Although this will likely win the competition for fastest cease and desist letter in history, someone has managed to remake Star Wars Episode I: Racer in Unreal Engine 4 – and the results are seriously impressive.
Made by Rob Jin and recently brought to public attention by YouTuber Bluedrake42, the Star Wars Episode I: Racer fan game is a faithful but updated remake of the 1999 original. It features a boost function, third- and first-person perspectives, some significantly upgraded physics, and you can even activate AI enemies.
Somewhat hilariously, the original sound effects of Anakin have been left in, meaning crashes are punctuated by some classic retro game yells and comical explosion animations. Here’s the beautiful trailer:
Although the original Google Drive download link for the demo seems to have been overwhelmed by demand, there are a few mirrors floating around the internet (proceed with caution), so I decided to download one and check it out myself.
First up, if you do manage to get your paws on this, I’d recommend using a controller: the standard key bindings need work, with Z,D,Q used for movement and steering. If you want to see the full list of controls, make sure to hit the menu button on your controller when mid-race.
Using a fairly average PC, I had a few FPS issues, but playing on Medium or Low setting still gives you a fairly decent experience. The cave section routinely tanked my framerate, however, so you may need to use the force to guide you through that.
The AI, meanwhile, is ridiculously fast on anything above Easy – so you’ll probably need to work your way up to those levels. It didn’t take long for me to get the hang of driving, however, and the steering feels perfect for a pod: particularly when I flew up into the air and gracefully came floating back down to the track.
Overall, although it’s limited to one track and there are FPS problems (plus occasional jank when I exploded on seemingly nothing), it’s an impressive experience for a fan game, and the physics are remarkably satisfying. Playing in first-person was fabulous, and really helped me get into the mindset of a podracer. If only this could be released as an official remake.
For those unfamiliar with Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the original was developed and published by LucasArts and released in 1999 on PC, N64, Game Boy Color and eventually Dreamcast. The game was hugely popular – selling over three million copies on the N64 alone – and prompted Sega to create a podracing title in 2000. It’s since been recognised for its speed, nifty steering controls, and creating a sense of Star Wars wonder.
There’s obviously a ridiculous amount of Star Wars IP in this fan version of the game, and Disney will likely be looking to take down files pretty soon. If you’re interested, see if you can find a download link, or else you’ll wonder Qui it’s Gon.