Star Wars Outlaws, Ubisoft’s expansive open-world game set in the galaxy far, far away, was briefly known to be eyeing a ‘late 2024′ release window, as per a recent Disney Parks blog. That has since been corrected to reflect a general timespan this year, with the publisher confirming to Kotaku that the timing was incorrectly displayed. First revealed during an Xbox Showcase last year, the title is set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi movies, and introduces Kay Vess, a space scoundrel with a bounty on her head after botching up a job. Joining her on the crusade is the adorable axolotl-like alien Nix, performing certain actions at your command — akin to the BD-1 droid from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
“This is a character who is just trying to get by—stealing, outwitting and conning folks,” Narrative Director Navid Khavari told Kotaku in an interview. “I would love for folks playing the game to really get a sense of what it might feel like to step into the underworld.” It’s a time when the oppressive Empire is ruling the galaxy tightly and warding off the Rebellion, forming a ‘power vacuum’ that allows the underworld to make the best of the opportunity — with Kay and Nix taking on risky contracts and interacting with crime syndicates to build up their reputation. This is reportedly Star Wars Outlaws’ faction system, opening ways to new questlines and changing relationship status based on prior interactions. For now, it’s unclear whether players will be able to join as many factions as they want in a single playthrough, but Jabba the Hut is confirmed to be one of the quest-givers.
Developer Massive Entertainment unveiled the gameplay footage for Star Wars Outlaws last year, revealing that the protagonist Kay doesn’t have any Jedi powers, forcing her to rely on her trusty blasters or pick up any weapons lying around to make quick work of enemies. Meanwhile, traversal is largely dependent on a hovering motorcycle that’s equipped with a nitrous booster for a quick push and the ability to slow down time and target enemies with bullets, similar to the Dead Eye skill from Red Dead Redemption 2.
As for interplanetary exploration, Ubisoft claims that players will be able to freely travel around in their ‘Trailblazer’ ship and ping-pong between planets. I desperately hope this isn’t similar to Starfield, where exploration largely revolved around fast travels and staring at a loading screen. Players might often bump into dogfights and just like most RPGs, going off the beaten path will yield special rewards. Activities will be divided smoothly across three gameplay experiences — dense cities littered with NPCs, shops, and cantinas; massive open-world environments like the deserts of Tatooine; and the vast outer space.
Star Wars Outlaws is still slated to release sometime in 2024, across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.