For those who’re even tangentially into Star Wars, you realize the rating by now: Andor is sizzling shit. I imply that within the great way, not within the Bantha poodoo manner. After Rise of Skywalker went to nice pains to remedy me of the illness that’s my long-held Star Wars fanaticism, Andor is lastly offering me with one thing thrilling sufficient to reinvigorate my curiosity on this universe – and so naturally, my ideas now flip to how what Andor presents could possibly be plied on this planet of video video games.
The most effective Star Wars gaming content material we have had these days – make of that what you’ll.
Andor is about preventing facism, actually. Star Wars has at all times had this bizarre downside of being a enjoyable and fanciful house opera for youths whereas additionally having certainly one of its key factions plainly impressed by the Nazis – so the villains concurrently should be house opera foolish, the categories who can get battered by teddy bears, but in addition scary and keen to set a torture robotic on innocents.
That signifies that Andor typically doesn’t precisely match with all the remainder of Star Wars. I believe that is very often true of the very best of the franchise, in truth; when a chunk of it decides to run with what it’s, and never fear an excessive amount of about how that displays on the remainder of the collection.
Andor’s world of paranoid rebels and an Empire casually tossing out the odd genocide right here and there traces up with the movies and youngsters reveals, however on the similar time it doesn’t simply by advantage of its uncooked brutality. It speaks volumes that this collection was completely satisfied to set a number of episodes throughout the relentless, sterile grind of a labor camp the place persons are labored to demise – in a universe the place free robotic labor additionally exists. Andor spends quite a lot of these episodes silent, unspeaking: there’s nothing to be mentioned, and he, just like the viewers, is a witness to the brutality.
However there’s the thrilling stuff, too, after all. There’s whizz-bang motion right here and there, and it’s on this which you could start to see the outlines of the place a online game might happen. All people desires to play as a Jedi and swing a laser sword round, however I believe it is a way more fascinating aspect of the Rebel to discover: slim streets beset with stress, the place nervous troopers who maintain all the ability look upon each citizen with suspicion, as a result of each one could possibly be an enemy. And when issues erupt, there’s no predicting the size of what would possibly occur: it could possibly be a guerilla assault, or a full city-wide revolt. There’s a breadth of potential fight situations there that many a recreation developer would discover fertile floor certainly.
However essentially the most fascinating aspect of all that is in all probability the standing of Star Wars’ ragtag insurrection at this level within the collection timeline. At this level, notably, it’s The Rebel, not the Insurgent Alliance. That is key, as a result of it means there’s an fascinating further issue at play: there’s several types of Insurgent, they usually’re not all singing from the identical hymn sheet.
In Andor, these are represented by three figures who curiously hail from completely different Star Wars eras. Mon Mothma is a insurgent chief seen within the authentic trilogy, right here nonetheless a senator contained in the Empire machine’s sham democracy, working towards it from the within whereas afraid of being found. Then there’s Noticed Gerrera, an unhinged Clone Wars veteran with roots within the cartoons, dropped at stay motion with a deliciously reality-defying accent from Forest Whitaker. Noticed is the insurgent with out a lot techniques, truthfully. Consumed by anger and hate, he simply desires to burn the Empire down, irrespective of the associated fee. In just some scenes of Andor, he’s proven to be quietly harmful – capable of flip from good friend to foe immediately.
Then, new to Andor, there’s Luthen Rael. A mysterious man main a double life as an upmarket retailer proprietor and a insurgent kingmaker, he’s bought a ship with devices that’d make James Bond blush and a brooding fury which means he’ll do just about something for the higher good. He’s undoubtedly essentially the most fascinating character within the present, and never as a result of fool followers with the intelligence of preteens assume he could be a fallen Jedi. He’s fascinating due to who he’s, not who he would possibly’ve as soon as been.
Anyway, it’s the interaction between these three completely different types of the insurrection, and the characters beneath them, that almost all curiosity me. It’s the offers and horse buying and selling – factions which can be working in direction of the identical objectives, however not collectively. Sharing sources, protecting secrets and techniques. Working collectively towards the Empire, but in addition typically, discreetly, towards one another. A few of these individuals hate one another, however additionally they want one another. Such is the ability of the Empire.
The Star Wars lore clearly dictates that finally these factions come collectively, forming the Insurgent Alliance. That is a kind of events the place these two phrases, in all probability written by Lucas and not using a second thought after a number of whiskies in a late-night writing session, are giving storytellers many years later fascinating foundations. However this specific basis simply feels… excellent for video games.
I hold serious about a method recreation; maybe one thing XCOM-like, which retains cropping into my head due to course XCOM 2 is each a recreation a couple of guerilla resistance and one of many biggest technique video games of all time. That is a kind of adaptation concepts the place the supply materials is so ripe that I can virtually see the fully-formed recreation in my thoughts’s eye already: largely close-quarters, tactical fight, turn-based or actual time – both might work – however with a method layer that focuses arduous on not simply avoiding the empire, however navigating the inter-factional struggles among the many rebels.
Gamers must face the alternatives characters like Noticed, Luthen, and Mon should make. When to make sacrifices, when to assault, when to alert allies versus when to allow them to crumble. As an concept, I simply discover it fascinating.
However my extremely particular recreation concept apart, it must be mentioned: nicely performed to Andor. I’ve loved some current Star Wars video games (particularly Jedi Fallen Order), however this present is the primary time in many years that my thoughts is simply positively buzzing with the concept of video games on this universe. I hope the fashion and tone that Andor is printed is mined additional – hopefully in our interactive medium.
Anyway. For those who haven’t, watch Andor, yeah? And play XCOM 2. Then think about a cross between the 2. Cheers.