Star Wars 1313 preview

Bounty hunters in the Stars Wars universe are nothing new, but playing one without have to worry about Jedi or the Force? Sacrilege, you say? LucasArts doesn't think so.


QUICKTAKE: LucasArts' next foray into the Star Wars universe is bringing together experts from the LucasFilm family of companies to create the gritty, seedy underworld of level 1313 on Coruscant. Players will take on the role of a bounty hunter in the underground metropolis where there are no Jedi and there is no Force. For the first time, a LucasArts game will deal with a mature theme with more sinister characters and more shades of grey. However you spin it, the game should have plenty of action.

THE DEMO: Two bounty hunters board an old transport to descend into the seedy levels below Coruscant. The destination is level 1313, where the characters are supposedly on the trail of another bounty, with one prize already contained in a cargo pod. As the two banter back and forth during the descent, the scene shifts to a ship coming down above them, manned with what appears to be a hunter-killer droid and a team of mercenaries ready for a fight. The droid leaps from the ship with a cable attached to his waist and lands heavily on the bounty hunters' craft. They are alerted just as an explosion blows through the back of the craft, knocking them down.

A firefight ensues, with control finally being given to the player. The mercenaries are dispatched, but not before the droid has escaped with the cargo pod. The more grizzled bounty hunter appears to tire of the battle and tosses one of the mercenaries into an escape pod with a grenade, and launches the pod at the enemy ship that is now below them to retrieve the cargo and crew. The ensuing explosion cripples both ships and the bounty hunters jump down to continue the fight to get the bounty back.

DETAILS: This is the first time where the subsidiaries of LucasFilm have come together to work on a game. Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and LucasFilm Animation have come together with LucasArts to put a realistic look and feel to an admittedly mature look at the Star Wars universe. A video was shown describing the performance capture of the actors and how it was being implemented into the game, and how important the real-time rendering was to lend more reality to the action. But the developers made it clear that they won't use in-game cut scenes when player-controlled action will work just as well when it matters most.

The bounty hunter has intrigued gamers because of all the weapons and gadgets. And since bounty hunters tend to operate outside the law, the ruthless underworld of Coruscant seemed like a natural setting for the developers. There are no Jedi, there is no Force, and players can expect to see more sinister characters offering choices in shades of grey, rather than the traditional black and white of most Star Wars games and movies of the past.

The demo was created to show the team's dedication to two principles: platforming and action. The PC demo focused on an early part of the game. So as not to reveal the hero, LucasArts used a placeholder character to represent one of the bounty hunters. Not much more was revealed about the game, but the initial look is promising. After the debacle that was Force Unleashed 2 and Kinect Star Wars, the company has a lot riding on the quality of the game and they appear to not be holding much back in its development, at least in the early stages.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 6, 2012 6:00 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Star Wars 1313 preview.

    Bounty hunters in the Stars Wars universe are nothing new, but playing one without have to worry about Jedi or the Force? Sacrilege, you say? LucasArts doesn't think so.

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      June 7, 2012 7:58 AM

      Looks good.

      But then the two force unleashed games should have been amazing and weren't. 1st was good but rough and the second should have been a home run and they managed to go backwards!

      Hopefully lesson learned for this game.

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      June 7, 2012 8:35 AM

      I'm wondering about the requirements. This has to be a next fen game with all of the lighting and particle effects going on. I'd be almost certain this thing is running on at least dual 670s to make sure there are no hiccups. I know this game is at least a year out, but you have to wonder how much they'll have to sacrifice to put this on consoles.

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        June 7, 2012 3:05 PM

        It's still the Unreal Engine. TFU2 was amazing looking and wasn't that demanding, so it shouldn't be too bad provided they don't do a shitty PC port. The PC version of TFU2 was WAY better than Aspyr's(?) shitty port.

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      June 7, 2012 8:43 AM

      As long as they maintain player control as much as possible, I think it looks awesome. What I worry about is lots of shoot-outs like the first video interspersed with cinematics.

      Getting away from the Force in Star Wars is a really good idea, too.

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      June 7, 2012 8:55 AM

      So what exactly was so bad about the force unleashed 2? The only complaint I had is that it was far too short.

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        June 7, 2012 10:25 AM

        Oh lets see, simplistic level design, uneven frame rate throughout entire game, crashing, bad story, I could go on.

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      June 7, 2012 9:15 AM

      So this one isn't PC?

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        June 7, 2012 9:36 AM

        The PC demo focused on an early part of the game

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          June 7, 2012 10:49 AM

          yes, however there is no mention of a PC release planned, im just making sure someone didn't just use a PC based demo to suck people in with the graphics potential, and then just not release a pc version.

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      June 7, 2012 9:54 AM

      I hate that there are magazines for guns in games where they don't make sense just for the sake of having a reload mechanic. MassEffect 2 and 3 are the worst offenders. They go so far as to establish lore in the first game about why you don't need to reload and even have a good working mechanic for it, only to throw it out the window for the sequels.

      I'm looking at a guy have ammo capacity for an energy based weapon when it makes no sense for it to be there. They have ballistic weaponry in the Star Wars universe. If you want to have me reload because the game plays better with the mechanic don't give a gun that shoots frickin' lasers. It's so stupid.

      My rant aside, this is still the most interesting Star Wars game I've seen in a long time.

      "Mac, I'm out of power" *Slides him a Duracell*

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        June 7, 2012 10:44 AM

        Well, it works if the power source is a battery that only has so many "charges" before it's useless.

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        June 7, 2012 10:52 AM

        So what do you think people do when their energy-based weapon's battery runs out? Not swap out the pack? Or are you saying you want a "bars left" indicator, which ultimately is still based on shots fired and really doesn't remove reloading?

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          June 7, 2012 4:55 PM

          How many times in a Star Wars movie do you ever see someone replace their battery? Outside of that Energizer commercial, how many times did Vader's light saber fail to burst to life to deal some dark side destruction.

          Even the sound effects of him slapping fresh juice sounds like someone reloading a gun from Call of Duty. Loading in a battery doesn't sound like that. I just see it as they got lazy. They could have went with a recharge bar like the first Mass Effect or heaven forbid come up with a new mechanic that we haven't seen before. They took the lazy approach.

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          June 7, 2012 5:02 PM

          I'd be much more willing to accept bars remaining than a hard number like ammo.

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        June 7, 2012 10:54 AM

        I honestly do not understand the appeal of forcing magazines on people in games that don't need it. What was the point of doing that in ME2?

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          June 7, 2012 11:05 AM

          They say 'it was needed for balance and pacing' but... I don't remember much pacing or balance in ME2. I remember a lot of companions being dumb (especially the weaker ones like Tali) and the obnoxious weapon switching that was required whenever I'd run out of ammo instead of allowing me to use my one or two favorites.

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      June 7, 2012 10:26 AM

      These videos have me fairly impressed and intrigued.

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        June 7, 2012 10:57 AM

        It looks even better in person. My PC would choke on what they showed, it is pretty crazy. I think they're targeting next-gen consoles and a PC spec that won't be common for a few years.

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      June 7, 2012 10:35 AM

      I'm all over this

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      June 7, 2012 10:40 AM

      Looks good

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      June 7, 2012 11:07 AM

      It's Dark Forces 2012.

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        June 7, 2012 11:27 AM

        oh man i hope so. But no jedi powers is kind of a bummer.

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          June 7, 2012 6:01 PM

          that's the point, dark forces was a straight up FPS. no jedi/force stuff.

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      June 7, 2012 11:24 AM

      I wonder if it uses Euphoria and DMM

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      June 7, 2012 12:22 PM