Preview: "Star Wars 1313" Will be Unlike Any Star Wars Game You've Ever Played

Preview: "Star Wars 1313" Will be Unlike Any Star Wars Game You've Ever Played

Lucasarts wants everything about Star Wars 1313 to feel new. The studio is working with the greater Lucasarts family, including Lucasfilm and Industry Light and Magic, to realize a side of the Star Wars universe that no one has ever seen before. Ironically, the side they want to show is the universe's gritty underbelly: Trashy space slums have never looked this good.

Contrary to the rumors surrounding the game's announcement, the number "1313" doesn't necessarily refer to everyone's favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett. It's actually the game's setting: the most dangerous part of Star Wars city-planet Corrusant, level 1313. Players will take control of a yet-to-be-named bounty hunter, (so Mr. Fett still could be the star.) which takes a job that brings them to the Corrusant's literal underworld. (According to Star Wars lore, Corrusant has over 5000 levels - 1313 is pretty close to the planet's core.) What the job is, why the bounty hunter is there, and even what he looks like. (It's hard to believe, but the player-character in the demo we saw was a place-holder.)

In the past the Star Wars Universe has been so caught up in the battle between the philosophies of the Jedi, the struggle between pure good and pure evil. The characters we'll meet in 1313 don't operate under with such clear-cut morality. As a bounty hunter in one of the universe's seediest underbellies, most of the people we're going to meet will probably have less than honorable intentions.

Then again, the game's story isn't what's going to grab you're attention, at least initially. Star Wars 1313 is a truly next-gen game. It's being designed to play on machines with far more processing power than the PS3 or Xbox 360 have under the hood. The combined efforts of the greater Lucasfilm family have resulted in an incredibly detailed experience. The entire game is rendered in real-time. There is no discernible change in how the game looks when cutscenes end and gameplay begins. Lucasarts is using full performance capture - voice acting + motion capture + recording detailed facial expressions - to let the actors "playing" the characters express themselves naturally, using both the scripts and their bodies. In other words, Lucasarts is bridging the gap between making films and making games.

Though almost everything about the game screams "new", not everything in there is unfamiliar. The gameplay very reminiscent of the highly-stylized action of the Uncharted series. In the admittedly short section of gameplay shown, the action alternated between cover-based shooting and free-climbing, with plenty of QTE-filled sequences mixed in. It's too early to call the game Star Wars: Uncharted, but at the moment it seems like that's the direction the game is taking. 

If you're getting antsy waiting to find out what the next set of platforms will bring and what the next 5-7 years of games might look like, than consider Star Wars 1313 an early snapshot.

Tags: star-wars-1313, lucasarts, next-gen, e3-2012, preview
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