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Is There A Better-Looking 20-Year-Old Game Than Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II?


Star Wars Rogue Squadron II Rogue Leader
Picture: Disney / LucasArts

Really feel previous, everybody — Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Chief is now 20 years previous.

The GameCube-exclusive title launched alongside the console itself within the US and was one thing of a show-stopper within the visuals division. Developer Issue 5 had turned in a superb arcade-style X-Wing motion sport with the unique Rogue Squadron on N64, in fact, however this sequel took the visuals to an entire new stage and showcasing the understated energy of Nintendo’s new {hardware}.

The prequel trilogy was already in progress on the time, and for Star Wars followers there was one thing extremely particular in seeing the traditional unique trilogy spacecraft rendered so faithfully onscreen. Revisiting the sport lately, we now have to say that Issue 5’s graphical work nonetheless holds up extremely effectively — surprisingly effectively, in reality, and it makes us starvation for a re-release much more.

Merely upscaling a classic sport to high-definition will ship a pointy picture, however usually exposes low-quality textures and highlights the constraints of the period — you solely want take a look at screens of the current Knights of the Previous Republic port to see character fashions and environments that, whereas fantastic in context, present simply how far we have come within the final 20 years. Rogue Chief nonetheless appears to be like phenomenal, although.

Nintendo consulted Issue 5 whereas creating the GameCube platform, so it is not stunning that the staff knew its approach across the {hardware}. Nonetheless, there are causes that the visuals get up so effectively in 2021 which are much less to do with programming prowess and extra with the character of the sport. The Star Wars universe is stuffed with flat, angular ships which are (comparatively) straightforward to recreated with polygons, and having an enormous ol’ star subject as your background more often than not additionally simplifies issues.

The actual factor that makes Rogue Chief look spectacular, although — even by fashionable requirements — is its lighting. As any 3D modeller, photographer, or ageing actor will let you know, the precise lighting makes all of the distinction. An clever lit scene could make a substandard 3D mannequin look acceptable, or an important 3D mannequin look unimaginable; Rogue Chief’s lighting conveys the ambiance of the unique trilogy completely.

Throw within the patented Star Wars audio, and also you’re left with a shocking package deal comprising some comparatively easy gameplay components executed with spectacular precision. Certainly, the builders have been in a position to squeeze a two-player model of just about the whole sport onto the second sequel, Insurgent Strike — a freebie that’s arguably much better than the follow-up sport itself.

It is the fallacious facet ratio, however this nonetheless appears to be like wonderful

Having gone again to the sport, we have been astonished at how good it nonetheless appears to be like — certainly, we’re having hassle considering of an older 3D sport that appears higher than this. Maybe a easy upres may work on this case. We virtually obtained a re-release on the Wii, however we might let a wookie tear off our arm for a go at an official HD re-release.

Are you able to consider a 3D sport that holds up anyplace close to in addition to this does after two entire many years?

Be happy to tell us different classic 3D video games you suppose maintain their very own in 2021, and share the twentieth birthday love for Rogue Squadron II within the feedback under.

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