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Star Wars Outlaws’ open world looks less overwhelming than other Ubisoft games

A ship flies through space in Star Wars Outlaws.

Ubisoft has been taking strides to tweak how it creates open-world games, and that appears to be continuing with Star Wars OutlawsIn an IGN interview published Tuesday, Massive Entertainment developers detailed how a lot of the upcoming game’s features were made, and that includes how it handles open-world exploration

Julian Gerighty, Massive creative director, gave more details on how it’ll feel to traverse the different planets and moons featured in the game. While many of Ubisoft’s worlds have felt too large, Massive seems to have taken a subtle, new approach that could make a big difference. It took into account not only how players will travel on foot but also by speeder.

“It was less about how big, but more about how long in terms of traversal with the speeder it would be,” Gerighty said. “[The moon Toshara takes] four or five minutes nonstop, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but once you’re committed it’s a fairly large amount and you are always going to be distracted.”

And it seems like you’re going to get “distracted” a lot here. The game’s hero Kay Vess hasn’t been to many of these locations, so she will have to use a map, wander around, and do a fair bit of eavesdropping to get around.

Exploration has always been a key component in Ubisoft open-world games — sometimes to their detriment. While it can feel great to roam around a different era in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Valhalla, it can become overwhelming quickly to take it all in, and you can run into a lot of emptier spaces or repetitive quests. Outlaws has planets and moons of various sizes, but they’re still quite big.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which was one of the games that we were looking at while creating this, you have different zones on the map… [Toshara is] two or three of those put together,” Gerighty said. The difference, as Gerighty promises, is that it’s not just about sheer size. There will be a lot to do, and events will happen frequently (“every two, three minutes,” according to Gerighty), but it won’t be stuffed.

“So we don’t want things to be just big for big sake. We need it to be contained, always fun, always proposing different activities,” Gerighty said.

You can’t forget about space, too. We’ve already seen some of Outlaws’ space combat, and how Massive managed to have no loading screen between a surface and the great void of space. But there will be ways to explore there as well.

We’ll see how it all shakes out when Star Wars Outlaws releases on August 30 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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