How a ‘Star Wars: Darth Maul’ Game Should Play

Source: Lucasfilm
Source: Lucasfilm

Star Wars is making an aggressive return to screens big and small with the releases of a new film and a new game. As Star Wars Battlefront gets endless coverage heading toward release day, it’s probably a good idea to start talking about what’s next in the world of Star Wars gaming. And what’s next might be taking an unfinished title out of storage for completion.

Red Fly Studios was once commissioned to create a Darth Maul game. Called Battle of the Sith Lords, it followed Maul in what was described as a stealthy combat role, reports Wired.

Take a look at the test footage from gameplay. It’s pretty impressive considering Red Fly started development back in 2010.

The biggest quandary since George Lucas sold off his properties to Disney in 2012 has been the future of Star Wars gaming.

Like the books, comics, and all other properties produced before the Mouse took over, video games have been in a state of limbo, with some projects being tabled and others being entirely scrapped.

There was a game in need of a sequel called Republic Commando, an infrequent but well-loved Rogue Squadron series, and plenty more original ideas in the well. But after the sale, the buckets stopped coming up as LucasArts quit pumping out titles.

Now, of course, with Battlefront out of beta and landing on shelves in weeks, Disney seems to be getting the picture, and it may be bringing some unfinished works from the bottom shelf. One of them might even be a gem in the making, which brings us to Darth Maul.

Like the main character of The Force Unleashed, Maul is a visceral, explosive fighter and force user. There are things we want to see pulled from other games. The feeling of raw power and control from The Force Unleashed is one of them.

But likewise we want more control over lightsaber combat. The Jedi Knight sequels on PC dedicated the mouse entirely to lightsaber control — something that was clunky at first but, as you became more comfortable with it, made games like Jedi Academy some of the best dueling experiences in gaming history.

And we’re comfortable with a linear plot, but why not have fun with the freedom and create an open scenario: Maybe you have the chance to defeat Obi-Wan. Maybe an alternate reality emerges where Maul becomes the face of the Empire.

Animated shows gave us the chance to see Maul return as a cyborg shell of his former self; maybe the game could follow the shell through narrow misses all the way to the newest films. Could we experience Maul dueling the likes of Mace Windu, of Luke Skywalker, vying for control of the galaxy with Kylo Ren?

Maybe, but first the team at Red Fly has to get over the hurdle and actually get the game back into production. That might be tough. Disney doesn’t have the best record for playing well with others in the development process, and EA doesn’t have a great track record for realizing the dream with the final product.

Still, Red Fly is flexible in that its willing to reskin the game with a different saber-wielding vigilante, and it’s proactive enough that it has a working combat build ready to be used.

That’s a big offer to turn down: Someone’s already done most of the work for you, and all you have to do is get it ready to publish and take our money. And for the chance to wield a double-bladed lightsaber on a rampage through the galaxy, we’d be happy to pay up.

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