First of all, it’s arguably near impossible to top the likes of GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption, but a similar quality is something to aim for. Ubisoft’s most comparable open-world game is the Watch Dogs series, a solid trio of games that offer large maps modelled around real-life cities. Massive Entertainment is leading the project with titles like Tom Clancy’s The Division, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Far Cry 3 on its list of hit games.
But Star Wars is a different beast; you can’t please everyone when it comes to one of the biggest IPs on Earth, but ticking these boxes can really go a long way to making the fans happy. For me, this is what would make me happy with my wishlist for the upcoming Ubisoft Star Wars game.
In my opinion, in the interest of the project keeping the best amount of interest from fans, this game should not take place during the sequel trilogy. I don’t even hate those films. In terms of potential content in this era, there would be a lot to explore; we don’t know nearly as much world-building for the Disney era of films due to the lack of games, TV shows, and comic-books compared to previous eras. But in order to keep as large a player base as possible, the game should take place in either the Old Republic era, Prequel era or during the Original Trilogy.
An Old Republic era game is also currently in development, so this era is probably least likely for Ubisoft’s game. Personally, I’d like to see more of either the early Empire days – which will be covered by The Bad Batch on Disney+, or the early days of The New Republic following Return of the Jedi, which George Lucas planned to cover in his sequel trilogy script.
Themes and Plot
Considering the story-driven narrative that Ubisoft has described, they need to figure out a consistent theme for players to experience while still having the freedom of choice. We’ve seen a decent amount of the underworld in the Star Wars universe, including but not limited to pirates, smugglers, scoundrels, bounty hunters and dealers.
The theme of crime is not something new in this type of game, but it’s arguable that the underworld theme offers the vastest, in-depth and fresh gaming experience that fans are yet to experience fully. Characters like Cad Bane, Boba Fett, Hondo Ohnaka and others are loved characters and could help to drive such a narrative.
The Ubisoft Star Wars game can offer a great story of ‘order vs. crime’ and can offer something different in exploring such a theme. We know that The Empire is evil, but they are the cops to Han Solo’s robbers. Both are flawed, and both don’t perceive themselves or their actions as ‘bad’. Exploring a world of moral grey areas in a flawed system can give us a really good and interesting story where the player’s moral compass is put under question with the decisions that they make during the story-driven narrative.
The plot of this game will also depend on the era chosen; the early days of The Galactic Empire offer Darth Maul’s crime syndicate as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Solo: a Star Wars story. This is a character loved by fans, and his story is something that will likely be covered in the Lando Calrissian series, which is on the way in the next few years.
Andor is another Disney+ series that could tie nicely into a post-Clone Wars plot and open a spy/mystery plotline for players to follow and would offer something completely different for the audience to explore.
The New Republic era offering the potential of Princess Leia and her struggles to create a new government while crime syndicates and pirates alike capitalise on the weakness of The New Republic. Rangers of The New Republic is another option for the Ubisoft Star Wars game to tie into a TV series, which opens up a more important story and gives players the chance to interact with the franchise’s canon.
Much like in Star Wars: Galaxies and Red Dead Online, giving players the option to pursue roles in the open-world is a great way to keep people interested and drive different stories for different players. The roles system in Red Dead Online is pretty flawed, but it’s a nice base to build a great variety of plot points and missions for players to take part in. Star Wars Galaxies had nine different roles for players to choose from, including smuggler, bounty hunter, trader, medic, commando and Jedi, among others.
This is where the one and only hot-take comes in. To keep things fresh and have more of a variety, I think the game should not offer players the role of Jedi or Sith. As much as we all love playing as a powerful force user, it would probably be best to balance between online players and their experiences with the story.
Meanwhile, Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is likely on the way, and that story should quench the thirst of fans who want to wield a lightsaber and develop force powers. With this game, it is best to keep things in the Star Wars underworld.
Offering players to join factions such as the Rebels, the Empire, pirates, crime syndicates, as well as the option of an independent hunter, mercenary or trader would drive unique gaming and story experiences for each player.
Planets and Exploration
This is an obvious point when we talk about an open-world Star Wars game; it is crucial that this game has multiple planets to explore. I’d imagine that the developers will know this, but the difficult part is how to fit several planets into the game and deciding how big each map is.
Jedi: Fallen Order offers five planets to go through and explore. The depth of exploration in these worlds is excellent, but the reward for exploration were things like poncho colours and lightsaber designs, which is fun but hopefully, there is more of a reward for exploration in Ubisoft’s Star Wars game. These maps are pretty big, but the style of play is quite different from an open-world game, so the worlds will need even more depth and activity rather than baron lands like Dathomir or an Imperial base on Kashyyyk.
The setup may have to be that there is a base-planet to explore and find missions in. The storyline then takes us to smaller maps on different planets for missions with no possibility for the level of exploration limited to something more like Jedi: Fallen Order rather than a massive open-world map more similar to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
In terms of planets, Coruscant is considered by most fans as the best and most sensical hub-world. At the centre of the galaxy, there is so much going on, so much to explore, and yet we haven’t seen much of the megalopolitan planet past the Jedi temple, galactic senate, and glimpses of the underworld. This is a great place to start as there is absolutely everything a player needs to get started in a story-driven open-world game set in a galaxy far, far away.
There are all sorts of places to go from there, depending on roles and factions. Gang hideouts, Imperial/Republic/Rebel bases, cantinas, spaceports, government buildings, bustling cities and all sorts around the galaxy. Smuggling, bounty hunting, trading, heists, invasions, warfare and more should take us all over the place and give us the chance to explore and experience planets we’ve seen and places we’ve never heard of.
At the end of the day, the potential for this game is amazing. There are crucial decisions to be made, and there are things that we can predict about this one, but this universe has so much to offer that Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have the chance to give us something that we couldn’t even picture at this point in development.
I’m so excited and hopeful that I can hardly contain myself; let’s just hope that the Ubisoft Star Wars game lives up to expectations.