If you enjoyed the re-releases of X-Wing and TIE-Fighter, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Good Old Games has revealed the second set of their promised slate of classic LucasArts games, which includes a bevy of Star Wars titles. X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, Dark Forces, Battlefront II, Galactic Battlegrounds, and Knights of the Old Republic II are all available today. This is still just the tip of the iceberg. Six more Star Wars games will be released on GOG beginning Thursday and continuing into next week.
Dark Forces features the first appearance of bounty hunter Kyle Katarn, who goes on a mission for the Rebel Alliance to destroy an Imperial super soldier development program. Katarn went on to star in several more well-received FPS games in which Katarn becomes a Jedi Knight, adding a lightsaber and Force powers to his array of blasters and explosives.
Dark Forces is also the only game on the list of today’s re-releases that was designed to run on MS-DOS, such that the remastering arguably makes the most difference, here. Prior to this re-release, the best ways to play Dark Forces problem-free were either on an old PlayStation 1 console or as a PSone Classic through PlayStation Network. A Steam collection previously offered Dark Forces, and DOSBox was always an option to run the original software, but compatibility concerns applied to both.
X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter was released as a multiplayer-focused 3D space combat flight sim, and featured no story whatsoever. The Balance of Power expansion added a campaign, and is included in the GOG re-release. X-Wing Alliance, on the other hand, was built around a narrative campaign in the same fashion as X-Wing and TIE Fighter.
Knights of the Old Republic II was created by famed RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment, the same company behind Fallout: New Vegas and last year’s South Park: The Stick of Truth. KOTOR II is the sequel to Knights of the Old Republic developed by BioWare, and both games serve as prequels for the current Star Wars MMORPG The Old Republic, which is also developed by BioWare.
Battlefront II was the second game in a multiplayer combined-arms FPS franchise that bears similarity to the Battlefield franchise. The only way to play this re-release online, however, is through a local area network (LAN), as the official multiplayer servers have long since been shut down.
Finally, Galactic Battlegrounds is arguably the least exciting of the six re-releases. It’s a real-time strategy game built around the same engine that ran Age of Empires II, and that effectively substitutes Star Wars-skinned military units for standard RTS fare. Of the all the games on this list, Galactic Battlegrounds feels the least like it might have actually existed within the greater Star Wars universe.
It’s worth noting that none of these games represent Star Wars canon anymore, since Disney took over the franchise.
Photo via gordontarpley/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)