As we near the end of the exclusivity deal between Electronic Arts (EA) and Disney, which gave the video game company exclusive rights to publish all Star Wars games, we’ve been hearing rumblings of various other projects set in a galaxy far, far away from starting production. While Star Wars Battlefront 2 started off causing tons of controversy both in the gaming space and in the wider public, they did eventually turn it into a great Star Wars flavored multiplayer shooter. Star Wars: Fallen Order was a big surprise right out of the gate as a third-person adventure game from Respawn, a traditionally first-person, shooter-focused studio. Still, the Star Wars universe is vast and ripe for games and stories from multiple angles.
One of the more intriguing, if not a little confusing, rumors surrounding a possible Star Wars game was that Quantic Dream, best known for their branching narrative games such as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain, would be working on the IP. As it turns out, that’s exactly what is happening. Just revealed, Star Wars Eclipse is set to be a new adventure from this studio in the Star Wars galaxy. If you’re a little confused, or perhaps just excited, about what this game is, we’ve done the Kessel run to smuggle out all the details.
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Announced during the 2021 Game Awards, Star Wars Eclipse was not given a release date. Not even a window of a year, which indicates that we may be waiting a few years at least for this space adventure. The only thing we know is that the game is in “early stages of development”, the team is still hiring members to help make the game, and that the trailer was completely CG. We wouldn’t hold our breath on the game coming before 2024, but will keep our eyes peeled for any new information.
The trailer didn’t indicate any platforms that Star Wars Eclipse would be hitting, but we can make our best guesses. At this point, we can pretty confidently say this game will ditch any last-gen platforms based on how far off it is from release. That leaves PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC as options. Quantic Dream has, up until recently, made most of their games as Sony exclusives. However, they are independent and have already been publishing former exclusives on PC. Working with the Star Wars license, it would be a big surprise if it didn’t hit all platforms.
While it technically qualifies as a trailer, what we saw of Star Wars Eclipse is more of a tone piece. The CGI was very impressive, and Quantic Dream games, if nothing else, always are graphical showcases, but lacked any real meat.
We open on a drummer as an eclipse (get it?) begins. From there we start cutting to a series of small scenes, starting with a ship that looks like it’s about to crash land on a planet, a market filled with vendors on a vaguely Naboo looking planet, some scenery, and perhaps most important is the shot of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. We can’t say for certain that it’s Yoda we’re seeing by the window, and not just another member of his race, but it seems very likely that it is the old Jedi master.
We do see some action as well. Two Jedi, judging at least by the colors of their lightsabers, are dueling on a bridge. More ships fly by a range of planets with different environments, and we get some very impressive closeups of characters who may or may not end up being part of the proper game. The militaristic troops we see marching into battle, however, almost certainly will play a role.
Being a Star Wars game, naturally, we see a good deal of war among the stars. Ships are dogfighting and avoiding laser turrets with all the speed and energy of the films on a massive scale.
The trailer ends with a shot of a person (?) rising up out of some black liquid just as the eclipse completes and the title is shown.
Outside of the trailer, we learned from an official press release that Star Wars: Eclipse is going to be “set in an uncharted region of the Outer Rim during the High Republic era, known as the golden age of the Jedi.” For those unfamiliar, the High Republic takes place, as you might expect, after the Old Republic but before the prequel trilogy of films. This will allow them more freedom to introduce new characters and stories, though the tease of Yoda may indicate some familiar faces.
Beyond that, no characters or plot details have been confirmed, and are likely still subject to change based on how early this game is in development.
Quantic Dream has earned a reputation for creating a very specific style of game. Each of their games is narrative-driven, heavily choice-dependent, and features multiple characters with various branching paths. While we didn’t see a single moment of gameplay in the trailer, they have confirmed that Star Wars: Eclipse will be an evolution of what the studio is known best for. The game “will build upon Quantic Dream’s expertise in delivering deeply branching narratives and will go beyond their already established acclaim.”
We can also expect to swap between multiple characters, “each with their own morality, personality, motivations, and impact upon each other and the story at large.” This all sounds like exactly the type of game this studio has made in the past, though probably with some enhancements to how dynamic the story will be and how much our choices will change the narrative. Their past games have had differing levels of writing quality, even fluctuating heavily within the same title, so we’re curious to see if the Star Wars IP helps focus their direction.
Outside of narrative and choices, Quantic Dream games have only ever touched action in the form of quick-time event style button prompts. Considering the amount of action we see in the trailer, both with lightsabers and space battles, we’re left wondering if they will remain in that somewhat distanced style, or if more direct control will be given for those moments.
Quantic Dream is one of the few holdouts that doesn’t entertain the idea of multiplayer. The most we’ve gotten is some statistics at the end of chapters showing how your choices compared to others who’ve played the game, and we don’t expect that to change. We could have considered it, even just a tiny bit, if we didn’t know for sure this game was going to follow the same narrative-based, adventure game style that the studio has been doing for years. It would be nice if we could play co-op, with one person taking control of specific characters like how Super Massive handles it, but that seems like a step too far for this studio.
This is a tough one. Quantic Dream tends not to do DLC, with Heavy Rain being the only one to get any of note, but it all really depends on how the narrative plays out. DLC would be very hard for this type of game that is so interconnected and reactive to choices. It would only really work if they added on something post-game or, perhaps even easier, prior to the game. Still, it would have to be pretty disconnected in order to not interfere with how each individual player’s game turned out. For now, we imagine Star Wars: Eclipse will come out as a finished product and left as it is.
Star Wars Eclipse won’t be coming for a long time. Again, the studio is still hiring talent for the game, so we wouldn’t expect pre-orders to start popping up until we at least get a trailer showing us some gameplay and actual story information. That likely won’t be until 2023, if our estimate on the game’s eventual release is somewhat accurate, so hang tight if you’re eager to get your hands on this game.
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