E3 2012: Star Wars 1313 (impressions)

by: Chuck -
I'm not sure what to make of Star Wars 1313 as the 30 minute presentation from Lucasarts was very heavy on details about how the game was being made but very light on details about the actual game.  We did learn that the entire Lucas family of companies is working on the game so there's no shortage of artistic and technical talent behind the game but part of me does wonder who is going to be shoe-horning all of that awesome content into the game and turning it into something fun to play as Lucas gutted their development studios after they finished The Force Unleashed II.    
 
I'm not trying to be negative here but rather I'm trying to manage my expectations a bit as the game looks amazing.  It's hard to tell if what we saw is what will make it into the final product of if it's just a pretty tech demo.   At this point Lucas isn't even revealing which platforms the game is coming out on other than it will be coming out for the PC.  Combining that fact with a lack of  a release date makes me think the title will becoming to next generation consoles when they are released.
 
After getting insight into the all star team of developers we learned about the new Performance Capture system which not only captures the physical movements of the actors but their facial expressions as well.  It's a neat system that really adds another level of realism to the games.
 
Getting back to  the game, Star Wars 1313 is set in in the period between the two Star Wars trilogies and takes place on Coruscant's level 1313, thousands of levels below the surface of the planet.  Level 113 seems to be the planet's Mos Eisley as it's where all of the crime happens and where criminals seem to congregate.  The game is going to the first mature themed Star Wars game which is a bit of a different tact from the Star Wars norm of family friendly fare. 
 
The short gameplay footage we saw didn't show any of these mature themes off though as it followed two possible bounty hunters as they transported something of creature down to level 1313.  Lucas is tight lipped on the names of the characters and the two fellows we saw in the demo today are placeholders.  The transport they are on is almost immediately attacked and boarded which  is where the gameplay picks up.    
 
The demo showed some nice cover based combat as you fended off the attacker.  From what I could tell it looks like the guns have a stun capability as well as a kill shot as the developers froze some of the attackers with a blue bolt and then finished them off with a red blaster shot.  Once the initial attack is defeated the combat moves to the attacking ship and we got some glimpses of the platforming part of the game as our hero had to move up the side of a freighter that was beginning to fall apart.  We got to see him hurdle across a few gaps and move along the side of the ship which was very similar to the first level of Enslaved mixed with the train level from Uncharted 2 and that was it. 
 
As you can see from the images below the game looks fantastic but we saw so little of the game that it was really hard to figure out what kind of game it's going to be.  Is it going to be a deep, thematic Dark Forces type game or another shallow Star Wars game that's looks great but is a soulless CGI mess like the prequels?   I'm not sure anyone can say anything other than the game looks phenomenal and reeks of potential.  As a long suffering Star Wars fan I hope this game is great but I'm holding my breath until we see more actual footage from the game.

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