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Star Wars Outlaws gangs will send hit squads after you if you upset them

Very sensitive people, criminals

Kay Vess overlooks a vista on the planet of Toshara in Star Wars Outlaws.
Image credit: Massive Entertainment

The open world action game Star Wars Outlaws is coming out next month and developer Massive Entertainment have already shown off some of the speeder biking and laser-trading in various trailers. But recently they've spoken a little more about the player's scummy travels across the galaxy, including how big some of the explorable planets will be, and what happens when you piss off the Hutts. In short, you're going to have a price on your head. Makes sense.

“Your reputation moving in the positive direction unlocks a lot of things for you,” says Mathias Karlson, game director at Masssive, telling IGN all about the various factions in the game. Cosying up to the Hutts, Pykes, Ashiga Clan, and Crimson Dawn will let you enter certain zones without being treated as hostile, for example, or it could unlock landing pads in new places. It might also get you discounts with the more rogueish traders, leading to some "exotic rewards".

"But if you really get on their bad side, that's another thing that you'll feel dynamically in the game because they actually send hit squads out for you in the open world to try and take you out.”

Sounds like some of that emergent gameplay I've heard so much about. But it goes the other way too, with good reputation sometimes causing momentary allies during a fight, says Karlson.

“If you've, for whatever reason, ended up wanted and you're being chased by the Empire, and you cross paths with a syndicate that you have a really good reputation with at the moment, they might join in and help you out,” he says.

That sounds familiar. The Division series (Massive's previous work) often sees different factions getting into small gunfights with one another, and Far Cry's warring freedom fighters often get into scrapes with the enemy when you're around. But neither is fully tied to a reputation system. The hit squads sound interesting too, but again this may remindsome folk of the mercenaries that would hunt you down in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, for example. Don't get me wrong, open world Star Wars sounds cool. But this is an Ubisoft game after all, and they are not ones to stray from a formula.

Elsewhere in the IGN video, the developers talk about the scale of the planets you'll be zipping across. They compare the size of some planets to two or three zones in Assassin's Creed Odyssey and say you can cross the playable surface of one of these planets, Toshara, by speeder bike in about five minutes.

"[It] doesn't sound like a lot," says Julian Gerighty, creative director at Massive, "but once you're committed it's a fairly large amount and you are always going to be distracted."

Some of that distraction might come in the form of geographical easter eggs, scenery and locales that fans are probably keen to go an visit.

“We can lean into the virtual tourism aspect of, ‘Hey, what is the distance between the moisture farms and Mos Eisley and the cantina?” says Gerighty. “There is a linear roller coaster story, a golden path, if you will. And around that, of course, there's the open world.

"There's a very structured intro that leads you to crash land on Toshara, which is a moon that we created with LucasFilm Games,” he says. “And once you finish the sort of linear narrative on Toshara, the other planets open up and it becomes completely non-linear and you can choose to tackle those [worlds] in any order you want."

Everything I see about Star Wars Outlaws reminds me how much I enjoy the visual design of Lucas' bonkers interstellar opera. But I also have no illusions as to the icon safari usually offered by Ubisoft open worlds. So consider my eye pleased, yet expectations unmoved. The IGN video, on the other hand, is pretty exhaustive and contains an impressive amount of tidbits, so it is worth watching if you're rubbing your Mon Calamari mittens with anticipatory glee.

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