Remember the game that almost was, Star Wars: Battlefront III? For somewhat murky reasons, LucasArts pulled the plug on it. But here’s a full hour of in-game play to get you angry all over again.
It’s buggy as all get out — it is a pre-alpha build, after all — but the game’s potential is on full display in this video painstakingly pieced together by Past to Present Online. It’s not the most impressive game footage I’ve ever seen, but you have to remember that these graphics are several years old now, and the game was never completed, much less polished. It was being made by Free Radical (before it was purchased by Crytek and virtually all staff members let go), with lofty goals of letting players do things like take off in a ship on a planet and then fly into space to continue the fight in orbit. There were also plans to include “what if?” scenarios, such as a Star Wars universe where Obi-Wan Kenobi became a dark lord of the Sith instead of Anakin Skywalker.
Instead of tantalizing ideas like this that cover new ground, LucasArts went on to make The Force on Steroids (which was pretty fun, but its sequel was terrible) and Princess Leia Gyrates at Jabba’s Palace. LucasArts’ management at the time preferred to screw “quality” by making mediocre games that required less of a financial investment. (Because as we all know, if a product has “Star Wars” on it, it makes money.)
At least we have the LEGO Star Wars games to enjoy, and Star Wars 1313 looks incredible. But gazillions of Battlefront fans (myself included) are still bitter about losing this one — particularly when it was cancelled thanks to pure, capitalistic greed.