Of all the games that made an appearance at this year’s E3, Star Wars: 1313 is among one of the most intriguing. The first game to be developed internally at LucasArts since The Force Unleashed 2, it’s shaping up to be one of the most promising titles yet in the franchise.
So, what do we know about it, and what can we expect to see in the game upon completion?
Occuring between the two major film trilogies, Star Wars: 1313 takes place on the crowded planet Coruscant. Made up of 5,000 levels, the game gets its title from its main location on the planet: level 1313, home to the criminal underworld of Coruscant. Players take control of a currently unnamed bounty hunter who’s happened to find himself wrapped up in a complicated criminal conspiracy within the seedy underbelly and now has to find a way out while doling out justice.
The story itself is one of the more ambitious parts of 1313. It departs from the fierce heroism familiar to the Star Wars franchise, instead dealing with increasingly more mature themes as it blurs black and white into varying shades of gray. Creative Director Dominic Robilliard commented on his game’s desire to be mature in a thematic sense rather than attempting to shock players a la dismembering enemies in Mortal Kombat.
“Sometimes games pursue an M rating because of this desire to do something gratuitously gory, and that’s just not what we’re doing at all,” he says. “I just don’t think those kinds of things go with Star Wars, really.”
In a further attempt to help players connect with the main character, we’ve learned that our main man won’t have the force to call on for Jedi superpower backup. Instead, he’s a normal human being who has to rely on wits and gadgets to help him through.
“The extraordinary things you get to do are very much based around this gear, the bounty hunter gear and gadgets,” says Robilliard.
While we don’t know the details as to what sort of gear we will for sure see within the game, it’s a safe bet to assume things like grappling hooks, jetpacks, and special weapons have more than likely been considered. The mere fact that the main character is so human and vulnerable does make him compelling, however; there’s more of a sense of risk at hand, and the guarantee of a higher sense of accomplishment if you’re able to guide him to great success against the odds by being resourceful.
Immersion is an important part of the game’s design as well. In an effort to avoid breaking from the action and taking control away from the player, developers have created seamless cutscene-to-gameplay transitions reminiscent of the Uncharted series. The result is an overall cinematic feel that flawlessly allows you to take in the story’s events without ever taking it out of your hands.
The technological prowess of the game itself is nothing if not impressive. All cutscenes are rendered in real time, and motion capture has been improved to help capture the realistic expressions and reactions of the actors used for the game’s characters. Because of this, characters have a new life to them and feel more compelling and fleshed out than ever before.
While we’ve only had bite-sized samples of gameplay, what we have seen does not fail to impress. Coupled with dynamic, epic-feeling set design, frantic cover-based, third-person shooting, and platforming that even Nathan Drake would shy away from, there’s a real sense of excitement and intense action that’s been captured in a way no other Star Wars game (or any other game, for that matter) has really touched on before.
It’s still fairly early in the development cycle for Star Wars: 1313, but even in its primitive state, this is a title that is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and compelling Star Wars titles yet. Featuring an all-new cast of characters, a gritty, mature story, and amazingly immersive gameplay, look for 1313 to give us a new take on an old story from a galaxy far, far away.