It wasn’t Star Wars: Battlefront 3. It wasn’t a new X-Wing Alliance. It wasn’t even a new Jedi Knight or Rogue Squadron. What we did get from LucasArts at E3 2012 was a brand new IP within the Star Wars universe that unlike the last few games in the brand, aimed to offer an experience that can compete with the best the industry has to offer. That game is Star Wars 1313 and when myself and another Game Ranter sat down inside of a little mock-up space ship for the behind-closed-doors demo we were happily impressed, so much so that we nominated Star Wars 1313 in our E3 awards.
LucasArts is bringing their in-development Star Wars title to Cologne, Germany for this year’s Gamescom event and as such, they’ve launched the very first Star Wars 1313 gameplay trailer.
The trailer, above, highlights much of what we saw at E3 2012, where the lines between cinematic and actual gameplay are blurred. Seemingly drawing from elements of the Uncharted series with third-person, set-piece focus action sequences highlighted by beautiful visuals, Star Wars 1313 brings prospective players to the underbelly of Coruscant, the most overpopulated and busy planet in the Star Wars universe, for a story involving a criminal conspiracy. Throw in platforming and lasers too.
The game’s story remains largely a mystery, as does its protagonists, but we do know it’s being developed internally at LucasArts, who are taking advantage of what Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound can all offer to the production. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a large focus of our demo was on the behind-the-scenes development going into realizing the game’s characters, with a special focus on motion capture relating to facial recognition.
Star Wars games once sat regularly at the top of the most anticipated and award lists year after year back in the day, and we hope Star Wars 1313 (“the darker, grittier Star Wars”) is able to bring the franchise back to where it belongs among multiplatform action games and hopefully this paves the way for the return of some of our other favorite franchises from LucasArts.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.