Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Star Wars 1313

So, LucasArts is coming out with a new Star Wars video game. It is called "Star Wars 1313".

The official blurb on the game is as follows:

"LucasArts is diving into the most dangerous depths of the Star Wars criminal underworld with their newly announced internally developed videogame franchise, Star Wars 1313. Players will take control of a lethal bounty hunter in the never-before-explored expanses of Level 1313, deep below the surface of Coruscant. Using an arsenal of exotic weaponry to hunt down marks, the player must also uncover the truth surrounding a criminal conspiracy in this third-person cinematic action adventure game. It's a bold new take on the Star Wars galaxy, intended for mature audiences.

Star Wars 1313 emphasizes epic set pieces and fast-paced combat with a mortal, well-equipped hero who cannot rely on supernatural powers to survive his dangerous environment. The game benefits from an integrated development approach that brings together artists from across the entire Lucasfilm organization, including LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation Ltd. and Skywalker Sound."

A few things about this...

First of all, I'm pretty sure that 1313 is (also) in reference to Boba Fett, who (as a youth) used the alias CT-1313. So, if I had to hazard a guess, you'll be playing as Boba Fett, though perhaps before he was widely known. This is just a guess, however... we'll see.

Second of all, I applaud the idea of  a Star Wars game where you can (finally) play as something other than a Jedi Knight. I have long championed the idea that Star Wars (at least the original trilogy) was not ALL about the Jedi. I'm betting the number of folks who love Han and Boba Fett greatly outnumber the Anakin and Luke fans. And yet this has been almost entirely ignored by every Star Wars game, from Knights of the Old Republic to the Jedi Knight series to the execrable Force Unleashed. Okay, so maybe Kyle Katarn did use blasters and the like, but only until he developed his Force powers. About the only true exception to this has been those segments of the "Old Republic" MMO where you can play as a trooper, spy, bounty hunter, smuggler, etc. Its about time that some attention be given to the REST of the Star Wars universe.

That being said, the whole 'lethal bounty hunter' and 'intended for mature audiences' thing gives me bad vibes. They're going for a dark, edgy Star Wars. me, Star Wars just isn't dark and edgy, and if you make it that way, it aint Star Wars anymore. But then, dark and edgy and mature is what all the 12-year-old gamers demand these days, right? I'm going to be disappointed (but not surprised) if the 'hero' of this game turns out to be an anti-hero. I don't mind a more 'gritty' hero (like Han Solo), but wouldn't it be nice if you could decide for yourself if you're gonna be a 'hero' or an 'anti-hero', instead of having the 'cool' option forced on you?

I also have a few qualms about the statement that the game will take place on level 1313 on Coruscant. To me, that suggests a single planetary location. I hope they don't limit it to just that- not in a wide-open universe like Star Wars. While I realize you can have a variety of different looks and settings on a planet as epic as Coruscant, I think it also flows against the Star Wars 'feel' to confine yourself to just one place.

As far as the 'shooter' aspect goes- I happen to like shooter games, so I'm okay with the whole idea of one set in a Star Wars universe. But truth be told, I would have MUCH preferred to see that implemented in a Battlefront 3 rather than this game. In fact, with the success of so many FPS games today, you'd think a Star Wars version- one fans have been clamoring for for years- would be a no-brainer. But what do I know. I'm only their target audience.

And finally, on a note of optimism, I hope that this game DOES do well, and that my concerns about it are unfounded. Why? Because maybe the producers will see that a Star Wars game WITHOUT the Jedi as the primary focus can sell. Maybe some day this will lead them to make a game I would KILL to play- a sandboxy, RPG Star Wars Smuggler game. Dude, seriously that would rock.