Reaction to the Angry Birds: Star Wars announcement has followed in the footsteps of other Lucas Arts tie-ins – serving up divisive pre-release debate. Despite numerous gamers who are eagerly awaiting the franchise mash-up, others have already written-off the tie-in as little more than a shallow cash grab from studios that have already turned their souls over to the Dark Side for mega-profits.
The first teaser trailers for Angry Birds: Star Wars didn’t exactly help matters – showing plenty of familiar Galaxy Far, Far Away imagery (with an Angry Birds twist) but no gameplay. Sure, it’s fun to see the Millennium Falcon retro-fitted with a giant slingshot but, after some creative twists on the Rovio formula in Bad Piggies and Angry Birds: Space, it might be harder to revisit traditional Angry Birds gameplay, if Angry Birds: Star Wars is nothing but a Sci-Fi palette swap.
Fortunately, Rovio has released a new trailer for the title, dubbed “Luke and Leia” that showcases the brother-sister heroes in action – revealing that even though Angry Birds: Star Wars uses “traditional” Angry Birds physics, there are still plenty of twists to the established formula.
Most notably, it looks as though both the birds and the pigs are a bit more “dynamic” this round. Luke and Leia each have post-launch power moves that deal added damage (Luke uses a lightsaber attack and Leia unleashes a double laser shot). Similarly, the pig strongholds are no longer static garrisons and can fire disruptive projectiles, among other real-time obstacles. We’ll have to wait for another pre-release teaser video, “Han Solo and Chewbacca” perhaps, to find out what other gameplay tweaks the Rovio team has employed in their latest Angry Birds installment but it’s certainly encouraging to see that the game isn’t just a hollow costume and environment swap.
Of course, there are plenty of recognizable cosmetic tweaks here too – swapping out generic Angry Birds locales for Tatooine and Hoth levels along with respective character types. In addition to the major bird/Star Wars characters that we detailed in our Angry Birds: Star Wars character guide, some of the pigs are also set to enjoy subtle tweaks: On Hoth Helmet Pig gets a Star Wars upgrade in the form of Imperial Navy Commander armor and on the desert planet, Tatooine, the small and medium pigs are decked out in Tusken Raider garb, among what will no doubt include other cosmetic changes (as Rovio reveals more levels).
It’s unlikely that Angry Birds: Star Wars is going to offer a major shift in the franchise formula, or convince skeptics that the game is anything more than an excuse to capitalize on familiar brands and sell Angry Birds/Star Wars themed merchandise; however, anyone who has yet to tire of the series’ physics mechanics has reason to be excited for the upcoming title. Angry Birds: Star Wars should (we’ll have to see the final game to be sure) provide a fun excuse to revisit the more traditional Angry Birds game experience – and revel in that typically irresistible Star Wars nostalgia.
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Angry Birds: Star Wars will be available November 8th for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, and Windows Phone.