Is Star Wars: Outlaws really the first open world Star Wars game?

Star Wars Outlaws. Image courtesy Ubisoft
Star Wars Outlaws. Image courtesy Ubisoft /

At this year’s Xbox Showcase, gamers were shown previews for a whopping amount of games and content expansions. Among the haul was yet another Star Wars game. This time from developer Ubisoft Massive titled Star Wars: Outlaws slated for release next year.

Outlaws is an action-adventure game set in the period between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Of the games advertised features, one in particular caught the attention of viewers. That being the claim Outlaws will be the first ever ‘open-world’ Star Wars game. An exciting prospect to be sure, but seeing as there are literally hundreds of Star Wars games over a 40-year time span, is it actually true?

And the answer is: sort of, but really, no. Technically Outlaws will be the first open-world Star Wars game on such a scale and depth, but there have indeed been other games in the franchise that can claim to be open-world too. Games such as Knights of the Old Republic, Galaxies, The Old Republic, and even Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, could all be considered open-world or to at least have such elements.

Where Outlaws can claim to be a first is with its reported seamless transitions between planets and space travel, which if true will indeed make it the first true open-world game if we were to be pedantic about the definition.

Despite this contentious claim, the fan response to the new game was mostly positive. The atmosphere and gameplay were generally well received and the inclusion of a female primary character in Kay Vess was widely celebrated.

The affair was not without a sour note however with some bringing attention to Ubisoft’s less than stellar record when it comes to the welfare of its employees. Staff have reportedly suffered from mental and physical abuse from senior management in a case that goes back several years now. This comes after protests surrounding the announcement of another game in the franchise, Star Wars: Eclipse from developer Quantic Dream which resulting in the hashtag #BlackoutStarWarsEclipse.

Star Wars: Outlaws is scheduled for a 2024 release for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, and PC

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