A Galaxy of Rogues: Delving into the Underbelly with Star Wars Outlaws

Deep in the ocean of stars is a galaxy overflowing with adventure tales of bravery, rebellion and struggle for freedom. But sitting beneath all those heroic stories is the lesser-known tale of outlaws, heists and galactic criminal activity. Ubisoft’s upcoming game Star Wars Outlaws sheds light on this corner of the galaxy, bringing a fresh angle to the saga between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. As the galaxy teeters on the verge of rebellion, let’s take a look at the secrets of space with this in-depth preview.

Exploring the Outer Rims: Gameplay First Impressions

At Ubisoft’s Summer Games Fest demo, fans of outlaws and merry miscreants got a first look at Star Wars Outlaws, in which Kay Vess will be accompanied by her pet Nix, an axolotl-like creature with the friendly nature of a dog or cat. Together, Kay and Nix lead a pack of ne’er-do-wells through what can only be imagined as a very long, epic heist.

The Arsenals of Rebellion: Combat and Strategy

That’s just the outer layer of the gameplay demo, which showed pirates making their way aboard an empire ship to steal high-value cargo. But Kay’s gun – which fires standard rounds, electrical shots (useful for special gameplay with droids and puzzles) and a more powerful shot (for tougher enemies) – suggests a gunfighting system with real depth and true aim, with determination and skill in your gunning. Space-chase fans would get their thigh-hooking fix as well in a sequence starring a spaceship escape, with a flight-combat system said to have depth. There’s a customisable ship to pursue your footloose existence across fledgling worlds.

A Galaxial Platforming Adventure

The demo also took us through the haunted halls of a decommissioned cruiser, introducing the game’s platforming. It’s classic point-and-click fare, following yellow cues through ancient ruins, but elevated by the creative uses Kay’s stun gun and bouffant make for puzzle-solving.

Shadows and Stealth: Infiltrating the Underbelly

The player’s attempts to evade a criminal boss as Kay runs for her life through the undercity exemplify the game’s stealth mechanics in a section that sees the player exploring the slums of the galaxy and its unsavoury denizens. This emphasis on stealth gaming as a way of exploring player agency and environmental storytelling is another unique contribution to the Star Wars mythos, allowing players in Hutt Space a different, more nuanced way to explore galaxy’s underbelly.

Beyond Lightsabers: A Different Shade of Star Wars

While other Star Wars books and films focus on the Jedi-centric bigger picture, as well as the grander, more luminous duels and Force-filled storylines, Star Wars Outlaws casts a darker shadow across the galaxy. Being able to focus on the rougher, less glamorous parts of the galaxy also carves out a niche much different from the Jedi-centric storytelling, inadvertently making the series a part-of-but-also-apart member of the sprawling universe.

A Galaxy Crafted for Rogues

Focusing its gaze on the thieves, grifters and scoundrels of the largest canon of genre-spanning lore and world-building in existence, Ubisoft’s narrative-drive stealth action adventures, open-world play and deep interrogations of a galaxy’s underworld all come together in Star Wars Outlaws to showcase an untold story of stranger heroes and more thoroughly reprehensible outcasts in the Star Wars saga.

Awaiting the Heist: Anticipation Builds for Release

Editor’s note: Star Wars Outlaws will be available 30 August 2024 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

Understanding the Galaxy: A Cosmic Tapestry

A galaxy is an enormous collection of stars, planetary bodies, gas and dust, all held together by gravity. Each galaxy is a place with its own history, its own identity. Our galaxy (the Milky Way) is just one of an estimated 200 billion in the observable universe. To players of Star Wars Outlaws, the galaxy is both an ecosystem and a character. A stage for the struggle between light and darkness, where intrepid (and maybe felonious) wayfarers navigate the nebulae and planets to forge their own destiny among the stars. This creates an expansive sense that builds the story around the player (the ‘main character’) as he or she is drawn into the conflict between grand cosmic scales to small tales of personal bravery, wit and freedom.

With the date of the launch approaching, the galaxy promises the possibility of more stories hiding behind its dark corners: Star Wars Outlaws lets you experience more than the edges, it’s a dive at the heart of the galaxy core where the line between protagonist and anti-hero is blurred under the endless sky.

Jun 11, 2024
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