The general theme of Disney’s work on Star Wars so far seems to be “just get it out there”. So much content has been released leading up to The Force Awakens, but from Battlefront to Aftermath much of it has been underwhelming or half-finished. Hopefully, this is rectified after Episode VII is released, and Disney doesn’t feel as compelled to set up the new canon so quickly. For now, the “Road to The Force Awakens” seems a bumpy one.
Star Wars Uprising
Price: Free, with in-app purchases
A playable and enjoyable mobile game, if a complex and involved one.
Star Wars Uprising was announced as a key part of the Road plan. It is a narrative driven third-person shooter at its core, but there are also some side features. Actually, there are a lot of side features. But the main story is about the Anoat Sector (where most of Episode V takes place) in the months following the Battle of Endor.
The Imperial Governor has locked the system down behind an “Iron Blockade” and is hiding the fact that Emperor Palpatine has died. This is the backdrop for the player’s story.
The player’s character is a smuggler from the mining world of Burnin Konn. He/she is working under the advice of their crippled sibling Riley, in order to clear a debt with small-time crime boss Happy Dapp. Through the story, the player climbs higher among various criminal organizations, including the local branch of the Rebel Alliance.
Now, even with all the crime you commit, Disney was good enough to see to it that you aren’t some antisocial menace to society. The player’s character is always portrayed as quite moral (Riley, somewhat less so, but you don’t play as Riley.) The story with the Rebel Alliance has been just a short burst so far, but it may be more developed later. It seems if this is to serve as background for Episode VII, that it would have to, somehow.
There is a lot to the gameplay in this. Kabam is known for being very ambitious with their mobile games. (Another I play a bit is Marvel: Contest of Champions. I’ll probably review that later.) Uprising is console-level complex. One might even call it convoluted. Between story missions, assault missions, battle missions, repeatable missions, and daily opportunity missions, there’s a lot of missions to play. That’s not even counting the crew runs you send various NPCs on. Then there’s your gear, the two kinds of crystals you use to upgrade your gear, and the three kinds of currency used to purchase and upgrade crystals and gear. And blueprints and battle plans, more specific kinds of currency. This is a dense game, but a playable one.
I really don’t have time to get into every detail; you’ll catch on if you play. Generally it goes like this: you have story missions, which advance the narrative. To unlock story missions, you must level up. You level up by completing side missions. To gain victory, you need good enough gear. You gain and upgrade gear with resources found on missions.
There are also player alliances called cartels. These are bands of players who work together to gain advantages in battles. These seem most useful when they are at level twenty or better. Mine isn’t, so I don’t know.
The game mechanics are well suited to touchscreens. You move around by tapping the spot you want to move to. You attack by tapping the enemy you want to attack. Everything else is some combination of tapping and holding-and-dragging.
I would recommend it, in spite of its complexity. Altogether this is a fun game. It probably would reward a more dedicated player than I, but I have other things to do.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Producer: Electronic Arts
Price: Free, with in-app purchases
A rather boring game initially, but with some potential
Galaxy of Heroes is a turn-based team combat game featuring Star Wars characters, both specific ones like Chewbacca and vague ones like Clone Seargent. As the player, you collect characters and assemble them into teams to fight both AI teams and teams assembled by other players. Each character has its own set of abilities to use in combat. There’s no story to this game, just combat matches.
This game is literally so easy you can set it to automatic mode and watch your team execute abilities until they either win or have all been killed. It…might get better further along, but I’m honestly not interested enough to keep playing. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se, but it’s just not very entertaining. If it weren’t Star Wars, I actually probably wouldn’t have tried it. Other games have done better with the same concept, and Uprising is plenty of Star Wars for me. I would not recommend Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
Update 1/11/2017: Star Wars: Uprising was taken off Kabam’s servers due to waning popularity, and is no longer available to play.