Exciting news from that galaxy far, far away! A new Star Wars game is on the horizon, and for fans of the franchise it may just be an absolute dream come true. During the recent Xbox Showcase, Ubisoft unveiled Star Wars Outlaws, the world’s first open-world Star Wars game, which invites “players to experience the Star Wars galaxy like never before through an original story.”
Following the big announcement, Ubisoft treated fans to a spectacular debut gameplay trailer during its highly anticipated Ubisoft Forward event. The over 10-minute-long trailer provides a brief glimpse into the massive and brimming world of Star Wars Outlaws, showcasing a myriad of thrilling moments, ranging from intense combat sequences to exhilarating space dogfights.
Taking place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the game will centre around the daring exploits of Kay Vess, a cunning scoundrel knee-deep in shady criminal dealings. Assigned with the task of executing the heist of a lifetime, Vess embarks on a high-stakes adventure to accomplish “one of the greatest heists the Outer Rim has ever seen.”
The Star Wars Outlaws gameplay trailer opens with Kay on the planet Toshara, where she skilfully infiltrates a hidden stronghold, in search of some valuable loot. The footage features both stealth gameplay and intense firefights, highlighting Kay’s adaptability in combat as she employs varied tactics to overcome different obstacles. As the situation escalates, Kay and her trusty companion Nix make a daring getaway astride hoverbikes, engaging in thrilling high-speed pursuits while taking down adversaries in the process. Based on what’s revealed, the speeder bike chases depicted in the trailer look genuinely thrilling.
Kay will have the ability to seamlessly switch between different blaster bolt types and can also deploy her adorable furry companion, Nix, to steal, divert or disrupt her foes. The gameplay deep dive also confirms the presence of branching dialogue options, allowing players to shape Kay’s interactions and decisions with NPCs. In one scene, Kay returns with the looted item, triggering a tense encounter with an Imperial officer in which a misstep in conversation leads to Kay acquiring a “Wanted” status, attracting the relentless pursuit of the Imperials.
This leads to Kay making a dramatic off-world getaway. The footage also offers a brief look at the various towns and cities that players will be able to explore on each planet. Interestingly, if you find yourself at odds with the ruling faction, you’ll have the option to flee the planet and navigate the galaxy aboard your trusty spacecraft, the Trailblazer. Using the spacecraft, you will be able to visit far-off galaxies by utilising hyperspace travel and discover completely new and distant destinations.
Besides traversal, you will have the freedom to pilot your own ship, engage in exhilarating dogfights, and navigate through a sprawling system of planets. Although specific mechanics are yet to be fully revealed, it appears that your choices during missions and actions within the open world will significantly impact your reputation and the consequences you face within the game.
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The gameplay footage teases some great story moments, such as Kay’s encounter with her reliable Battle Droid companion, ND-5, and a meeting with a Mon Calamari information broker that set Kay on a collision course with the Empire. As per the game’s creative director Julian Gerighty, “When we first imagined the first open-world Star Wars game, we explored where and when it could take place, and quickly realized that we had all the right ingredients for the journey of a scoundrel. These outlaws live life under the thumb of the Galactic Empire, but can still thrive given the opportunities that the criminal underworld opens up for people looking to take advantage of the turmoil. The time is ripe for a new outlaw to make their name, and Kay Vess is written in the stars.”
All in all, the game looks plenty promising and manages to capture the essence of the Star Wars universe very well. In addition to offering a mix of enjoyable and dynamic gameplay what makes the game even more exciting is the ability to planet hop in your own starship and undertake missions according to your own liking. It’s also refreshing to see a modern Star Wars game that focuses on a narrative beyond the Force or Jedi-related aspects, particularly during the era of the Empire. Ubisoft plans to release Star Wars Outlaws sometime in 2024 for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X.
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