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Star Wars Outlaws

Star Wars Outlaws

Taking To The Stars
by Brian Shea on Apr 19, 2024 at 02:00 PM
Platform PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Publisher Ubisoft
Developer Massive Entertainment

While visiting Massive Entertainment to be among the first to get my hands on Star Wars Outlaws, I enjoyed playing through stealth sequences, shootouts, conversations, and open-world speeder gameplay. However, one piece of the Star Wars Outlaws puzzle I did not get a chance to experience firsthand is the space gameplay. Thankfully, in addition to playing a chunk of Star Wars Outlaws during my time in Malmö, Sweden, I also had a chance to ask the developers how the game works once you jump into your ship and leave the planet or moon.

In Star Wars Outlaws, you play Kay Vess and her companion Nix as they travel around the galaxy to locales both familiar and new. Players can land on and explore planets and moons like Tatooine, Kijimi, Akiva, and Toshara, but when Kay enters her ship, the Trailblazer, she can enter orbit and explore. The Trailblazer was created in close collaboration with Lucasfilm Games to ensure it feels like it fits into the Star Wars galaxy. Elements like silhouettes, realism, and personality were all considered to make something believable within the galaxy.

For the Star Wars Outlaws team, having the basis of the game be about crafting a scoundrel adventure meant that space gameplay was a must to complement the on-world element. "What we were trying to work out is, 'How do we create a gameplay experience with a multitude of different possibilities?' because we always knew we wanted to do a huge open-world game and have space travel, hyperdriving, several planets, several locations to explore," creative director Julian Gerighty says. "I think that's the play of fancy for the outlaw. It really is when you think of, 'What would I like to do as an outlaw in Star Wars?' It is stealth. It is combat. It is fisticuffs. It is hanging out at the cantina and having choices – meaningful choices – as a scoundrel, as an outlaw. It is flying. It is jumping on your speeder and going from one settlement to another. It's all of those things. So, it was important for us to have that ambition and push not just the technology but also the design team to have all of those things at the highest possible quality level."

Star Wars Outlaws

Much of my gameplay session was spent exploring the underworld of Toshara within the city walls of Mirogana in particular. However, near the end, I had the opportunity to venture outside the walls on Kay's speeder. "There is a huge element of exploration – the openness, the vibrancy, the boldness of landscapes, visuals, and all these elements that you get from it just going with your speeder outside to find locations and exploring bits of the world," art and world director Benedikt Podlesnigg says. "And from this, you also have among the stars. We take our ship flying to space, which is vast but also very risky. It's wondrous, it's lucrative, but also there's a lot of unknown about it."

Though I don't get to see it, Podlesnigg describes how one of his recent gameplay sessions went. After exploring Toshara, he jumps into the Trailblazer and takes it out into orbit because he heard some intel that somebody in a space station was looking for an item he had in his possession. As Gerighty explains to me, planets and moons have an orbit around them that serves as an explorable area for Kay while aboard the Trailblazer. Once you reach the edge of the explorable area surrounding the planet or moon, you hyperdrive into the orbit of your destination. 

"This is problem-solving for video games, basically," Gerighty says. "We wanted to have an orbit around it with lots of different points of interest, things to do, battles to get in, places to explore. So, the orbits for each one of the moons or planets that we created had to be populated with lots of different things, and we didn't want to create endless space, so you hyperdrive from the orbit of a planet to the orbit of a planet. So, all of the space areas that we have are full of things to do."

As Podlesnigg arrived in space during his playthrough, he received an emergency signal that a freighter was being attacked, so he hurried to their location to help them fight off the attackers. Finally, he landed on a space station. While he can't go too deep into how big these space stations are, there are things to do, including vendors for trades and potentially some side-quests.

I don't get to touch a controller while Kay is piloting the Trailblazer, but the team hopes to appeal to a wide range of players by creating approachable gameplay for spaceflight. "We wanted to make spaceflight as accessible, fun, and action-packed as possible," Gerighty says. "The controls are extremely easy to get into. There's always something to do. It's fast to travel; you can hyperdrive at any moment, and there's combat, of course, both on an intimate dogfight scale but also on an epic scale too. And there's exploration. There's a lot of things to do in space."

I assume we'll eventually get our hands on the space gameplay before the release of Star Wars Outlaws, and outside of the intricate Reputation System, this element is one of my most intriguing parts of the game right now. Star Wars Outlaws arrives on August 30 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. For more exclusive information on Massive Entertainment's upcoming scoundrel adventure, visit our coverage hub at the banner below!

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Star Wars Outlaws

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
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