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As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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LucasArts Reveals Planned Games Lineup

by Judy on May 18, 2005 @ 10:06 a.m. PDT

LucasArts today announced a new Indiana Jones video game, set for release on next-generation consoles in 2007, Star Wars Battlefront II for PSP this fall, in addition to previously unveiled PS2, Xbox, and PC versions.

"As gaming consoles head into the next generation, so too do our development teams," said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts. "Our teams are truly embracing the incredible power of these systems, not only with amazing graphics but also, more importantly, with unforgettable story-driven adventures starring fascinating characters like Indiana Jones. At the same time, titles for the revolutionary new handheld systems are something we know gamers want, and we're excited to enter this field."

LEGACY OF HITS

A recent series of hit releases has blasted LucasArts to its most successful era in nearly 25 years as a company. Just two weeks ago, it released the Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith video game on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, which has become the fastest-selling title in LucasArts history. Prior to that, the well-reviewed squad-based shooter Star Wars Republic Commando ranked as the No. 1 Xbox release for March 2005, and the playground of destruction found in Mercenaries blew the living crap out of the system-wide charts en route to becoming the best-selling game of 2005's first quarter (also proving that not every LucasArts game needs Star Wars in the title to be a hit). In September 2004, Star Wars Battlefront became the best-selling Star Wars game of all time after being released in concert with the Classic Trilogy DVD set and receiving rave reviews. Finally, the award-winning Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic series has given players a whole new way to experience the temptation of the dark side of the Force, as the 2003 original netted more than 40 Game of the Year awards and the 2004 sequel (subtitled The Sith Lords) received further acclaim.

BREAK OUT THE HAT AND WHIP

Powered by the next generation in console technology, Indy's back and better than ever! Created internally by LucasArts, the yet-to-be-named Indiana Jones video game sends the iconic archaeologist on his most epic adventure yet. In 2007, the strength of the upcoming systems presents players with incredibly realistic, detailed environments that will span the globe. They'll experience an interactive story unlike any that's ever unfolded before them, as well as a noticeable evolution in physics and artificial intelligence.

SIZE MATTERS NOT

LucasArts will finally unleash its first handheld game this fall. While other companies have released handheld Star Wars games in the past, Star Wars Battlefront II for PSP is the first to actually be published by LucasArts.

Developed by Savage Entertainment, Star Wars Battlefront II for PSP is similar to its recently announced console counterpart (see below) with space combat, playable Jedi, and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith content, yet it still boasts several distinct features meant to embrace the "on-the-go" nature of a handheld system. The game includes several unique mini-campaigns as opposed to the much longer campaign seen on consoles. Players can join the Rebellion as a smuggler, work for themselves as a mercenary for hire, or use their Imperial sniping skills to rid the galaxy of pesky species like Jawas, Ewoks and Gungans. Wi-Fi compatibility permits up to four players to join in at once, either cooperatively or competitively, and they can also partake in classic Instant Action mode to fight their favorite Star Wars battles any way they want to.

THIS IS WHERE THE FUN BEGINS

"Even as the industry prepares for the next generation of consoles, it's important to recognize that current systems are still very relevant and that the PC platform remains as strong as ever," said Vice President of Production Peter Hirschmann. "Upcoming releases like Star Wars Battlefront II, Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience and Star Wars Empire at War demonstrate LucasArts' commitment to satisfying the huge install base of both markets, which we'll continue to do for the foreseeable future."

Set for a Fall 2005 release on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC platforms, Star Wars Battlefront II takes the best-selling Star Wars video game of all time one Imperial-walker step forward with all-new space combat, playable Jedi, and never-before-seen environments straight out of the Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith film. Fans of the original Star Wars Battlefront will also enjoy an all-new single-player experience that takes players through an epic, story-based saga where every action the player takes impacts the battlefront and, ultimately, the fate of the Star Wars galaxy. Critically acclaimed Pandemic Studios is once again developing the game for LucasArts.

Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience collects Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed and Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees into one affordable package. The immersive online experience brings the worlds of Star Wars to life through the eyes of their most heroic character -- you! Team up with fellow adventurers playing online -- thousands play at any given time -- as you explore 11 space zones and planets like Tatooine, Naboo and the Episode III Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk. Develop your own character from 10 highly customizable species, and choose from over 30 professions. Also, command your own starship and recruit a crew comprised of the friends you've made playing the game. The collection is developed by Sony Online Entertainment and ships on May 24, 2005.

Star Wars Empire at War puts the power to command an entire war for the Star Wars galaxy in the hands of players, giving them the freedom to determine how they play the game within the completely scalable and accessible gameplay. Set a few years before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, LucasArts' new PC game lets players wage war on ground and in space, as well as experience the creation of the Rebel Alliance, the strengthening of the Empire and the beginnings of the Galactic Civil War. Players choose to join either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, building and setting up tactical forces to unleash upon the enemy in real-time 3D. Memorable Star Wars hero characters can be brought into the action to help turn the tide of the battle as players build, manage and upgrade their space and ground-based units, vehicles, troops and base structures. Las Vegas-based strategy veterans at Petroglyph developed the game, which is scheduled for release in Spring 2006.

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