hat happens when you combine Star Wars, Grand Theft Auto, and Uncharted? You get Star Wars: Outlaws. From Massive Studio (the developer behind Tom Clancy’s The Division) and Ubisoft (the publisher behind Assassins Creed, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, and Prince of Persia) comes the next triple-A Star Wars game set to release sometime in 2024.

During the Xbox Games Showcase on June 11, developers announced Star Wars: Outlaws and released its first cinematic trailer. The next day, 10 minutes of brand-new gameplay footage debuted at the Ubisoft Forward event. Both videos featured tons of content, giving fans a glimpse of the game’s story, characters, combat, exploration, and overall concept. 

There’s a lot to dig into, so let's break down everything we know so far about Star Wars: Outlaws.

Story and Concept

Star Wars: Outlaws occurs in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Fans will play as Kay Vess, a smuggler and a thief. She’s described as a confident, cocksure, and charismatic character, harkening a bit back to the scoundrels and space cowboys of old. Kay will be working with – and against – many different crime syndicates, backstabbing criminals, and corrupt Imperials throughout the game.

The  first cinematic trailer hints at Kay possibly working with another conman to go after “the big score.” This could indicate that the game’s plot might revolve around a heist and all the twists and turns that come with it. The developers have also hinted at this direction. However, there hasn’t been any official confirmation. 

Massive Studio has confirmed that Outlaws will be an open-world game meaning that players can explore large environments with multiple activities to complete and characters to interact with at the player’s own pace. It’s also being described as a single-player, narrative-driven game. These games tend to feature big maps, plenty of cities and locations to visit, and stories that last for multiple hours. This sets a very high bar, but one that’s not impossible to overcome.

Much like how Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor delivers a “be your own Jedi” type of fantasy, Star Wars: Outlaws looks to provide a “be your own scoundrel” type of fantasy.

Characters and Setting

The main character of Star Wars: Outlaws is Kay Vess. Kay is an up-and-coming scoundrel, just starting out in the crime business, trying to make a name for herself, but also making a few mistakes along the way. She will be performed by relative newcomer Humberly González. Similar to the recent Star Wars Jedi games, Star Wars: Outlaws will have a tightly woven cinematic story centered around the player character of Kay. 

Joining her is her feline-like companion, Nix, who, funny enough, is voiced by Star Wars voice-acting legend Dee Bradley Baker. Nix is a Merqaal, and Kay shares a strong bond with him as she’s grown up with Nix all her life.

The cinematic trailer and gameplay footage showed off a few other minor characters in the game, including ND-5, a reprogrammed, battle-damaged Commando Droid assisting Kay on her missions. There is also the character Jaylen, who many fans have already pointed out and theorized could be the Legends character Kyle Katarn. Jaylen appears to approach Kay in the trailer with a proposition to join in on the “one big score that will change everything.” 

Other minor characters include a bearded man in a lavish fur coat overlooking a city that looks very similar to Canto Bight. One can only theorize this to be the man Jaylen and Kay will be stealing from. Other characters include Danka, the Mon Calamari broker that Kay deals with, and the as-of-yet unnamed female Imperial Officer that Danka trades with. Although, It’s unknown how big of a role any of these other characters will play in the game.

Players also saw some of the locations and planets that they might visit. No one mentions the places by name, so it’s impossible to know for sure, but many of the worlds appear familiar. These possible planets include Coruscant, Tatooine, Kijimi, and the aforementioned Canto Bight. Some new planets seen include Toshara, where the 10 minutes of game footage takes place. 

On Toshara, Kay visits the classic, Western-inspired outpost called Jaunta’s Hope. The developers have greatly emphasized this new planet, so this will likely be a large gathering hub where players can pick up missions and interact with the locals for work. Another new location shown off from space is a system called Akiva Orbit which we see at the tail end of the game footage.

Gameplay and Combat

Massive is known for The Division franchise, a third-person RPG shooter. It appears that Massive is carrying over that experience from The Division into Star Wars: Outlaws, with the game also being a third-person shooter with some light RPG elements. This time, however, rather than the grounded, post-apocalyptic tone of The Division, Massive is going all-in on the swashbuckling, high-octane nature of Star Wars. 

The 10-minute gameplay footage shown starts with Kay and Nix sneaking out of a Pyke Syndicate hideout after they snatched a valuable item. Outlaws will feature light stealth action, as Kay crouches low behind guards and knocks them out with the push of a button from the player. It also appears Nix will help Kay sneak around in multiple ways, as the player can command Nix to attack or distract guards or activate certain machinery.

