Let me preface this by saying that the upcoming Battlefront II looks pretty cool. That being said, its existence is indicative of one of the many problems plaguing modern Star Wars games.
When I was younger, we used to get Star Wars games left and right every single year, sometimes even multiple times a year. They weren’t all good, in fact a good chunk are pretty bad, but at the very least we got them. Now we barely get any and what we do get is either not that good or just doesn’t add that much to the existing Star Wars experience. I find this very strange considering the era of the maligned Star Wars prequels was a better time for gamers than that of the much more critically acclaimed new films under Disney.
There was a bit of a lead up to The Phantom Menace when it came to games (for example the Dark Forces games), but it was really after Attack of the Clones where it picked up greatly. However, we did get hit games Episode I: Racer and Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader in between the two.
After the second prequel but before Revenge of the Sith we got a huge amount of great Star Wars games. Knights of the Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Bounty Hunter, the original Battlefront, and so on and so forth.
Finally, after Episode III came out, we got such hits as the original Battlefront II, Republic Commando, all the good LEGO Star Wars games, etc.
There are plenty of games I’m not mentioning, mainly since I just wanted to focus on how many quality games we got. However, Star Wars games started to taper off from there. There were a few good ones like the original The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic but, for the most part, things had changed.
From there it was almost nothing but cancellations, poor entries, and lack of content. The Rogue Squadron, Jedi Knight, Knights of the Old Republic, Republic Commando, and Battlefront series all had cancelled sequels. New IPs like 1313 and a Darth Maul game were cancelled as well. After that, the overall continuity was reset with Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, LucasArts was shut down, and EA was given the rights to Star Wars games.
EA’s first Star Wars game came four years after The Old Republic, the previous Star Wars game (we don’t talk about Kinect), and disappointed fans everywhere. Since then, we’ve gotten an underwhelming LEGO adaptation of The Force Awakens and some DLC for the rebooted Battlefront, for The Old Republic, and for Disney Infinity. With EA’s 2017 E3 conference behind them, we have a confirmed Battlefront II for this fall with “three times more content than Battlefront 1”, whatever that means, and nothing else. We also didn’t learn that much since the game had already been announced a month prior. What we saw was mainly EA trying to drive home the multiple eras feature of the new game.
Both Visceral Games and Respawn Entertainment have been confirmed to be working on something. However, we got absolutely nothing regarding those two games at E3 so they’re no doubt far away from being released. This is especially considering EA’s history with Star Wars announcements, having had something to show at E3 2013 with Battlefront finally coming out after two more years of conferences.
As I said in the beginning, Battlefront II looks great. However, it’s both a reboot and the sequel to a reboot of a franchise that I (and many out there) preferred under Pandemic and LucasArts rather than Dice and EA. Things have declined greatly for fans of Star Wars games. Hopefully, I’m wrong and EA really is turning things around, but I’m not holding my breath after their disappointing E3 2017 conference.
Trailer for Battlefront II: