The Time Is Right For A Lightsabre Video Game

The man behind the most advanced video game swordplay available today says the time is now right - and the technology is now good enough - for a motion-controlled Star Wars lightsabre video game.

Speaking on Kotaku's live podcast yesterday, Red Steel 2 creative director Jason VandenBerghe said that advances in motion control have removed the technical barriers in the way of a game developer creating the kind of lightsabre Star Wars combat game that many of us assumed would have been released for the Wii as far back as 2006.

"It wasn't really possible before the motion control stuff came out," Vandenberghe said, referring to the advances Nintendo introduced to the Wii remote with last year's Wii MotionPlus, a peripheral required for his own game's swordplay. "Now I understand why. It's stupid and boring and technical, but it really is true that without the motion control information, you just can't do the really satisfying swing and strike mechanics. Now we can. I've got to assume that... Worst case: somebody at Lucas should pick up a copy of Red Steel 2, go play it and then... carry on!"

The Wii MotionPlus improves the sensitivity of the Wii Remote, enabling more advanced detection of the movements a player might make while swinging the Wii Remote through the air. Red Steel 2 uses the peripheral to enable players to accurately swing through a complex variety of attacks and to guard incoming sword strikes from specific angles. Sony's spring-dated Move controller could also be a candidate for the first good lightsabre game. Like a Wii Remote with MotionPlus, it is shaped like the base of a lightsabre and can detect subtle motions.

Red Steel 2's first-person swordplay

While LucasArts, the company behind all Star Wars games, has released games for the Wii that support the Wii Remote, all have triggered swings of characters' lightsabres with only very general shakes of the hand. None has portrayed Star Wars action in the manner Red Steel 2 does, through the first-person eyes of a character, sword/lightsabre in hand.

VandenBerghe had expected LucasArts to make such a game already, maybe with you as Darth Vader wielding a red lightsabre - or really, any other kind of lightsabre game. "I was amazed when we got out of Christmas and then through E3 without any announcements about it. It's gotta be coming. Come on."

If technical possibility was a barrier, VandenBerghe may be the best authority to declare that wall breached. He's not just led the design of the most advanced video game sword-fighting mechanics to date, seen in this week's Red Steel 2. He is also a lifelong aficionado of swordplay. He said the fascination began when he was a kid and his parents took him to medieval fairs. From there he took up fencing in high school and, more recently, Kendo and European broadsword. "It's just really fun," he said. "It's a physical experience that requires a great deal of skill. And when you master it, you feel like a badass"

He said he has pitched swordfighting games at every company where he has worked, But while his resume includes Activision, EA, and currently, Ubisoft, it never included the house of Star Wars games, Lucasarts.

But from afar, he told Kotaku during our live podcast, he's felt: "Oh god, yes, please. Just do it. Just make a lightsabre game. And if anyone from Lucas is listening, please make a lightsabre game. We all want it. We do."

Lucas, are you listening?



    F*** YEAR!
    I remember the old starwars game that required you to quickly thrust your sword in a pre-determined area of the screen to stop darth vaders lightsaber.

    Surely the Move is probably better for 1:1 motion for a lightsabre game?

      Perhaps but after playing Red Steel 2 I feel that it would work just as well with Wii Motion Plus. Why not make a Star Wars game for both?

    And lets combine it with that Johnny guy's 3D stuff we saw 3 years ago...

    its lightsaber not lightsabre for a start but yes i want it it would be kickass to have a star wars game like this they should also use the second controler for force that would be cool and sony move is the right pice of technology for it and ps3 is going 3d so it would be a realistic as it gets also ps3 has way better graphics than wii so yea make the game already

      Someone get this man some oxygen!

      And a chill pill!

      *low voice, crouching in bushes* here we are at the kotaku board were weve just spotted our first glimpse of the "Sony Fanboy". Now we must not make any sudden moves or talk about other consoles, lest he flies into a rant.

      Although this beast is as common as mud, its always impressive to see it in action, quickly now we must move on before it attempts to argue the superiority of a console again.

    Nicholas, in Australia, we spell it "sabre." Jail is written "gaol" America isn't the whole world. Thanks :D

      On a DVD bonus disc I heard George Lucas call them 'laser swords'.

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    I'm happy if we get another Jedi Knight style game, perhaps with Force Unleashed enhancements, with a decent multiplayer. Perhaps in the form of Force Unleashed 2, or, something more epic like Battlefront 3.

    A good starwars game w/ motion sensing is the only way i see myself buying a move.

    Although it'd probably be better Third person rather than first

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