The game presents a compelling story, excellent presentation, and gameplay that will surely satisfy fans of LucasArts' N64 shooters.
Star Wars Starfighter is LucasArts' first title for the PlayStation 2. The game takes the concepts put forth in the company's N64 Star Wars games--Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo--and kicks them up a notch, adding a deeper, more enjoyable story, more solidified flight mechanics, and, of course, spectacular graphics.
Starfighter's storyline runs concurrently with the events that took place in Star Wars: Episode I, but rather than focus on the existing story from the movie, Starfighter instead tells the tale of three unlikely allies united by a common foe, the evil Trade Federation. The three lead characters, created specifically for the game, are the rookie Naboo fighter pilot Rhys Dallows, a female mercenary named Vana Sage, and Nym the pirate. The story is quick to jump from one pilot to another as you progress through the game's 14 missions, which is initially very confusing. But as you move toward the later levels, the story's loose ends tie up rather nicely, and the resulting story is a fairly good one.
Starfighter is a mission-based game. Each level opens with a set of objectives, and you'll typically be given a new objective or two as the level progresses. Mission objectives range from destroying shield generators to conducting rescue operations and protecting all sorts of carriers and bases. In fact, the game seems to gravitate more toward defensive missions than offensive missions, especially in the first half. Each mission also has a set of bonus goals, which, if completed, earn you medals. Earning medals unlocks bonus missions, such as fighter and bomber training, which take place outside of the main storyline. Each mission has three difficulty settings, and they're accurately named. The easy difficulty is an absolute cakewalk right up until the last mission, and the hard mode is an excellent challenge in the later missions.
Craft control in Starfighter is a lot more stripped down than the control in most space sims. Each ship has two weapons, basic targeting, and a no-frills HUD that points you at your next target and gives you stats on your shield and hull strength. Boost and brake buttons take you between each of your ship's three speeds, and an auto-level button quickly rights your craft when you're upside-down. All three ships turn pretty slowly, which is understandable for Nym's bulky bomber, but Rhys' Naboo fighter, which is built for superiority against flying targets, can't spin around fast enough when dogfighting. Boosting then braking lets you gain some turning speed by powersliding, which makes up for a bit of the deficiency and can be useful in the tight trenches of the canyon levels or the small passageways in the game's final mission. You can also order your wingmen around with four commands--status, attack, defend, and cancel previous order. The wingmen are extremely useful, but the two or three voice responses they'll give you after every order will become extremely annoying after only a couple of missions.
- Player Reviews: 13
- Game Universe:
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer (GBC, N64, DC, MAC),
- Star Wars: Yoda Stories (PC, GBC),
- Star Wars: Demolition (DC, PS),
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (PC, GC, XBOX, MAC),
- Star Wars: Starfighter (PC, PS2),
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC, XBOX, MAC),
- Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (PS2, GC),
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (GC, PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars Galaxies (PS2, XBOX)
- Number of Players: