addiction editors Nathan Manning, George Sinclair, Vlad Pintea and me, Robbie Key, discuss why we feel a long-lost Star Wars franchise, Star Wars Jedi Knight, deserves a reboot. With EA having required the rights to publish Star Wars games in early May this past year, it’s certainly possible.
Why should Jedi Knight return?
It’s quite simple really: You get to be a Jedi! Is there any other reason other than that? Jedi Knight fulfilled everyone’s urge to create their own lightsaber wielding badass and do battle with other lightsaber wielding badasses. With updated graphics, and some modern technology, a new Jedi Knight could be the Star Wars video game we’ve needed for a while now. Bye, bye Kinect Star Wars; hello Jedi Knight.
There have been games since the Jedi Knight series that have tried to replicate the feel of being a Jedi. The Force Unleashed merely felt as if you were swinging a cardboard tube around, and as for Kinect Star Wars, well, I don’t really want to look as if I’m pimp slapping my TV. Jedi Knight’s control scheme is probably outdated now, but one thing I feel would still work is how the aiming reticule for the blaster and the Lightsaber were the same. This allowed you to react quicker, which probably tricked more than a few of us into thinking we actually had some skill. If we could mix the Force abilities from The Force Unleashed, the dancing from Kinect Star Wars (just kidding) and the pure, Jedi vs. Sith combat from Jedi Knight, we could have a game with some serious potential on our hands.
Let’s face it: Force Unleashed, both the first title and its sequel, were an overall disappointment. I was originally expecting an experience akin to Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, but it turns out that is what it needed to be more like. Jedi Knight contained multiple elements that made it an overall great title. You could become a Jedi – or a Sith depending on your choices – and use a lightsaber in third-person combat, but you could also play a majority of the game with weapons in the first-person view if you wanted to. To top it off, the mutliplayer was surprisingly fun because it had the same gameplay mechanics that made the singleplayer story such a blast.
As far as I remember, Star Wars: Jedi Knights: Jedi Academy was probably my first SW game, and – to no one’s surprise – I absolutely loved it (still do, even though it’s a bit outdated by today’s standards). To me, Jedi Knight is the best sub-series in the SW franchise simply because it allows for a great variety. Wanna craft your own lightsaber? Done. How about going all guns-blazing? Done, as well. From battling your common Stormtrooper to taking on the mighty Sith, there’s no denying that a new entry in the franchise could do wonders. It’s simple, really; we take the story-telling and lightsaber combat from The Force Unleashed, combine it with Republic Commando’s FPS mechanics, and mash them all in an open world.
Who should develop the reboot?
Being completely hypothetical, I’d love to see Bungie take on the task. The team at Bungie has already shown it can create amazing sci-fi worlds with the Halo series and its upcoming game Destiny. Giving Bungie access to one of the great sci-fi universes in Star Wars would surely see justice done. Furthermore, Bungie already has the base for sword combat through Halo’s gravity hammer and energy sword. With a bit of tweaking, I would love to see the end result of a Bungie Jedi Knight game.
Now that EA owns the licence, I’d like to see Visceral try something with it. They made Dead Space, so while the sci-fi route would be somewhat comfortable for them, it’s a new property to work on, so I’d like to see what they’d be able to bring to the table. That, and I think them getting away from horror for now would be a nice change.
I would love Raven Software – the original developer of Jedi Knight - to make a triumphant return to the series, especially since they have some experience working with the now current-gen consoles a la Call of Duty: Ghosts. That won’t happen though because EA required the rights to develop and publish future core Star Wars titles. However, that’s not a bad thing, as EA has assigned Bioware, DICE and Visceral – three fantastic developers – to handle a majority of the future Star Wars titles. Between the three of them, I pick Bioware because it seems like anything they develop is gold, but I would still rest easy at night if DICE or Visceral got their hands on it. Jedi Knight coated in some Frostbite 3 paint with updated gameplay would be a dream come true.
I honestly think Bioware would absolutely nail it. The studio has created the entire Mass Effect trilogy, so space adventures are nothing new to them. Hell, to me, Mass Effect actually feels like Star Wars, only without the obvious additions like the all-too-awesome lightsabers.
What do you think? Does Jedi Knight deserve some new life breathed into it, or should it stay on the Dark Side of development and never be made? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to let us know which abandoned franchises you would like to see make a comeback for this new console generation. Who knows; the game you pick may be featured in the next Wanted Comebacks.
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, entertainment editor and copy editor for the Pine Log at Stephen F. Austin State University, news editor for Worlds Factory and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates, watch his awesometacular YouTube videos, and view his LinkedIn profile.