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LucasArts at E3


Written by Mark Isaacson



So another Electronic Entertainment Expo is out of the way, and as usual there were plenty of special annoncements, surprises and fun to be had just about everywhere. But what about the fine folks at LucasArts? How did they fair out of all of this? Let's take a look:

Good: Star Wars Galaxies announced for Playstation 2 and X-Box
It was bound to happen eventually, since both major console platforms are gearing up for the online movement later on this year. Although only a few details were mentioned, what really matters is if the console Galaxies will connect with the PC Galaxies. We'll find out eventually, but either way I'm sure everyone will be happy, except for ...

Bad: No Star Wars Galaxies for Gamecube
Some were annoyed that the Nintendo console, which also has online on its mind, was overlooked for a Galaxies conversion. Whether or not the title will ever make it to the Gamecube is yet to be seen, but since Nintendo's online system seems farily good at the moment, and Jedi Outcast is on the cards for the system, the possibility is still there. Cross those fingers GC fans.

Good: The return of Full Throttle
Rejoice, LucasArts are bringing back the classic adventure title for the next generation. Although Monkey Island and Grim Fandango take most of the credit in adventure circles these days, Full Throttle was a brilliant game in its day, so to see a sequel on the release list for 2003 comes as great joy for the many fans that continue to praise, and even play it today. No consoles were mentioned, but you can expect at least two of the three major consoles to recieve a version, along with the PC.

Bad: Little for the Knights
It was there. Somewhere. I think. Knights of the Old Republic didn't really have a huge say at the show this year. More and more information on the title continues to show here and there, but I would have liked a little more over the 3 days here. Still, this will be a cracker of a game, no doubt about it.

Good: More Bounty Hunter, Red Rock, Indiana and Gladius details
Of course, the 4 main titles that were mentioned before the show featured at E3. New screens and video footage suggested plenty of enjoyment will be had from all 4. I was especially interested in Gladius, though, more then the other 3. Since Gladiator, I've always liked the idea of a battle style event turned into a video game, looking much the same as the scenes in the movie. Hopefully Gladius will be that title. And keep an eye out for Jango in Bounty Hunter. It's looking good.

The Silent Maker: THQ on Star Wars
THQ didn't make too much of a fuss over their Star Wars titles for the Game Boy Advance, so much so that a new title announced was kinda overlooked by most at the show (even us). The new title will be again based on Episode II, and will appear later this year. Apart from that, the name of the game hasn't been confirmed, and little in the way of detail has been mentioned (although it seems Anakin will play a major part in the game). Meanwhile, Attack of the Clones was also a silent player at the THQ booth. It's out now, though, so make sure to check it out.

And finally

The Big Surprise: Jedi Outcast for X-Box AND Gamecube
Maybe not so much for the X-Box, but having the big hitting PC title on the Gamecube is a huge pick up for Nintendo, especially since the PS2 was overlooked. So no Galaxies but Jedi Outcast instead. I say that's an even conclusion. Meanwhile, Microsoft's machine now has three major PC Star Wars titles on display (the third being Knights of the Old Republic, of course). No doubt this was one of the biggest surprises of the show.

Overall:

LucasArts sure had plenty to talk about this year. Heaps of new annoucements, the return of Full Throttle, and the shock news of Jedi Outcast and Galaxies making the trip to varying consoles.
On top of all this, Star Wars Galaxies features heavily in many website awards for the show (check out IGN's awards, where Galaxies is mentioned a few times for the PC awards section), a good sign that the game is making a lot of noise.

I think LucasArts should pat themselves on the back. There's plenty of excitement building over nearly every announced title they have on the list, and their relationship with major developers such as Raven, THQ and Verant has paid off big time. Well done guys and gals on a very rewarding 3 days of E3. Can't wait 'till next year

95%

Ok, now it's your turn. Head on down to the Jedi Council Video Games forum, click on the topic LucasArts at E3, what did you think? and tell us your thoughts on LucasArts' performance this year. Just make sure to create an account if you are yet to. It'll only take a moment of your time, and it's free, then you can post to your hearts content. Cya there.
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