Aside from the “Lego Star Wars” games developed by the Traveller’s Tales studio, it’s been a dark time for video game fans of the Skywalker mythos. Last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2” got a poor reception from many. I myself was personally, very disappointed by the way its uneven storyline and cookie-cutter wasted the freshest take on “Star Wars” in years. Rumors have swirled that the video game arm of George Lucas’ empire suffered debilitating cuts in its development staff. Hopes for new entries in the “X Wing” aerial combat series or more massive Rebels-vs-Imperials skirmishes in the “Battlefront” games waned.
In short, it seemed like the video game potential for new games in the “Star Wars” milieu was dim. Yes, the “Old Republic” MMO that’s being built in partnership between EA, LucasArts and BioWare is due out this year but that one game may not be able to meet the cravings of various gamer disciplines.
But the work of a plucky crew of modders may be the best thing to satisfy players wanting to headshot legions of Stormtroopers. Germany-based collective the Black Monkeys just announced the release of “Galactic Warfare,” a PC mod of 2007’s “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” that’s been handcrafted to reseat it firmly in the Star Wars universe. The work of Skywalker love took two years to complete and is now free for players to experience starting today.
The thing that stands out in broad relief is how a group of modders can put in so much work to make a Star Wars game, while LucasArts hasn’t put out a game in this style for more than 3 years. Now, let’s be clear: the BlackMonkey modders aren’t creating their own engine from scratch. They’re using a toolset that’s already been proven and tested. But, still, BlackMonkey does a job that frankly outdoes some of LucasArts’ recent efforts. Here’s hoping that it won’t take too long for LucasArts to deliver a game that looks better, plays better and re-energizes the Star Wars gamer fanbase.