Any fan of Star Wars knows that the architecture and style of every planet’s surface and settlements say much about the people who inhabit them, from the leafy treehouses of the forest moon of Endor to the subterranean abodes of Tatooine moisture farmers. With Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic, the spiraling towers of stone and glass hold a splendor and majesty in keeping with the figures who inhabit them, shaping the lives of nearly every galactic citizen.
But that’s just the surface. As one descends into the inner levels of Coruscant, the lack of sunlight and clean air reflect the dark and dirty business done in the core of the Republic’s crown jewel. A world of corruption, crime, and gunmen willing to hunt down and eliminate targets, provided the price is right. It is here that Star Wars 1313 is set, and the newest developer diary gives a sense of just how different this world will be from the franchise’s most famous locales.
Unfortunately, the new Star Wars 1313 video, titled ‘Descent to the Underworld’ doesn’t offer much gameplay footage besides what was shown in the last impressive extended trailer. However, every bit of information from the developers at LucasArts about what their artistic direction or intentions happen to be is welcome. And while the dark criminal underworld of Level 1313 won’t be as polished or shiny as Coruscant’s bright exterior, the size and scale of the environments will still place the game squarely in the Star Wars saga.
With the developers describing the city on Level 1313 as a sprawl on both the top and bottom of the space, populated with ‘grunge’ and ‘filth,’ it seems the storytellers on the team will have plenty of opportunity to create some compelling fiction and traversal elements, not to mention unique design. As a combination between the Las Vegas strip and the ‘other side of the tracks,’ an open world game allowing players to explore at their own will once again confirms that Star Wars 1313 is still a long way off.
It’s been a while since Star Wars fans who happen to game have had a blockbuster to look forward to (in the non-MMO space, anyway) so that’s no need to stifle excitement.
Obviously expectations will be running high, thanks to not just the visual fidelity of everything that’s been shown of the game, but the impressions of those who have seen it first-hand. A science-fiction setting setting populated with intense action and morally ambiguous characters and decisions is something that BioWare has turned into a successful franchise, so one bearing the ‘Star Wars’ name should do even better. That’s provided that those making the game take the task seriously, which to this point does seem to be one of the team’s priorities.
After the meltdown, layoffs and axed game projects within LucasArts over the past few years, the developer made promises that the next Star Wars games would be of a ‘higher quality.’ Skepticism at the time was warranted, but if Star Wars 1313 is a sign of the company’s new dedication to earning customer dollars, then the tide could be turning for the franchise.
We won’t know for sure until Star Wars 1313 releases (whenever the next generation of consoles decides to come along), but at least LucasArts and ILM are aiming high with the first of hopefully many new triple-A Star Wars titles.
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