Star Wars Outlaws hands-on preview [SGF] — “If you are willing to take the risk, the galaxy is full of opportunity”

Star Wars is one of my favorite things in the world. I love the lore, I love the characters, I love the galaxy that’s been created. Falling head over heels for this franchise is easy for anyone to do, and it’s even better when you see the people behind the biggest creations showing their affection for Star Wars. After playing Star Wars Outlaws during an Ubisoft hands-on preview, it’s easy to see that the team at Massive Entertainment appreciates what Star Wars is all about, and it shines through this love letter of a game.

I was privy to three different levels in the game to give clarity to the structure Massive is going for. During my time, there was no open world exploration; so it’s impossible to judge that part of Star Wars Outlaws. What I did have in front of me were more scripted sequences, and ones that worked very well.

Star Wars Outlaws: Official Game Overview Trailer | Ubisoft Forward

The first I tried was with our wonderful scoundrel, Kay Vess, dropping into the deteriorating ruins of a starship. There’s something valuable in the ship, and it’s up to her to find it. As soon as you begin the descent and climb through the decrepit battle station, the influence is clear. While you’d certainly be correct in seeing a bit of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in there, I see a lot of Uncharted or Tomb Raider. Maybe it’s just me, but that is exactly the style of video game I’m about.

Maneuvering through the devastation, there are multiple environmental puzzles to figure out. Nothing is too complicated – pretty standard fare for these kinds of adventure games. Traversal is really fun, with fluid mechanics and well-placed button icons to guide you on your journey.

Once I powered up the ship and made it to the important computer inside the bridge, I was beset by one of the crime syndicates. I’m not afraid to admit, my stealthy tactics were not successful when I tried to jump off a console and punch one of the two baddies in the face. After shooting him, I made quick work of his buddy after picking up his rifle. I’m glad to see this as an option in battle, along with access to different kinds of weaponry Kay wouldn’t be able to afford on her budget.

We Interview - Narrative Director Navid Khavari & Game Director Mathias Karlson of Star Wars Outlaws

After all of this, Kay is chased down, and right before the band’s leader takes her out, we meet ND-5. The modified commando droid saves her for some reason, but it starts a chain reaction that makes everything all explodey. Cue awesome running from the destruction action sequence, and we’ve made it to the end of this first level.

The second was in an occupied Imperial cruiser – that’s sitting in the middle of space. You’re here to grab a high value target to bring to one of the crime families, and Kay needs to get back to her ship. Here, I was a little better with stealth, managing to use Nix to attack a stormtrooper’s face while stunning someone else nearby with an ion blast before knocking the stormtrooper out with a single punch.

Speaking of Nix, the little guy seems to be the key to everything. Using his abilities, you can find your waypoint, survey enemies and important things in the environment (like a detective vision). He’s also a great tool beyond a button press, serving as a distraction, attacking an enemy as mentioned above, and bringing weapons to you when requested. All that on top of being the most adorable baby in the galaxy. We must defend him with our lives.

Following a shootout in the hanger, I finally made it aboard the Trailblazer. Firing the engines and ripping into space is exhilarating. I’m very pleased with what they’ve created, with a freedom in space that is properly realized. The dogfighting is also really great, with clear controls and crisp steering that helps the experience. It’s nice to see the attention to detail the team has put in to deliver space flight and combat that is approachable. Landing on the surface of a planet is super cool too, with an in-game cutscene that fits in place perfectly.

Giving over your target to this crime boss had some interesting dialogue to it. Seems that he was an accountant who was supposed to be a plant from another syndicate, but Kay spills the beans to gain favor. I’m interested in whether or not you could have gone along with the original plan, which leans into the reputation system you have with the crime syndicates. It’ll be fun to see how it plays out, because those kinds of choices are engaging.

Thirdly was our final level: a heist on Kajimi. You might remember this name; it’s the planet from Rise of Skywalker where that crew meets Babu Frik. It’s just as pretty as you remember, snow falling down to the covered ground in one of the most gorgeous depictions of precipitation in recent memory. The stonework is also beautifully done, adding a lot of character in the building you infiltrate for a collector’s piece you’re stealing for the queen of the crime family you’re working for.

In this smaller mission, I saw a lot more of the open structure Massive is going for. When I was in the display room, I had a few options; sneak through and take out the guards, or just sprint in. I tried to do things more stealthily, but with my time constraint at the event I got a little overzealous and was found out. After taking out the guards, I made it into a control room – having picked the lock – to find the console that turns off the ray shield. Going back, I actually found the key card for the door on some stairs. Turns out, I could have done things more quietly and got into the room with less hassle, I just created more hassle.

Once I was back into the town, I was able to see more of what’s available for you to do. There are plenty of icons littering your compass, and while this demo didn’t let me go off the beaten path, there’s sure to be plenty worth chasing. I heard from the townsfolk about one thing in particular: a sabbac den. Seems like these will be on every planet somewhere, so prepare to get good at cards.

Lastly, let’s talk performance. While these were just slices, everything felt very good to play. Beyond that, there are some beautiful set pieces, and the frame rate was clean during my playthrough. Even the ship combat was very stable. For a game that looks as big as Outlaws, this is a good sign.

There’s so much more I’d like to say, and that I want to play. I didn’t get much in terms of the story, but we’re only two months away from getting the full thing. This is a galaxy that’s not so far away as of now, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for Kay and Nix.

Star Wars Outlaws releases August 30, 2024. It will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC. You can pre-order now.

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.

See below for our list of partners and affiliates:

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now


To Top