Ubisoft wowed audiences at the Ubisoft Forward conference today with an extensive look at their highly anticipated game, Star Wars: Outlaws. The conference provided a glimpse into the action-packed world of the game, featuring the charismatic scoundrel Kay Vess. However, lucky attendees at a closed-door event in Los Angeles were treated to an exclusive extended gameplay walkthrough, shedding more light on the thrilling mission ahead. We had the opportunity to speak with Navid Khavari, the narrative director of Outlaws, and Mathias Karlson, the game director, who provided further insights into the game.
Set in the period between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Outlaws is an open-world, single-player action-adventure game. The story revolves around Kay, who finds herself in hot water after a job gone awry. To navigate her way out of trouble, Kay must delve into the criminal underworld, accumulating credits and planning an epic heist that will go down in galactic history.
While the game’s premise may sound familiar, with recent Star Wars stories exploring similar themes of heists and scoundrels, the developers assure us that it is a mere coincidence. When asked about the resemblance to the canceled game Project Ragtag, Khavari stated that Lucasfilm Games and Disney did not specifically request such a setup. Instead, the focus was on exploring the scoundrel fantasy and the narrative possibilities of that era.
One of the key aspects that captivated Lucasfilm Games was the concept of an open world with seamless transitions, as demonstrated in the gameplay walkthrough. The ability to experience the journey of an emerging scoundrel, from mingling with Imperials and criminal syndicates in cantinas to engaging in high-speed speeder chases and spacefaring adventures, excited both Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games.
The extended gameplay walkthrough showcased the game’s fluid transitions, with seamless shifts from cutscenes to gameplay. Players witnessed Kay’s sidekick, Nix, skillfully stealing a valuable item and Kay taking down guards with expert precision. Stealthy maneuvering and gunplay were followed by an exhilarating speeder chase through the savannah-inspired planet of Joshana. The demo concluded with Kay delivering the loot to a shady crime boss in Jaunta’s Hope, featuring the introduction of a new droid companion, ND-5.
During the gameplay walkthrough, players were presented with a choice: to bribe or not to bribe an Imperial officer demanding a cut of the spoils. Opting for the latter, Kay attracted the attention of the Empire, resulting in a dramatic “WANTED” status. A heart-pounding race ensued as Kay sprinted to her ship, where ND-5 was waiting. The most awe-inspiring moment came as the ship ascended seamlessly through the atmosphere into space, reminiscent of No Man’s Sky.
Karlson confirmed that the team aimed to provide a range of experiences and a seamless gameplay journey. The game boasts three primary elements: bustling cities with numerous activities, breathtaking open environments like Joshana’s savannah, and thrilling space exploration with its accompanying risks and rewards.
While Ubisoft labeled Star Wars: Outlaws as the “first open-world Star Wars” game, Karlson clarified that it pertains to a specific type of open world that offers players the freedom to engage with various activities. From sitting in a cantina and picking up contracts to traversing open landscapes on foot or speeder bike, and venturing into space to fulfill missions, Outlaws promises a unique open-world experience.
The presentation hinted at Outlaws’ ambitious scope, with dense and living cities, stunning open environments, and space dogfights against TIE Fighters.
Additional locations teased during the presentation included the urban sprawl of Coruscant, the seedy underbelly of Nar Shaddaa, and the untamed wilderness of Kashyyyk. Each location is said to offer its own distinct challenges, opportunities, and memorable characters.
The developers also emphasized the importance of player choice and agency in Star Wars: Outlaws. Throughout the game, players will make decisions that will shape Kay’s journey and impact the outcome of the story. These choices range from deciding which factions to align with, to determining how to approach missions and interact with other characters. The consequences of these choices will ripple through the narrative, adding replayability and a sense of personal investment for players.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Star Wars: Outlaws promises a blend of action, stealth, and exploration. Players will engage in intense combat encounters, utilizing a variety of weapons and abilities to overcome adversaries. The gameplay walkthrough showcased Kay’s agility and resourcefulness, using her environment to gain tactical advantages and outsmart her foes. Stealth mechanics allow players to silently eliminate enemies or avoid detection when necessary.
The game also introduces RPG elements, allowing players to level up Kay’s skills and abilities as they progress. This progression system will enable players to tailor their playstyle and enhance Kay’s capabilities to suit their preferred approach to gameplay.
During the interview, Khavari and Karlson touched on the collaborative nature of the development process with Lucasfilm Games. They expressed their admiration for the Star Wars universe and their commitment to honoring its rich lore and characters. While the game features an original story and new characters, they assured fans that it would be an authentic Star Wars experience, capturing the essence of the beloved franchise.
As for the release date, Ubisoft has confirmed that Star Wars: Outlaws is slated for a multi-platform release, including PC and consoles. However, they did not provide a specific release window, leaving fans eagerly anticipating further updates.
Overall, the unveiling of Star Wars: Outlaws has generated significant excitement among Star Wars fans and gamers alike. With its open-world setting, immersive gameplay mechanics, and a compelling narrative set in the Star Wars universe, the game aims to offer a fresh and captivating experience for players ready to embark on a thrilling scoundrel’s journey in a galaxy far, far away.