A Galaxy far, far, away is getting even bigger. The announcement of Star Wars: Outlaws as an open-world Star Wars game is an exciting prospect for any fan of the franchise. Of course, Star Wars fans have just received a new adventure in the form of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Yet, as the “first truly open-world” Star Wars experience, Star Wars: Outlaws has the opportunity to give players a truly unique experience. However, there are a few things that the game needs to include to truly make it feel like a truly unique Star Wars adventure. So without further ado, here are five things the Star Wars: Outlaws needs to include to ensure it checks all the right boxes.
An, often, reoccurring issue with open-world games is that they provide massive worlds for players to explore, yet they feel empty during gameplay. If Ubisoft wants to make their game feel alive, the planets can not just be reskinned clones of one another. Visiting other worlds, iconic or new, in the Star Wars galaxy should feel unique and intuitive. More importantly, each world needs to have things to do.
For instance, when a player visits a new world the populace should feel different and there should be different obstacles and objectives. Allowing different factions to control certain planets over others provides players with alternative things to do when they visit a new world. Consider the concept of various questlines, fighting new enemies, flora and fauna, and more.
Furthermore, every planet can feel different through the use of individual settlements. While every planet should have notable structures, like cantinas, each building style should appear different. Players should be able to immerse themselves in every world they visit. Ubisoft needs to include detailed worlds to explore and not just Tatooine reskinned with grass or water.
Factions that Reflect The Outer-Rim
This key feature should be obvious right from the name of the game. The player character, Kay Vess, is meant to be a scoundrel and an outlaw. To importantly reflect this aspect of the character and on a bigger scale the game, Star Wars: Outlaws must include several different factions to interact with. Of course, Ubisoft has stated that Syndicates will be a part of the game. However, this is just the start.
To importantly capture the feeling of being in the Outer Rim as a scoundrel, players should be able to interact with some iconic Star Wars factions. For instance, players should be able to meet with bounty hunters, smugglers, and other less-than-above-board characters. By having players be able to interact with characters of these professions the game will further make the galaxy come alive.
These unsavory characters not only bring the game’s worlds to life but they work to separate it from the well-known tales of the Jedi. Importantly, Jedi: Survivor shows fans that there are more Jedi stories to be told. However, Outlaws is not one of those stories. It’s important that the game strays away from the Jedi vs Sith endeavors of other stories and instead focuses on a story that is indifferent to them.
Instead, the game needs to let players meet some of the other famous groups of the galaxy. Let the game be its own individualistic story.
The Galactic Civil War As Background
In a similar vein as the last point, the game needs to ensure that it uses the Galactic Civil War as a background, not as a main driving force. This is to say, that the presence of the Empire should exist. Yet, it should only exist as a looming shadow. The game needs to take a show not tell approach to the impact the Empire has on the Outer Rim.
The focus of Kay Vess’ story needs to have the Empire as a background player. She’s a scoundrel, not a rebel fighter. Though her various underworld activities will sometimes bring her up against the Empire, the game needs to be sure to include other factions as the main antagonists. By including different and far more antagonists, Outlaws distances itself from other Star Wars games as well as the Skywalker Saga.
Gadgets and Progression
Existing in an open world means that players will need a way to grow their character. Though it may appear obvious, players want something to work towards skill-wise and things to spend their credits on. Of course, this can range from ship upgrades, to speeder-bike modifications. Furthermore, the possibilities continue to open up with the ideas of cosmetics for Kay as well as weapons and other tools that players can buy to change their playstyle or make their journey with Kay unique.
Additionally, including skills that players can level up as they adventure across different planets offers even more incentive to explore and complete missions. By including these types of skills in some form of RPG leveling system, Outlaws would be able to allow players to choose their unique playstyle. Perhaps one skill tree could focus more on fighting with blasters, one could focus on flying or vehicles, and another could contain stealth and hacking.
The ability to purchase new items and choose skills allows players to define their own Star Wars experience.
Easy on the Cameos
If Outlaws goes the way of many Star Wars IPs it may feature some cameos from other established characters. However, if the game chooses to include some, it should try to choose characters that are more removed from the Skywalker Saga. By doing this, Star Wars: Outlaws can truly stand on its own as a separate entity from other Star Wars stories.
Including well-known cameos like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett may be exciting. Yet, they only serve to make the galaxy feel so much smaller. It makes the player, existing fan or newcomer, question why everyone in this vast galaxy knows one another. However, this isn’t to say that the game can’t throw in a few famous faces.
If Outlaws is to use some famous Star Wars characters though, they should use some who rarely get the spotlight. It would be great to see characters like IG-88, Bossk, Dr. Aphra, or others make an appearance. Including characters like these allows the game to provide some fan service while at the same time, making the galaxy feel vast enough to make Kay Vess’ story a separate entity.