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A Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today

pklepek
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Posted July 8, 2009 - By pklepek


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Loom

After years of complaining, LucasArts is releasing some of their classic games in an easily purchased format that will run without headaches on modern gaming rigs. There are, of course, a many games that aren't making their way to Steam just yet, but for a first wave, there's some great games, a number of which I haven't even played myself, which is why I've researched a quick first look guide for all of us.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Armed and Dangerous

This was developed by Planet Moon Studios, a quiet company the past few years but a studio that's one of funniest in the biz. Unfortunately, most people have missed out on their overlooked gems, Armed and Dangerous included. Can you really resist trying a video game that gives you a gun that shoots sharks from its barrels? If so, you're a better man than I. Not to mention I'm told Armed and Dangerous heavily borrows from Monty Python. Sold! Armed and Dangerous is one I still need to play, too. (Pro tip: it's backwards compatible on Xbox 360, provided you can find an Xbox disc).

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

The more I read about Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the more I'm bummed it was never installed on my computer; the game was employing revolutionary gameplay concepts. For one, there were three completely different ways to play the game -- a puzzle-oriented "Wits Path," an action-centric "Fists Path" and a sidekick-partnering "Teams Path," each with its own unique path through the game. Whoa! Not to mention it was an adventure game where the player could literally die. Who does that?

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure

Again, I'm amazed at what these games were employing years ago. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure, which mostly follows the plot from the movie of the same name, attempted to answer a major criticism of adventure games: they're boring to play a second time. You already know the puzzle answers, so what's the point, right? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, however, included multiple puzzle solutions to many scenarios in the game and the only way to achieve the maximum "Indy IQ," which carried over from subsequent playthroughs, was to discover them all.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Most people should be familiar with this one; it came out last year! Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures takes the familiar Lego concept by Travellers Tales and applies the madness to the first three Indiana Jones movies. A sequel, Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, will be released later this year and include stages from the latest movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Loom
Loom

Of all the LucasArts point 'n click adventure games debuting on Steam today, Loom sounds the most intriguing, as it sounds like the most radical departure from anything else produced at LucasArts. Its quirkiness is probably best explained because Loom was written by a former Infocom employee. Outside of the out-there plot, involving a potential future-Earth where expert cloth weavers are able to weave fabrics of reality, Loom discarded traditional adventure gameplay concepts (i.e. item combining) by manipulating the world through music tones, which provide the player with powers.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Star Wars: Battlefront II

There are plenty of old school Star Wars games people are clamoring for on Steam -- Jedi Knight, anyone? -- but, fortunately, at least Star Wars: Battlefront II is regarded as one of the good modern Star Wars games. Developed at Pandemic Studios, Battlefront II is what would happen if you mashed the Battlefield series with Star Wars. Voila.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Star Wars: Republic Commando

Widely regarded as one of the more underrated recent Star Wars games, Star Wars: Republic Commando puts players in charge of a clone commando team during the Clone Wars, an event put into motion at the end of Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Republic Commando isn't about charging forth as the long ranger; the game features simplified squad management and the gameplay doesn't flick to game over if you "die," as a squad mate can still revive you. The game only ends when everyone dies.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Star Wars: Starfighter

Actually, the less said about this one, the better. Plus, it takes places during Episode 1. Yuck.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
The Dig

I've actually played The Dig, the story of a group of astronauts tasked with moving an "object" heading into Earth's orbit. As a kid enchanted by anything director Steven Spielberg touched, the moment I discovered Spielberg was producing a video game, I needed The Dig. I don't remember too much about The Dig, though, being completely blown away by the music and visuals at the time because of a gorgeous mixture of hand-drawn art and early 3D. I've always been a little bummed it was never turned into a movie.

A Quickie Guide To LucasArts' Classics Arriving On Steam Today
Thrillville: Off The Rails

LucasArts moved into the build-a-something genre with Thrillville, where players create a theme park. This isn't the first Thrillville game, either, it's a sequel. Off The Rails focuses on players creating their own rollercoasters, but whereas these games usually tend to keep going until the player becomes bored and gives up, Off The Rails actually had an ending, once your park was successful enough.

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