HomePC GameStar Wars Outlaws aims to be the Han Solo simulator we’ve always...

Star Wars Outlaws aims to be the Han Solo simulator we’ve always wanted

As I walked down the steps of the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, the situation of Ubisoft’s Star Wars Outlaws demo occasion at Summer time Recreation Fest 2024, my accompanying PR particular person requested me the query I’m certain she requested each reporter who walked down these stairs together with her: “Do you want Star Wars?” A easy query, and but a weirdly arduous one for me personally to reply in 2024. Andor was a revelation, but I nonetheless style the ash of The Rise of Skywalker in my mouth. And so, once I answered “sure,” I compelled my mind backward into remembering why I had ever preferred Star Wars within the first place.

As a toddler, the Harrison Ford fantasy-adventure motion pictures that performed time and again in my family have been not Star Wars; they have been Indiana Jones. For that motive, when my 12-year-old self lastly noticed Star Wars — beforehand ignored within the Myers household family — I used to be flabbergasted. I already thought I had seen the best potential Harrison Ford character, and but right here was Han Solo, who was so a lot cooler that he destroyed my whole barometer for coolness. All future “cool” characters would hereby be measured towards him.

As I informed this well mannered, most likely bored PR individual that story, I noticed I used to be summarizing how tough of a state of affairs Star Wars Outlaws really faces. Imitating Han Solo’s coolness isn’t any small feat, and Solo: A Star Wars Story sadly confirmed how tough it’s for someone who isn’t Harrison Ford to tug off something near his alchemical coolness components. At this level, the entire concept of an open-world Star Wars recreation through which you play as a Han Solo sort is the pipe dream that dorks like me have been claiming they need for years (and it even nearly occurred as soon as). Which means the stakes are even greater — and the couple of trailers we’ve seen for the sport have made it look tremendous, however not nice.

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Now that I’ve performed three 30-minute chunks of Star Wars Outlaws, I’ve some hope that developer Large Leisure can really pull this off.

Kay Vess’ ship in Star Wars Outlaws, the Trailblazer, engaged in a dogfight with a TIE fighter

Picture: Large Leisure/Ubisoft

When the demo loaded up, the introductory display promised me “scoundrel gameplay,” a hilarious phrase that admittedly acquired me into the proper mindset. The primary sequence began in an Imperial base, the place heroine Kay Vess and her tiny little alien good friend Nix are sneaking round. Nix serves the same gameplay perform to the droid companion BD-1 within the Star Wars Jedi video games, however has the identical lax ethical code and ride-or-die BFF sensibilities as Chewbacca.

A bit of blue round indicator would seem on display any time I may name on Nix for assist, both to distract an enemy or to select up a beneficial merchandise for me. From second considered one of seeing Nix fling his tiny physique at a stormtrooper’s face, I fell in love with my badass little buddy. I then took benefit of just about each second that I presumably may to name upon Nix, because it was loads cuter to look at him scamper round choosing up objects for me than to stroll over and do it myself. Nix is just not precisely a powerhouse in fight given his measurement, in fact, however he can actually throw off dangerous guys and seize well being packs.

It’s potential I may have snuck my well past this primary part, however I’m about nearly as good at that as Han Solo could be (“I desire a straight struggle to all this sneaking round,” as he says). So by the point I reached the station’s docking bay, I had triggered a shootout with Imperial forces. As soon as my very own starship arrived to bail me out, I ran proper previous the laser hearth onto it and flew out of there with the Empire on my heels. Then it was time for some dogfighting. I dispatched a few TIE fighters and flew over to a communications satellite tv for pc, which I then hacked to clear my “needed” standing in order that the Empire wouldn’t carry on chasing me round. Mission full.

in a screenshot from Star Wars Outlaws, Kay and her little alien pet Nix dash away from the viewer, both in partial silhouette, as she fires a grappling hook toward a pole; in the background there’s a massive reactor

Picture: Large Leisure/Ubisoft

The second 30-minute chunk appeared to take much more important inspiration from the Star Wars Jedi video games, which have their fair proportion of parkour-based environmental puzzles. Earlier than that bit started, I did get to take a look at a extra densely populated hub space the place I may see query marks on the waypoint marker on the prime of the display and overhear conversations with NPCs that most likely may have led to aspect quests. As soon as I acquired to the place Kay was informed to go, I discovered an excuse for some parkour and platforming, as Kay took a cue from Nathan Drake (you recognize, the different character impressed by a Harrison Ford efficiency).

