3am: So Nightcrawler and Vader walk into a game...
TomChick - News - 09/24/04 - Link

Star Wars: Battlefront is, umm, pretty bad on the PC. The engine's Playstation 2 lowest-common-denominator is apparent. The gameplay is a bald-faced Battlefield 1942 rip-off. There's a sort of insubstantial cardboard feel to the way the units move and fire. The flying vehicles are so ill-suited to the maps and they control so poorly that their contribution to the battles is largely cosmetic, like those goofy Star Destroyer kites. And the presentation is the chintziest take on Star Wars since the rockin' electronica remix themes from Force Commander.

But no matter. The Star Wars geek in me is loving the whole thing. There's something visceral about seeing an AT-AT plod towards my base. I'm digging how unfair it is to jump into the map and get my ass spawn camped by Darth Vader. I love seeing a battlefield laced with all that familiar laser blaster fire. And although the bots are nothing to write home about, they're far better than anything EA or Novalogic has tried to cram into their multiplayer shooters. They actually play the map! Thanks, Battlefront!

Then there's X-Men Legends, which I really liked even though I'm not an X-Men fan (you can read my Yahoo Games/Games Domain review right here). It's managed to do something even the movies failed to do: get me interested in the license. When I started playing, I couldn't care less about what the deal was with Colossus' sister, or why Nightcrawler was religious, or why Gambit talked like that, or how Patrick Stewart got to be stuck in a wheelchair. But the more I played, the more their back stories trickled into the game, and the more I watched them slapping around bad guys…well, the more I started to feel a twinge of attachment to their characters. If someone killed Rogue or Magma, bah, big deal. But if someone killed Nightcrawler. Nooo, not Nightcrawler! Bastards must pay! I don't plan on buying comic books any time soon, but at least now I have an answer if someone asks me who's my favorite X-Man. Thanks, Legends!

It just goes to show you: sometimes the license makes the game, and sometimes the game makes the license.

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