A new Star Wars game looks set to be announced at this year's Video Game Awards ceremony.
That's one way of looking at a new Spike TV teaser video, anyway. Over footage of previous SW games a voice says, "You've seen every film over 200 times, you know the Skywalkers better than your own family, you have a stronger knowledge of the Force than Yoda himself - but one thing you don't know is what's next. Find out at the 2009 Video Game Awards."
Said Awards are being held on 12th December so expect more news then. Will it be a sequel? A brand new franchise? Or just another class or something for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Clouded, the future is etc.
There was a time when reviewing the latest Star Wars videogame was largely straightforward. As each game built upon a near-universally recognised and understood mythology but displayed a near-universally poor quality of gameplay it was mostly a case of listing the genre, the faults and then making a droll 'This is not the game you are looking for' closing remark. Then Knights of the Old Republic, Lego Star Wars and, to a lesser extent, the Battlefront and Rogue Squadron series broke the write-by-numbers template either by featuring characters and scenarios far outside the films' timeline or providing gameplay that was reasonably exciting, interesting or well-executed. Stars Wars Lethal Alliance certainly fulfils the first criteria, focusing on an unknown pair of protagonists: Rianna Saren, a Twi'lek mercenary and her security droid Zeeo.
As a billboard duo of leading names they're hardly a Luke and Leia or C3PO and R2D2 but nevertheless, they form an interesting slave-girl/robot partnership that serves the game (and budding fan-fic writers) reasonably well. Rianna is best understood as a female Han Solo - a rogue mercenary lending her battle expertise to the Rebellion cause. Her Swiss Army knife of a robot, Zeeo (or Z-58-0 to note-taking droid watchers) provides back-up in the form of computer hacking, narrow tunnel navigation or impromptu transport as the couple undertake an overarching mission to steal plans for the Empire's least-imaginatively titled weapon: the Death Star.
Set between Episodes III and IV the plot does little to flesh out the narrative black hole between the last and first films choosing instead to concentrate on the microcosm of the mission in hand. Nevertheless, Star Wars fans will be pleased to take in the neon-soaked/dusty sights of Mos Eisley, Mustafar and Tatooine as well as enjoying brief encounters with A-list characters such as Boba Fett, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader - even if the plot here is more spin-off soap opera than crowning Christmas special.
Ubisoft is planning to launch a new Star Wars action-adventure on DS and PSP worldwide this December.