Individuals who hate seeing handy yellow paint on varied surfaces so as to have the ability to inform the place your character can climb is not going to be followers of this facet of Star Wars Outlaws, however as someone who will get misplaced in video games always, I appreciated it. Kay doesn’t have Jedi powers like Cal Kestis, however she has positively been to the identical mountaineering gymnasium or no matter. She additionally has a grappling hook, plus an electrical setting on her sidearm that lets her energy up elevators and different gadgets for puzzle-solving functions. Virtually this whole sequence was enemy-free platforming and exploring, climbing throughout varied hazards to flip switches. It was tremendous; you’ve performed one thing like this earlier than in any variety of third-person motion video games within the post-Uncharted panorama.

The third and last 30-minute phase of this demo was the place I actually acquired my scoundrel on. On this part, I used to be stealing an artifact — one which had apparently been beforehand stolen from another faction, to whom Kay supposed to return it. This sequence was way more clearly supposed to be a straight-up stealth mission, and I stayed undercover for at the very least the primary jiffy, creeping Samus-style by means of air shafts and doing silent takedowns of guards till considered one of them dropped a keycard I wanted. Quickly there weren’t as many enemies left, and I had seen some conveniently positioned explosive barrels, so I made a decision to go along with a full Han Solo-style shootout (with Nix’s assist, as common). This was considerably louder and much more enjoyable. After clearing out the room, I grabbed the artifact, then shot my method out of the remainder of the constructing.

As she walked, Kay had a enjoyable dialog over her communicator with considered one of her shipmates, a mysterious droid ally named ND-5. What I keep in mind concerning the dialog was Kay being mocked for assuming that by returning this artifact, she wouldn’t be presumed to be the unique thief herself. ND-5 informed me I must be “terrified.” Kay responded with the equal of “fuck it, we ball.” I didn’t get to see how the remainder of the scene performed out, however I actually preferred the entire heist setup, and the banter was refreshingly snappy.

Kay Vess, wearing snow gear, walks away from the viewer through a city on a snowy planet in Star Wars Outlaws

Picture: Large Leisure/Ubisoft

The very best factor concerning the “Han Solo simulator” idea is that you simply’re taking part in as a Star Wars character who doesn’t have loads of energy — no Jedi powers, clearly, but in addition no important social or structural energy. The precise energy fantasy right here is being a cool particular person with excessive charisma, as a result of that’s actually all you’ve acquired. Nicely, additionally a grappling hook and weirdly good parkour expertise, however you get the place I’m going with this. It’s a part of why Andor was an fascinating slice of the Star Wars pie; it was about common individuals, albeit common individuals who grew to become rebels quite than scumbags. It’s fascinating to see what the Star Wars universe appears to be like like at floor degree quite than from an epic space-opera vantage level — and that’s what an open-world Han Solo simulator may probably obtain, supplied it has some first rate story beats and good one-liners alongside the best way.

Primarily based on what I performed, whether or not you want this recreation will rely partially on whether or not you just like the Uncharted and Star Wars Jedi video games. And but, these aren’t open-world video games, and I didn’t get to see sufficient of the hubs or aspect quests to know if Star Wars Outlaws goes to be as sweeping and borderline overwhelming as another Ubisoft open-world video games have been (taking a look at you, Murderer’s Creed Odyssey).

The most important duty of all — being the Han Solo on the heart of the simulator in query — rests on Kay’s shoulders. I’m now very curious to see if she will be able to deal with that problem this Aug. 30 when Star Wars Outlaws is launched for PlayStation 5, Home windows PC, and Xbox Collection X.


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