Star Wars Nerdity, of a sort.

17Mar11

After watching the latest Extra Credits video on the Escapist, a mostly unrelated game design question came to me, thanks to one of the visuals they used-Darth Vader from Soul Caliber 4. The first thought that spurred for me was “I wonder what it would be like to play as Darth Vader?” And then I realized the difficulty in designing a serious game around that idea.

That doesn’t mean you couldn’t make a game where you play as Darth Vader, of course-the Lego Star Wars series almost certainly has the option. But they deliberately play the events of the film for laughs, which blunts much of the impact of playing someone who is, at best, a mass murderer. This leads me to the question I came up with.

Could you make a serious Star Wars game where you 1) Played as Darth Vader, 2) doing things that Darth Vader would have realistically done in Star Wars (putting down rebellious activity, hunting down Jedi, and generally following the Emperor’s Will), 3) making sure that the player knows that Darth Vader is a bad guy, but 4) without giving him you missions to slaughter thousands of people?

I ask this because in the Star Wars continuity (and we’re talking just the original three films, no prequel movies or books), Darth Vader is killing people left and right, and you could claim he’s being restrained. As much as I’d like to play as the self-titled Dark Lord of the Sith, I’d rather not do it by being some kind of secret Rebel guy, because that’s just silly. But I also wouldn’t want to have any jobs that boil down to “Slaughter everyone in this city, because they were hiding a Jedi.”

I think it’d be a tough job to balance that in a game.

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