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Oct. 11, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Star Wars: Obi-Wan




Higher Than Expected

Episode One fever hits the Xbox, and all you have to do is master your Jedi skills to read the preview.

Star Wars: Episode One was scrutinized and criticized to the fullest extent, but many genre fans happened to like it for its ingenuity and uniqueness. One doesn't have to be a die-hard Star Wars fan to enjoy the movies and video games that LucasArts puts out. Star Wars: Obi-Wan is much like Episode One, it may not initially be to your liking, but it must be said that the has a lot of promise on a system that can handle the graphical nature of this type of game. Originally scheduled to come out for the PC, it was canned and then resurrected for the Xbox. As many of you know, Star Wars Obi-Wan has some of its own competition to deal with in Star Wars Rogue Leader II for GameCube and Jedi Knight II for the PC, as well as the special Xbox edition of Starfighter. That's a lot of Star Wars.

In the graphics department, Star Wars: Obi Wan is nearly locked at 30 frames per second with very minor drops when you are fighting a huge group of enemies. The power of the Force will truly be in your hands and although the game doesn't look as intense as Rogue Squadron II for the GameCube or Jedi Knight II for the PC, it still looks very good, and it sports the smoothest character animation. The legendary Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi figures to be the most detailed character ever to grace a Star Wars game and the environments offer nice detail and textures that will actually make you feel the Force within you.

The focus of the extended gameplay will feature mostly melee fighting even though there will be some ranged weapons available in the game itself. Enemies will carry various clubs, knives, and of course, lightsabers, but in Naboo, a variety of the enemies will use ranged weapons.

Players take control of Obi-Wan Kenobi as he takes on the worst scum and villainy the galaxy has to offer in level after level of fast-paced action. In Star Wars Obi-Wan, you'll call upon the Force and your powerful lightsaber as you face a mysterious new enemy, an assassin droid project, and a devious plot that could dramatically shift the balance of power in the universe.

The game's story starts up slightly before the main action in the Phantom Menace. Both familiar and new enemies will make their presence known from level to level. Thrown into the mix are new levels and story elements not seen in the film, which will introduce a new group of enemies, the Jin Ha. Familiar faces such as Qui Gon and the Jedi Council from Episode 1 are present, along with less-friendly folk like Darth Maul.

You will have to hone your Jedi skills throughout the game, because a Jedi without training is a dead Jedi. There is an area set aside specifically for you to (as Obi-Wan) to train and increase your Jedi abilities.

The levels are incredibly and masterfully detailed as you work your way through more than 15 treacherous and challenging levels. In the swamp level, the water effect is very good, splashing and distorting as Obi-Wan travels through it. What was really impressive about this level was the reflective and translucent water that moved and reacted depending on how you were moving through it.

The controls are a little confusing at first, but you get accustomed to the different moves and attacks as you travel throughout the different levels of the game. The left trigger controls the Force, and holding it down and using a saber swing launches a special "force" attack. Obi-Wan will spin, knock down a foe, and deliver a quick lethal strike. If you want to scrutinize your fancy footwork, the game can be put in slow-mo in order to admire your sensational moves. With the motion-captured animation, these moves will look absolutely stunning besides being very lethal and effective. Obi-Wan blocks automatically, with his chances of success increasing the more directly he faces his enemy.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan is looking like a promising title that will not make or break the Xbox, but could have an effect if it is very promising. Many Star Wars fans will jump on this title simply because it has Star Wars in the title. The game has a lot of promise on its own merits, and the potential to be a great game with appeal to many gamers around the world.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan will bring all the drama and intense action of Star Wars to Xbox and with the Force, nothing can stop Ben Kenobi from achieving his goals and becoming a Jedi Master. Star Wars Obi-Wan will launch sometime in December and it looks like it may just be the Star Wars game that appeals not just to Star Wars fans. Again, the competition is overwhelming, but Obi-Wan has what it takes to make it in this vast world of video game ingenuity. After all, he is our only hope.

Peter Hartofilis
Wants to be a Jedi Master. Train me Yoda.

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