We Get a Taste of Smuggler Life in Star Wars Outlaws

Summary

  • We experience three distinct adventures in the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws.
  • Our hands-on demo gave us a taste of everything from scavenging to sneaking to starships.
  • Star Wars Outlaws is set for release on August 30, 2024, for Xbox Series X|S and is available for pre-order today on the Xbox Store.

Looking back on my recent hands-on time with Star Wars Outlaws – beyond the awesome space battle, sneaking through an enemy base, or trying to navigate my way through the wreck of a battered starship — one of the things I was most impressed by was what the game wasn’t having me do: Pick up a lightsaber.

It has been a good long while since we last had a single-player Star Wars game that veered away from the power of the Force. So, it’s refreshing when we, as players, are given a chance to live out another facet of such a tremendous galaxy that is seemingly always bursting full of adventure. Star Wars Outlaws is poised to deliver on that fantasy and more.

My recent hands-on demo prior to Ubisoft Forward was broken up into three distinct sections, giving me a taste of what the greater adventure will hold. It also gave me a better sense of how much of a badass Kay Vess is. She exudes the quintessential Star Wars smuggler traits of a brash, bold, charming, and confident character that is trying to make their way through the galaxy day by day. I was a fan the instant she was introduced on the game’s announcement last year; now I’m fully on board and can’t wait to play more of her adventure in a few months.

From what I’ve experienced so far, these adventures will take place in some truly breathtaking environments. Intricate details can be found top to bottom in every place I explored, from dusty cantinas, gigantic starship wrecks, snowy villages on the edge of the galaxy, and bustling space ports. Graphically, I’d say it’s on par with – if not better – than the excellent Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

I also got a better idea on how some of the platforming and exploration elements will play out. In one of the chapters, The Wreck, Kay Vess is tasked with exploring the husk of a giant starship, with the goal of powering up its generator to access the bridge and obtain some intel from its computer system. Exploring this massive ship involved some light puzzle work, exploration, and lots of climbing along marked grates and shimmies across pillars. And of course, some death-defying jumps across platforms that required some precise timing with a grappling hook to save Kay’s hide.

One of the elements I really liked here was that if you should ever lose your way, you can always ask the adorable, armadillo-like Nix. Beyond being cute as heck, Nix’s power allows enemies and objectives to be temporarily highlighted, helping you find your way through a level or sneak past enemies. Despite my best efforts, however, I was always quickly detected which would then kick off a firefight.

Combat feels solid, between throwing a punch and blasting enemies, everything feels fluid and responsive. Kay’s unique blaster features three modes: Plasma (lethal), Ion (droids), and Stun (non-lethal). She also has a focus-like ability that slows down time and lets you mark a handful of enemies, letting her rattle off a series of shots as time returns to normal.

She can also pick up any weapon that falls to the ground from defeated foes to use against them, but won’t retain it in her inventory, dropping it once it has served its purpose. I like the decision here because it grounds the game a bit in Star Wars’ reality – there’s no magic backpack that lets you stockpile a variety of weapons. So, expect to lean in on Kay’s blaster for most of these firefights.

Another one of Kay’s traits that was on display during this demo was her slicing abilities, which manifest themselves as mini-games, one for doors and another for computer consoles. To crack the lock on a door, you’ll be given a pulse cue, and you need to follow that up with the appropriate trigger presses to get by. As for computers, it’s like a hybrid version of a matching memory game, where you need to find the right sequence of shapes to break in.

Finally, we got behind the controls of the Trailblazer, Kay’s personal starship which is like a slimmed down Millenium Falcon. Space combat here felt like something closer to what you’d find in Starfield, but not quite as intense as say Star Wars: Squadrons. It was only one brief battle against a couple of TIE Fighters, and the auto-tracking felt a tad too easy for me personally, but that’s understandable considering you want every feature of a game of this scale to be as accessible to as many players as possible. This was just a snippet against a couple of measly TIEs, and there could be larger, more involved space battles later in the game, so I look forward to seeing more of this aspect on release.

In all, I came away very impressed with the current state of Star Wars Outlaws. It takes an incredibly talented development team like Massive Entertainment to pull something off like this, where they’re blending single-player narrative, platforming, adventure, and space combat – it’s the all-encompassing Star Wars adventure that I’ve been waiting for. Thankfully, that wait isn’t too much longer as Star Wars Outlaws is set for release on August 30, 2024, for Xbox Series X|S.

Xbox Live

Star Wars Outlaws

UBISOFT

6
$69.99
Pre-order now and receive the Kessel Runner Bonus Pack including cosmetics for your speeder and the Trailblazer starship!* Experience the first-ever open world Star Wars™ action-adventure game and explore distinct locations across the galaxy, both iconic and new. Risk it all as scoundrel Kay Vess, seeking freedom and the means to start a new life. Fight, steal, and outwit your way through the galaxy’s crime syndicates as you join the galaxy’s most wanted. If you’re willing to take the risk, the galaxy is full of opportunity. DISCOVER A GALAXY OF OPPORTUNITY Explore distinct locations with bustling cities and cantinas. Race across sprawling outdoor landscapes on your speeder. Each location brings new adventures, unique challenges, and enticing rewards if you’re willing to take the risk. EXPERIENCE AN ORIGINAL SCOUNDREL STORY Live the high-stakes lifestyle of an outlaw. Turn any situation to your advantage with Nix by your side: fight with your blaster, overcome enemies with stealth and gadgets, or find the right moments to distract enemies and gain the upper hand. EMBARK ON HIGH-STAKES MISSIONS Take on high-risk, high-reward missions from the galaxy’s crime syndicates. Steal valuable goods, infiltrate secret locations, and outwit enemies as one of the galaxy’s most wanted. Every choice you make influences your ever-changing reputation. JUMP INTO THE PILOT SEAT Pilot your ship, the Trailblazer, as you engage in thrilling dogfights with the Empire and other foes. Find the right opportunities to chase, evade, and attack to get the upper hand. *Offer, content, and dates subject to change.