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Three new Star Wars games are in the works from Respawn

Respawn, the studio behind 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, announced that it is currently working on three Star Wars games in a news post on EA’s site, .

We’re excited to announce THREE new Star Wars games officially in the works from @Respawn. Read more and pass on what you’ve learned:

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— EA Star Wars (@EAStarWars) January 25, 2022

While it’s been known that the studio, which has become a powerhouse at EA since developing Apex Legends, is likely working on a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, today’s blog post has confirmed that. The two other Star Wars games in development at Respawn are a first-person shooter and a strategy game, the latter of which is being created in conjunction with Bit Reactor, a recently formed studio comprised of veteran developers.

Respawn’s unnamed first-person shooter Star Wars project is being handled internally, with development being headed by Peter Hirschmann, a game director at the studio. Having served as the vice president of product development at LucasArts for nearly six and a half years, Hirshmann’s history with the Star Wars franchise runs deep. In his position, Hirschmann assisted in the production of multiple Star Wars titles, including the cult classic Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Meanwhile, the Star Wars strategy game being developed at Respawn is a collaboration effort with Bit Reactor. Having been founded less than a week ago, Bit Reactor isn’t new to strategy games. Its team is comprised of developers from Firaxis Games, the studio behind the XCOM franchise. Bit Reactor is going to lead development on the game while Respawn acts as a producer.

With so many new games in the works, it’s worth wondering what will happen to Respawn’s other games, namely Apex Legends and the Titanfall franchise. While Apex Legends is far too successful for its development to be halted in any way, the same can’t be said for the Titanfall franchise, which has laid dormant since Titanfall 2 was released in 2016. For the franchise, which many have been hoping would return, Respawn’s pivot toward Star Wars titles may be the final nail in the coffin.

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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor release date pops up on Steam ahead of Game Awards
Cal Kestis with BD-1 droid on his shoulder.

The release date of the highly anticipated Star Wars game Star Wars Jedi: Survivor leaked on the game's official Steam page.
A Steam Page for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor went live with this release date information on Monday morning, seemingly ahead of a heavily rumored appearance at The Game Awards. The store page description reveals more details about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as well as its Deluxe Edition, which contains cosmetics that make protagonist Cal Kestis look like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo and the pre-order bonus with a costume, Lightsaber, and Blaster based on Obi-Wan. 

The "About This Game" section also provides more details on the game. Narratively, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor's Steam page explains that "Cal is driven to make a stand during the galaxy’s darkest times -- but how far is he willing to go to protect himself, his crew, and the legacy of the Jedi Order?" On the gameplay side of things, new Force abilities, Lightsaber fighting styles, and enemies to take down are teased. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor looks like it will be a galaxy-trotting adventure like its predecessor the description hints that there will be lots of planets to explore and that they'll be bigger and have more secrets than the ones in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
EA and Respawn Entertainment have been relatively quiet regarding Star Wars Jedi: Survivor since announcing the game in May, so it's exciting to get a lot of new information about the game like its sooner-than-expected release date. If the rumors are true, this may have deflated the hype from one of The Game Awards 2022's big reveals.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will be released for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S on March 15, 2023.

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Xbox Game Pass adds Lego Star Wars and a former Switch console exclusive
Promotional art of Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga.

Xbox Game Pass is getting 11 new games in December, with some out on the platform starting today. The list includes The Game Awards nominated Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Eastward, which was previously a console exclusive on Nintendo Switch.

Microsoft's gaming service tends to add two batches of games every month, so this new batch makes up the first half of its December releases. Starting today, players can already download Eastward, The Walking Dead: The Final Season, and Totally Reliable Delivery Service.

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Every action game should take notes from God of War Ragnarok’s skill tree
Kratos looks at the Leviathan Axe.

Not every piece of God of War Ragnarok is a step up from its 2018 predecessor, but there's one area where it's an undeniable improvement: action. Like his last adventure, Kratos uses his heavy Leviathan Axe to chop up enemies and his Blades of Chaos to rain hellfire down. Both tools feel the same in the sequel but have been altered with the addition of elemental abilities that bring an extra set of moves and decisions to combat.

What stands out to me most about the game's evolved combat though is something a little less flashy. God of War Ragnarok features a handful of skill trees that let players unlock more combos. That's a bit run of the mill, as it's become a staple of Sony's first-party exclusives in recent years. However, Ragnarok's skill tree goes one step further than most games with a new customization system that encourages players to actually use those skills once they've been unlocked. The feature is so effective that I hope every character-based action game takes notes from it from here on out.
Use your skills
The skill trees in God of War Ragnarok function about the same as any game that includes them. Kratos earns experience points when he slays monsters and those points can be spent to unlock new skills. Both the Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos have their own three-pronged skill tree, as does Atreus. Every time Kratos levels up a weapon using resources, more skills become available to purchase. By the end of the game, players have access to a fairly wide range of moves that'll have them holding down buttons, comboing moves together, and more.

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