Back to Throwback Thursday again and we’re celebrating the Star Wars bundles which are cropping up everywhere thanks to May the 4th and May the 4rd, give it a second and you’ll figure it out.
With that let’s look at one of the Star Wars games that I’ve not seen on any of the bundles yet, Star Wars Bounty Hunter.
Jango Fett was one of the more mysterious aspects of Episode II. The enigmatic father of Boba Fett and last of the Mandalorians, by the film’s accounts.
Jango was prime extended universe bait and his past was about the only thing they could expand on with him since Mace Windu’s lightsaber took a little more off the top than he’d initially intended.
The game was released shortly after the film was out in theaters, keeping Jango fresh in everyone’s mind.
From a gameplay standpoint I have fond memories of this game. It featured quite nicely sized levels, some open ended and others linear, and took Jango from being a lowly Bounty Hunter to the host of the Grand Army of the Republic.
It gave some nice backstory for the man and was another Star Wars games to show that lightsabers weren’t always needed to make a difference in the galaxy.
I suppose I should start at the beginning.
We open on one of the many space stations in the galaxy with a pit fight taking place. Of course it wouldn’t be a bounty hunter game without the lead bounty hunter, and Jango soon crashes the party.
After a brief tussle with the pit beasts and losing his jetpack Jango is forced to fight his way through hunting his prey.
Jango’s arsenal in the game isn’t limited to just his blaster pistols. He can pick up and use a few rifles and cannons which offer limited ammunition, missiles and flamethrowers are available to him, the heavily poisonous toxic dart is present and the whip cord too. When all else fails Jango can just punch his way through with his bare fists.
The objectives are pretty basic, each level is just hunt your target and get to him. There’s no real “where’s the target” motivation present, they’re usually at the end of the level when you get to it. Just follow the guys with guns and you’ll find who you’re looking for.
Another interesting feature is the ID scanner Jango has in his helmet. It can scan bad guys and NPCs to find any potential bounty rewards and specify if they’re wanted dead or alive.
Taking bounties alive involves subduing them with the whip cord while dead is kind of obvious.
This would be a cool feature in the game if the bounties actually meant something. As it stands credits from optional bounties only go towards getting a higher score, and with no online capability the score was there for your own personal benefit.
Perhaps if equipment upgrades, colour schemes, optional skins and other such items that could be purchased with the credits were there then the bounties would have had a bit more of a point, but otherwise it just serves to slow you down as you scan each group of enemies for the next payday.
Exploring Jango’s origins goes someway to explaining his relationship with Zam, the shape shifter tasked with killing Padme in Episode II and Count Dooku.
Jango’s quest moves from personal gain to revenge very quickly and you do see some degree of evolution with his character, but since you know what’s going to happen anyway it’s easy to fail to get invested in the plot or the characters.
The game suffers from prequel syndrome in that because you know the outcome it’s harder to get invested than if you were going forward rather than backtracking.
But does this make it a bad game, no it doesn’t. It’s a solid action shooter and takes you deeper into the Star Wars universe, and I think it’s a must play for any dedicated fan of the entire series.
Of course with Disney blasting the Extended Universe out the sky like Tie fighter the game probably means nothing to the series now but it’s always worth a look back.
Were you impressed by Bounty Hunter? Was Jango Fett really worth his own game? Let us know the in the comments below.