Eurogamer

Another of BioWare's old-guard has left the building. This time it's James Ohlen, lead designer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights and Dragon Age: Origins, and director of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Ohlen leaves BioWare after a staggering 22 years.

"After 22 years I have retired from BioWare," Ohlen announced on Twitter. "I've loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal.

"The most fun I've ever had at BioWare was as the lead designer on Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Neverwinter Nights. I've been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old and I want to be a part of it again."

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Star Wars fans, EA has found, all want to be the number one Star Wars fan.

The company has done extensive research into the motivation of Star Wars fans, EA's Jade Raymond said during a presentation at the Develop conference in Brighton this morning, and found that the number one motivating factor for fans to engage with anything Star Wars related - including video games - is to expand their knowledge of the Star Wars universe and "lord it over their friends".

Raymond, who manages EA's Motive studios as well as works on the overarching Star Wars video game strategy at the company, was asked what makes a great Star Wars video game.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)


Last week, Emperor Sheev Palpatine - Darth Sidious to his friends - was pulled from Star Wars Battlefront 2. He was too powerful! So powerful, in fact, he could kill people through walls.

A week on and there's no word on Palpatine's return, as players continue to enjoy a period of galactic calm without Palpy being able to send lightning around corners.

Interestingly, EA killed off the Emperor using a "kill switch" - a piece of code in the game which can be activated server side to instantly vanish a troublesome character should something go awry. Think Order 66, but over the internet.

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STAR WARS™ Empire at War - Gold Pack - Disney
Fixes an issue with the game taking a long time to load after individual battles with mods enabled
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

DICE has shared more information on some of the new features coming to Star Wars Battlefront 2 later this year, including a map and characters inspired by The Clone Wars.

This summer sees the introduction of a new squad system, enabling players to team up more easily with friends, a new starfighter mode focussed around dogfighting with hero ships, plus a new "large-scale multiplayer sandbox mode" - in which players capture command posts, attacking and taking out ships.

Additionally, once Battlefront 2's current Han Solo season is out of the way, DICE will begin ushering in new goodies themed around The Clone Wars. There'll be a new map based on the planet Geonosis, which DICE describes as the "largest level ever built for Battlefront", and there'll be new heroes and villains too.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

There's a new map and mode coming to Star Wars Battlefront 2 next week, June 12th, as part of its currently ongoing Han Solo-themed season.

Battlefront 2's new map takes form of the Coaxium Mines of Kessel, unsurprisingly located on the planet Kessel (of "12 parsecs" fame). "It's not for the faint-hearted though", explains EA, "conditions are harsh, and the Galactic Empire is heavily invested in the local supply of the highly sought after coaxium."

Several modes will be available to play on the new map: Arcade, Blast, Hero Showdown, Heroes vs Villains, and Extraction mode, which makes its Battlefront 2 debut in the new update.

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STAR WARS™ - Knights of the Old Republic™

Xbox Game Pass just got four Star Wars games: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2.

There's a lot to love in this collection of Star Wars titles, but my favourite has to be Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. BioWare's awesome role-playing game launched on the original Xbox, where I first played it, back in 2003 and features an awesome story as well as some brilliant characters. (BioWare had a really cool idea for KOTOR 2, by the way.)

But Star Wars The Force Unleashed is well worth a shot, too. LucasArts' action game introduced a new protagonist called Starkiller, who was supposedly Darth Vader's secret apprentice (this was all Star Wars canon before Disney stuck its oar in). Starkiller was ridiculously overpowered, which meant you could chuck scores of Stormtroopers about as if they were puppets on a string (the game used NaturalMotion's Euphoria tech, which Grand Theft Auto 4 also used, for its AI animation).

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STAR WARS™ Empire at War - Gold Pack - Disney
Minor bug fixes and optimized performance, the most important fixes are:

Fixes issue with save games getting deleted if too large.
Sets maximum render FPS cap to 200.
Multiplayer lobbies are now visible if there is a version mismatch.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Things are hotting up for Star Wars Battlefront 2 ahead of the release of the new Han Solo movie this month.

Battlefront 2's Han Solo season, which kicks off on 16th May, is spread across two months, EA said. In May the game gets new game mode Hero Showdown, which is a 2v2 best out of five single elimination mode in which players pick their heroes. If your team wins a round, you can't use the heroes you previously used in the next round. Conversely, if you lose a round you can stick with your heroes.

Also in May is Starfighter Custom Arcade. Here you can take on the AI with all the Starfighters in the game and practice for Starfighter Assault.

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STAR WARS™ - Knights of the Old Republic™

May the fourth be with you! Here's a highly ironic picture of Richard Dean Anderson from Stargate SG-1, etc. You know the deal by now: this is arbitrarily Star Wars Day because of a pun on the date, and not because this day actually has anything to do with Star Wars (the 1977 movie was released on 25 May). Time to fill our houses up with discounted vinyl junk in the shape of Yoda. 

Still, don't let my light cynicism stop you from hoovering up some classic (and not-so-classic) Star Wars games for less this weekend. Pretty much all the major digital storefronts are running sales themed around a galaxy far, far away. Steam has its complete collection of Star Wars games available as a bundle for about $76/£55, and big discounts on individual games too. You'll find deals at Humble Bundle and Fanatical, too.

GOG is running a similar sale, and its selection of Star Wars classics is pretty impressive these days, particularly after the addition of Episode I: Racer. Just looking at all of that old Star Wars promo art makes me want to reinstall every Jedi Knight game and play them all weekend. Fingers crossed GOG rescues Battle for Naboo next. 

Origin, meanwhile, has new Star Wars Battlefront 2 for $24/£22, which isn't a bad price for an impulse purchase of a 63%-rated FPS, although I haven't returned to the game since the recent progression overhaul and I wasn't the biggest fan of the campaign, where in one level Luke Skywalker hits some bugs with his lightsaber for ages. It's worth noting that Star Wars: The Old Republic is also running a double XP event through to 11 May. 

If you want some guidance on the best Star Wars games on PC, check out our handy list. You should then look at our worst Star Wars games list, where I complain about the shortcomings of Shadows of the Empire, a game I actually love and have completed ten times. 

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