To paraphrase Bill Murray's lounge-singer character from Saturday Night Live, "Star Wars. It was a racer. Now it's a walk and punch. La la la la." Yes, contrary to rumors on the Web that the latest Star Wars: Episode I game would be another SW fighting game, it's turned out to be a Fighting Force-esque adventure game.
You'll be able to choose from five Jedi characters - Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Jedi Council members Mace Windu, Plo Koon, or Adi Gallia - and then you'll be thrust into ten levels in which you must face the Sith and Trade Federation's most powerful mercenaries and droids. Oh, and eventually you'll have to fight that Darth Maul guy too.
According to LucasArts, the characters will have special abilities that make them suited for progressing through certain areas of the game. "Mace Windu is the game's most balanced character. He fights with medium speed and health and is able to increase the power of his lightsaber by means of the Force. Obi-Wan possesses quickness, agility, and strong health but has somewhat limited Force powers because of his inexperience and youth. Qui-Gon's years of training as a Jedi Knight have provided him with very strong Force powers, and he excels at healing and defense but has lower health. Plo Koon is gifted with an abundance of strength, though he is the slowest of all five characters. Adi Gallia is the fastest Jedi Knight in the game. She has the ability to strike more quickly, but her combat skills are not as strong," said LucasArts.
LucasArts has also revealed that each level in Power Battles will be a Star Wars: Episode I-based environment. Each level will present new challenges and obstacles that you will be required to navigate through. So far, the confirmed environments include a Trade Federation droid-control ship, desert scapes on Tatooine, the swamps of Naboo, and the streets of Theed.
"Jedi Power Battles is a fast-action arcade-style game inspired by classic LucasArts titles such as Super Star Wars," said Joel Dreskin, product marketing manager for LucasArts. "The game immediately thrusts players into the fray where the lightening-quick reflexes and deft lightsaber prowess of a skilled Jedi Knight are the keys to survival and ultimate victory over enemy forces."
Star Wars: Episode I Power Battles is currently scheduled for release in spring 2000 on the PlayStation console. There has been no word yet of the game landing on any other consoles.