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The acclaimed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is available digitally on March 24, 2017 and physically on April 4th. As a Star Wars fan, you’re understandably excited.
If you’re hoping to channel that energy into a related game, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is on the horizon — but is still missing a release date. You might even have to wait until 2018. You’ve already played all the official Star Wars games on the market, so how do you fill that time? Replaying LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Instead, why not try these titles, perfect for those wanting to live in a galaxy far, far away?
1. Star Fox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS, 2011) [UK]
On its initial 1997 release, Star Fox 64 was met with outstanding praise. Many years later, it’s still very fondly remembered, with the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition in 2009 naming it the 45th greatest game of all time. The following year, Nintendo announced it would release a remake for the 3DS.
In the cold light of the 2010s, would the game hold up? Or would our rose-tinted glasses be smashed?
There shouldn’t have been any doubt: Star Fox 64 3D is a more than worthy upgrade. The basic plot remains, keeping the overall tone of the original, along with a reworked four-player Battle Mode. Just as with the N64 title, the game excels with its renderings. Comparing the remake’s graphics to its 1990s counterpart’s demonstrates how far gaming has come, and underlines the remarkable planet, stars, and shuttle designs.
An anthropomorphized space-faring fox has never looked so beautiful.
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One, 2014) [UK]
Four games for the price of one? Throw in the live-action Halo: Nightfall and it’s a no-brainer!
Even if you’ve not played a Halo game before, you’ve surely at least heard of the brand that launched in 2001. After all, the titles have grossed nearly $3.4 billion, and that’s without taking into account the franchise’s books, anime series, and comics.
The Master Chief Collection features the 10th anniversary edition of Halo: Combat Evolved, plus its three sequels, so it will keep you occupied for a few days.
Halo‘s a first-person sci-fi shooter and mainly tells the story of an interstellar war between humanity and the Covenant, a diverse array of aliens worshiping the ancient Forerunners. It’s a wonderfully imagined and realized universe, and the cast of foreign antagonists is reminiscent of the varied bunch occupying the Star Wars mythology.
Things get even more interesting in Halo 2 when a civil war breaks out amid the Covenant.
3. Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4, Xbox One, PC, 2017) [UK]
For Mass Effect fans, it’s been a long five years.
March 2017’s Mass Effect: Andromeda is the newest home console title in the franchise since 2012’s Mass Effect 3 (although a trilogy box and iOS app were released in the meantime), so a lot is riding on it. Andromeda was named Most Wanted Game and Most Anticipated Game in last year’s Golden Joystick Awards and Global Game Awards respectively.
This game doesn’t take place a long time ago, but the galaxy which lends its name is far, far away. Despite being our nearest galactic neighbor, the one trillion star spiral is some 2.5 million light years from Earth.
That’s where this Mass Effect finds you. You play as either Sara or Scott Ryder, awoken from the 634-year trip to Andromeda and trying to make a home in unfamiliar environs. Although there’s still plenty of third-person action, the focus this time is on exploration, capturing both the wonder and terrifying nature of space travel.
4. Destiny: The Collection (PS4, Xbox One, 2014) [UK]
Developed by Bungie — the same team behind Halo — Destiny and its four expansion packs have received increasingly positive feedback since its initial September 2014 release. While critics were initially mixed, players can’t get enough of the game. As of April 2016, the game boasts nearly 30 million registered users, each of whom have so far played an average of 100 hours.
It’s fair to say that Destiny could be your new addiction.
The game is a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title, which of course means there’s a big world to explore. Sit in the pilot’s seat of your own spaceship and off you go — the universe is your oyster. That in itself is a great reason to dive in at the deep end, but more impressively, it all looks gorgeous. In fact, you’ll be blown away by the level of thought and detail.
It’ll just continue to grow, too. Bungie’s Director of Production, Jonty Barnes, said:
We’re going to continuously update the game from now until the end of time. That’s always going to be part of the philosophy of Destiny. We always wanted to build a new universe but keep building upon it, rather than to do a complete and utter restart periodically.
5. LEGO Dimensions (PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, 2015) [UK]
We’ve established that sci-fi games focusing on space are a dark affair. But it shouldn’t all be grim. A large part of Star Wars is acknowledging the sheer awesomeness of the universe, characters, and ideas.
A key element is, of course, fun. Darkness means nothing if it’s not balanced by humor and frivolity. That’s where LEGO comes in.
The whole brand is massive right now. This Starter Pack includes exactly what you want: a video game and some actual LEGO pieces to get your hands on! You build the portal using the bricks, which is then integrated in the game. It initially boasts characters like Batman, Gandalf, and The LEGO Movie‘s Wyldstyle, but further story and level packs are available. You can buy minifigures from popular brands like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Simpsons, The Goonies, The A-Team, and Gremlins.
No Star Wars (yet), but as you can gather, this is a fun, expansive title that’ll consume more hours than a Clone Wars marathon. Or, as our review concludes:
LEGO Dimensions is a solid video game for families. It features all the charm we’ve come to expect from previous [Traveler’s Tales]-developed LEGO games, but it adds in the twist of figures and play sets.
6. N.O.V.A. 3 (iOS, Android, 2013)
When Gameloft announced Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance (N.O.V.A.), critics were swift to point out its similarities to Halo and many other first-person shooters. Sure enough, plenty of parallels are present to both space games and terrestrial franchises like Call of Duty.
Then again, such action-adventures are hugely popular. N.O.V.A. rode that wave, and is now on its third iteration.
Many works of fiction speculate on what would happen to Earth once humanity has deserted it. In N.O.V.A. 3, you crash-land in a wrecked San Francisco, and immediately find yourself fighting off metal-plated aliens called Volterites. This isn’t a game you can tune out. It’s a tour de force that finds you right at the heart of battle straight away.
If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied on a long train journey, this is the one for you.
There are three different Galaxy on Fire games, and this one provides a fine starting point. It eases you into a thrilling adventure featuring intergalactic fights, space pirates, and… mining.
Seriously though, the graphics are stunning, the universe well imagined, and the plot engaging. This title had the honor of being named Best Mobile Game in the 2011 German Computer Game Awards.
The central campaign is extensive, and offers add-ons if you need more. You can eat up time and get plenty of practice with the Supernova Challenge, which presents you with ongoing waves of enemies. The inverted controls take some getting used to, but you can fly with your device’s accelerometer if you prefer.
As ever with freemium apps, you just have to be careful not to get carried away. In-app purchase prices range between $1.99 and an insane $48.99.
Feeling the Force?
Science fiction is big business right now, and Star Wars is playing a large part in that (alongside massive franchises like Doctor Who and Star Trek). Luckily, that means a wealth of great sci-fi games to dig into. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Which other space-faring games are you addicted to? Share the titles that make you feel like a Jedi with us in the comments!
Image Credit: fotoearlvia Shutterstock.com