It’s official, a brand new game franchise in the Star Wars universe is here, and it is, unsurprisingly, Star Wars 1313. While some connections between the name and the bounty hunter profession have been proven to be accurate – you will be playing a bounty hunter – the game seems to be a bit of a departure from previous Star Wars titles.
We’ve known that something bearing the title Star Wars 1313 was on its way, since the term was trademarked out of the blue, and then prematurely confirmed to be the next new game from LucasArts. But exactly what it would be, and who it would cater to was never clear.
Now we can put some of those questions to rest, as the first in-depth information on the project was revealed on GameTrailers TV. The player will be one of many bounty hunters on the 1,313 level of Coruscant, the Republic capitol. While the main character’s identity (possibly a young Boba Fett learning the trade?) and the game’s plot are being kept under wraps, we do know that it will be a third-person action title, and much darker in tone than fans are used to.
LucasArts’ Lead Artist Dave Smith explains the backdrop of 1313:
“It’s the worst of the worst of the Star Wars galaxy brought together in one place. You’ve got crime, you’ve got gangs, you’ve got bounty hunters, you’ve got treachery, intrigue. All of these more mature themes that we haven’t really explored.”
The “over-the-shoulder” camera view is one that gamers will immediately be familiar with, especially in more cinematic and set-piece games like Uncharted or Gears of War. Not surprising, with members of development from both LucasArts and ILM claiming those will be important aspects of this game’s narrative.
A strong emphasis on facial animations was also shown, with character renders that were comparable to those seen with The Force Unleashed. Whether those are the same quality in the actual gameplay or pre-rendered cutscenes isn’t clear, but the extremely brief images of the game do show a much darker, more realistic style. In other words, much closer to the actual film’s aesthetic than The Old Republic or Clone Wars.
The last few years have been anything but uplifting for fans of Star Wars who also happened to be console gamers. The Old Republic has opened up a massive universe for PC gamers, but after The Force Unleashed‘s promising start was quickly axed, and a practically-completed Battlefront 3 was canned, the momentum faded.
From what’s been shown so far, Star Wars 1313 might be one of the first games to be pursuing the “high quality game” standard that LucasArts claimed was the goal going forward.
More information has been promised for Star Wars 1313 at E3 2012, so count on us to bring it to you. What are your thoughts on the basic premise and attitude that’s been shown? Think is the right time for Star Wars to put its name on a mature property?
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.