The scoundrels are running the galaxy. Ubisoft Massive finally revealed its Star Wars game, Star Wars Outlaws, and followed up with the first gameplay footage. Strap in because there are a lot of cool details, and we can’t wait to see how these will play out when the game is released in 2024.
With both the announcement trailer and gameplay trailer out, we looked at both to see what secrets we could find hidden in the upcoming Ubisoft Star Wars game, so stick around to see our discoveries.
Star Wars Outlaws is, as the name suggests, about the underbelly of the galaxy. You play as Kay Vess and her alien buddy Nix who are just trying to make their way through the galaxy, one legally dubious job at a time. She’s even introduced playing the favorite game of the underworld, Sabacc, which I hope is a mini-game in Outlaws.
Driving home this point is when we even see Jabba the Hutt and his iconic frog bong receiving a Han Solo carbonite delivery from his Amazon driver, which incidentally places Star Wars Outlaws between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – a time period we haven’t seen explored since 1996’s Shadows of the Empire.
We learned that several crime syndicates are vying for power in this era of the Empire including the Hutts, Pykes, and the new Yashida clan. One member is seen cutting down a Sullustan with a vibro blade, though it’s unclear if they have any relation to Sarco Plank, an alien from the same species.
You might remember Plank from The Force Awakens, but also in the comics and most recently in Jedi: Fallen Order.
Wanted: Dead or Alive
At the end of Ubisoft’s gameplay trailer for Star Wars Outlaw it was revealed the game will have a reputation system similar to games like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. Depending on the players’ decisions, it looks like Kay can make it through dangerous encounters safe, or find herself with a Wanted tag that will have the Imperials on her tail, at least until she can lose them by hiding out on some other planet.
It's unclear how long these Wanted tags will last or how to lose them. There's also the question about how they could impact certain missions or quests. But Kay has to be on her best behavior it seems, or at least just around Imperials.
The First Open-World Star Wars Game
In terms of combat, Star Wars Outlaws is keeping it familiar with an open-world, third-person perspective. Kay is able to approach situations in a myriad of different ways, whether that’s by sneaking up on bad guys, creating diversions thanks to her helpful alien sidekick, or just blasting through bad(der) guys with guns a’blazin.
One thing we haven’t seen is Kay talking her way out of situations other than in cutscenes, so perhaps negotiations aren’t her strong suit.
Outside of combat, you can expect intergalactic travel. The gameplay video ends with Kay escaping off-world on her ship to another planet through hyperspace. But even on the ground, Kay is able to seemingly steal speeders to cover great distances. And while we don't know much about the mission structure just yet, it's safe to say there are probably plenty of locals on these planets who may have the odd job for Kay.
Let’s Nix It
Looking a little closely, Nix isn’t just a fuzzy companion. During combat, Nix can either create distractions, perform tasks like push buttons, or straight-up attack guards if need be. Nix is like a cross between Cal Kestis’s droid BD-1, and the drones in Watch Dogs.
Friend or Foe?
In the announcement trailer, Kay meets up with Jalen who sounds like he has a job for our heroine. It's a heist job and accompanying Jalen is a modified Commando Droid similar to the ones you may have sliced through in Jedi Survivor. Seperatist gear seems to have a tendency of finding its way into criminal hands post-Clone Wars.
This particular droid is named ND-5 and is apparently more friendly with Kay, warning her about going into negotiations with the broker.
A Hive of Scum and Villainy
It seems like Kay will be primarily spending her time on dangerous planets, which makes sense given her line of work. Ashkaha looks like an arid mining zone crawling with baddies, but we got some glimpses of some other not-so-friendly planets in the sizzle.
One planet looks strikingly familiar to Kijim, a planet we first saw in Star Wars Episode 9: Rise of Skywalker. Not only is Kijimi a base of operations for a gang of spice-runners led by Poe Dameron’s ex-girlfriend, Zorii Bliss, but it’s also the home to legendary Anzellan droidsmith Babu Frick.
We also got a glimpse of what is likely Canto Bight, the extravagant casino city on planet Cantonica. While home to immense wealth, it’s a high-roller gathering place for criminals and outlaws looking to spend their wealth lavishly.
Rancor On My Mind
Another Rancor! But unlike the stray found in the caves in Jedi Survivor, is this possibly THE Rancor that lives under Jabba’s Palace? The timeline certainly matches up and we already saw Jabba once in the trailer so there’s a good possibility. If this Rancor and Jabba are there, who knows what familiar faces Kay might run into on her journey?
Grand Theft Spaceship
The reputation system isn’t the only thing similar to other open-world games as Kay will be able to ride a variety of vehicles in Star Wars Outlaws. When she’s making her escape from the mines of Ahshaka, she’s speeding away on a chopper bike-looking speeder as seen in Shadows of the Empire. And of course she’ll have her own ship as we see when she makes her escape off-world.
In the announcement trailer she’s even seen running by some Pod Racer engines, which I sincerely hope are pilotable.
That’s everything we saw in the two Star Wars Outlaws trailers. Be sure to check out IGN for all the news around Ubisoft Massive’s new Star Wars game, including exclusive interviews with the game’s director.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's Senior Features Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.