Star Wars Episode I Racer came out in 1999. Here’s why the time for its successor is now.
Photo credit: Electronic Arts
Being a Star Wars fan, the last couple of years have been… difficult, to put it mildly. But there were sparks of hope like the new live action series The Mandalorian, which received great reviews from old and new fans. The franchise is not dead. And that’s why the time for a new Star Wars racing game has never been better.
A new hope for racing games
Star Wars Episode I Racer, a game fully dedicated to pod racing, came out in 1999 for PC, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. It was a very modern racing game for the time. The 3D graphics looked good, there was a tuning system and players could take their pod racer to several courses on eight different planets. The game is still considered to be the best Star Wars racing game ever released.
But since 1999, a lot has happened in the Star Wars universe. The prequel trilogy came to an end, the sequel trilogy happened and several television shows premiered. All of them showed us incredible new planets and worlds, which would make a great setting for some good sci-fi racing. Just imagine sweeping through the epic lava rivers of Mustafar or the gigantic machinery of Starkiller Base. My fan heart would flutter.
Also, other games like Star Wars: Battlefront introduced us to flying more vehicles than just pod racers. We were able to take a seat in X-Wings, TIE Fighters and even the Millennium Falcon. All of those vehicles have their own secret weapons and surprises for foes. Putting them into a racing setup would sure as hell be fun. Almost like Mario Kart but in the Star Wars universe!
New technical opportunities
It’s not only the content that creates more opportunities compared to 1999. Technology has made giant leaps within the last 20 years and a new Star Wars game would benefit greatly from that.
Aspire Media already tried to revive Star Wars Episode I Racer in 2020 by releasing a remastered edition for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. However, the update became a big nonstarter. No additional features other than a split screen mode were added. And the graphic update covered the basics.
Luckily, a big fan of the game called RobJin showed us how a Star Wars racing game could look like today. He rebuilt parts of the classic game in the Unreal Engine 4. And wow, it looks awesome! Just imagining being able to race through Tatooine, Mustafar or Endor, built in a modern graphics engine! It would make my year.
Not just a remake
All the technical limitations in 1999 made Star Wars Episode I Racer lack some key features. A 2021 version could easily include things like a track editor or a satisfying online multiplayer. Not to mention that flying a pod racer would be a banger in VR.
Combining the new technological possibilities with all the new worlds we’ve been getting to know since 1999 would make the game a must-buy for me. The new Star Wars racing game would not just be a remake. It could set a new benchmark in the genre of sci-fi racing and finally give us a great Star Wars video game again. Therefore, may the workforce be with LucasFilm Games.
Which features or content would you love to see in a new Star Wars racing game? Tweet us your opinion at @overtake_gg or leave a comment down below!