In the demonstration, Nix activates an overhead rail and Kay climbs on top of one of the carts, crossing over to another side of the hideout. This was the only indication of climbing shown in the demonstration. Still, other climbing mechanics will likely appear, similar to Jedi: Survivor

Kay eventually gets spotted, and a large shootout ensues. Some interesting details to note during the battle are that some enemies carry shields that can block blaster bolts. In response, Kay switches between firing modes to counteract the shield. Once Kay destroys the enemy’s shield, she gets up close and knocks out the enemy with the butt of her blaster.

What’s great about this interaction is that it opens up the possibility for a lot of combat variety. Players will most likely have to switch between different blaster modes and ammo types to match certain situations and fight different types of enemies. This also suggests the inclusion of hand-to-hand combat during shootouts, similar to the Uncharted series, where players can punch and kick enemies up close.

A blaster mode also briefly pops up called “stun mode.” My guess is that this could be useful for bounty-hunting missions where players must bring certain individuals back alive to claim a higher reward. 

There are also other types of weapons in the game. The demo shows Nix fetching an A300 Blaster rifle from afar and bringing it to Kay. The rifle is much more powerful, with a faster rate of fire. Still, developers apparently want players to stick to their trusty handgun, as the rifle quickly runs out of ammo. After this, Kay retreats and uses a grappling hook to swing to safety —  if the Uncharted comparison wasn’t evident enough.

As Kay escapes, she hops onto a speeder bike as Pyke Syndicate guards chase her on speeder bikes of their own. It’s unclear at the moment just how intricate these speeder bike chases will be and whether players can engage in shootouts and hand-to-hand combat during these chase sequences. But this sequence shows off a mechanic similar to Red Dead Redemption’s “dead eye,” where time slows down, allowing the player to mark enemies and quickly pick them off with the press of a button.

After Kay returns to Jaunta’s Hope and during her encounter with Danka, the player has the option to bribe the imperial officer sitting at the same table. The demo has Kay not bribing the officer, resulting in the officer reporting her. The Empire eventually pursues Kay into space as she hops into her ship and attempts to escape. 

It’s unknown how much of an effect player choices will have on the game, as we didn’t see what would happen if players chose the other option to bribe the officer. However, the game does indicate some situations and choices will alter the story and gameplay. An earlier scene has ND-5 asking, “Should I assume we won't be working for the Pykes anytime soon?” and afterward, an on-screen prompt reads “Pyke Syndicate Reputation” with a red arrow pointing down. The developers have also said that reputation is key to the game, so keeping a high reputation might affect the kind of missions players can take on and the rewards earned. 

However, that remains to be seen. The dialogue options also suggest branching narratives where Kay can side with different crime syndicates, choosing one over the other.

The Grand Theft Auto comparison comes into play as Kay runs to her ship and as TIE Fighters begin to ambush her on Jaunta’s Hope. During this section, at the top left of the screen, the Imperial logo is displayed with a red outline around it. The circle outlining the Imperial logo has six slots, with three of them – four by the end – flashing red, indicating that the highest “wanted” level a player can get is six slots. 

This may suggest a sort of “wanted system” similar to Grand Theft Auto; in that game, the more crimes a player commits, the more “stars” they’ll gain. Having one or two stars isn’t too much of a problem, but at the highest level, it can get extremely chaotic with tanks and helicopters being deployed. It appears that Outlaws will feature a similar system where a higher wanted level could cause the Empire to send even greater threats. 

Who knows what kind of extreme forces the highest “wanted” level will bring, as the footage only showed TIE Fighters and a Lambda-class shuttle, most likely filled with Stormtroopers. 

Kay’s ship, the Trailblazer, is an EML 850 light freighter from the Republic era. While Kay zips towards the ship’s cockpit, a few on-screen prompts appear, including one that reads “Use Workbench.” This is likely where players can customize and upgrade their weapons and gear, similar to the recent Star Wars Jedi games. As Kay straps into the cockpit, another prompt reads “Open Map” next to a console. The footage doesn’t showcase the scale of the map. But if the trailer and the footage are anything to go by, there will likely be several large planets and locations to visit.

Finally, the footage ends with a brief space battle as Kay escapes a group of TIE Fighters. The brief glimpse suggests a style similar to Battlefront II’s space battles, with a similar user interface and evasive maneuvers. 

While Star Wars: Outlaws is still in development and Ubisoft is just now kicking off the game’s marketing, the gameplay does look promising. There is much to be excited about regarding the game. Still, there’s also more that needs to be revealed, including more about the game’s central plot, more of the game’s combat, speeder bike chases, space battles, and branching story. While the game comes out next year, fans don’t have to wait much longer to learn more as developers announced they would reveal more details at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.