The Games of 2024: Star Wars Outlaws

Why be a hero when you can be a scoundrel instead?

DEVELOPER Massive Entertainment
PLATFORMS Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

With at least three new movies on the horizon, a veritable flood of series coming to Disney+, and an ever-expanding universe of books, comics, and games, we may finally be hitting peak Star Wars. So what better time is there for the arrival of the first ever open-world action game set in a galaxy far, far away?

Out next year from Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment, Star Wars Outlaws follows a new character, Kay Vess, as she seeks to pull off one of the biggest heists in the history of the Outer Rim and start a new life.

Outlaws is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, meaning Kay’s adventure will coincide with the height of the Galactic Civil War. It’s a time of great peril, but also the perfect era to make plenty of credits if you’ve got guts and flexible morals.

Kay’s journey will take her across the seedy underbelly of the galaxy, as she crosses paths with the Empire and several criminal syndicates, including some familiar to fans and others newly created for the game.

So far, Ubisoft has confirmed four explorable locations: the iconic desert world of Tatooine; Kijimi, a snowy planet first seen in The Rise of Skywalker; Akiva, a jungle world first created for the 2015 novel Aftermath; and Toshara, an original moon full of windswept canyons. Judging by some of the released footage, we may also be headed to Cantonica, Kay’s homeworld and the site of casino city Canto Bight, as seen in The Last Jedi. Being an open-world game, each planet will have its own wide map to explore, with a single world comparable in size, Ubisoft has said, to two of the regions in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

While on the surface of planets, Kay will have access to iconic speeder bikes, good not just for closing the distances but also for high speed chases and mounted combat. And to keep the open-world feel alive even while planet hopping, Kay will also be able to seamlessly fly to and from orbit in her ship, the Trailblazer, engaging in dogfights and jumping to lightspeed to cross the galaxy.

Kay won’t be alone on her quest, either. So far, we know for certain that she’ll have at least two important allies, both of who fill classic Star Wars roles. First is ND-5, a reprogrammed Clone Wars–era commando droid, ticking the boxes for both “droid companion” and “hulking co-pilot.” Second is Nix, a little creature called a Merqaal who resembles a furry axolotl. That sets Outlaws up to easily satisfy the franchise’s “cute, cuddly, and merchandisable” requirement—you know, Grogu, porgs, Ewoks, Lobot, et cetera.

Surprisingly, Nix isn’t just there to look adorable, either. He’ll actually play a role during gameplay, with Kay able to issue commands and have him flip switches, distract guards, or retrieve weapons. It’s a neat touch that helps to compensate for the fact that, unlike many Star Wars game protagonists, Kay isn’t a force user, just a regular, non-powered scoundrel. While she’ll be able to make use of stealth tactics and some gadgets like a grappling hook, she primarily uses blasters in combat, with access to both pistols and rifles.

All told, Star Wars Outlaws is shaping up to be an ambitious project that offers something different from the franchise’s other games—both in its grand scope and its focus on the shadier side of the universe. As you get ready to embark on this new adventure, just remember: Always shoot first.

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