Star Wars gaming fans have something to celebrate this week, with GOG.com unveiling their first batch of classic LucasArts games for download and the promise of more to come.
In 2013, LucasArts, the 30-year-old video game developer responsible for at least a third of my fondest gaming memories announced its disbanding. At the time of their demise, there remained a few unanswered questions. What would become of games like Star Wars: 1313 currently in development? Who would take control of the licenses for gaming properties like Star Wars and Indiana Jones? Were there any plans to re-release any of LucasArts’ vast catalog of games?
GOG.com, formerly Good Old Games, answered part of those last two questions this week when they announced their team-up with Disney Interactive. The new collaboration will allow GOG to release more than 20 classic LucasArts titles (now under Disney’s control) for DRM-free download. The releases will come in waves. The first batch of titles released this week included Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition, Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition, Sam & Max Hit the Road, The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Later this year, Sony is putting out Double Fine Productions Grim Fandango Remastered, a newly produced cut of the popular 1998 LucasArts title. The GOG releases, however, are down and dirty re-releases carrying over the heavily pixellated graphics of the originals and preserving the games in their original state as opposed to modern makeovers. Unfortunately for Mac users, all of the GOG releases except for Indiana Jones and Sam and Max are currently only available on Windows.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Star Wars videogames, but growing up, both Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter were big hits in my house. The games came out in 1993 and ’94 respectively, both available on Macintosh and DOS and both successfully transporting players behind the controls of Sci-Fi’s most famous starfighters. The other Star Wars title of the group, Knights of the Old Republic, is remembered as one of the strongest Star Wars games of all time. This immersive, complex RPG was one of my favorite games on the original XBOX, and there’s no question that the game holds up well even today. I’m holding out hope that the re-release of the Dark Forces games will come next.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is another game that holds fond memories. This 1992 point and click adventure takes the best elements of Indiana Jones lore, from archaeological mystery to the buildup of WWII, and creates an original story with three conceivable paths your actions could take you. Like Fate of Atlantis, both The Secret of Monkey Island and Sam and Max Hit the Road also stem from the LucasArts adventure game era of the early ’90s.
With more than fourteen titles still to be announced by GOG, what LucasArts games would you like to see released next?