EA Games has plenty of Star Wars titles in the pipeline, but Visceral’s Star Wars game is the one we have the most information for. Or at least, we think we do. The as yet untitled game was confirmed way back in May 2016 and was first revealed at the special EA Play event at E3 2016. We’ve only seen a tiny bit of it, but that’s made us even more excited to see what it’s all about.
Ahead of a big reveal from EA and developer Visceral, here’s everything we know so far, including some gossip about Doctor Aphra.
Who is working on the Visceral Star Wars game?
You can’t talk about the upcoming Visceral Star Wars game without talking about the serious talent that’s working on this game. Firstly, you’ve got Amy Hennig on board as creative director. She’s the same lady that worked on all the Uncharted games except Uncharted 4 (due to some problems happening behind the scenes).
Then you’ve also got Todd Stashwick writing the game’s storyline with Hennig. He’s also worked on the Uncharted games with Hennig, so they’ve got a history of creating great things. That pair will also be working with Jade Raymond, of Assassin’s Creed fame, who has created her own studio called Motive. This studio will be assisting in the development of the Visceral Star Wars game. Motive has also bagged the designer of Portal, Kim Swift, to help out on the Visceral Star Wars project.
“We’ve devoted much of the past year at Movie to building a team of amazingly talented people to work on our new Ip and Star Wars projects,” said Raymond in an announcement. “I could not be more excited to welcome an all-star like Kim, who shares our enthusiasm for building exceptional games.”
What will Visceral’s game be like?
She explained that Visceral is working closing with the Lucasfilm story group on the game, including Art Director/Senior Creative Director Doug Chang, on making an authentic Star Wars experience with a totally original story.
“Our goal in this game is to tell an authentic Star Wars story in an interactive context. That carries with it a whole lot of rule sand baggage, that we have to kind of deconstruct, reconstruct, and honour.”
“Authentic Star Wars can mean that we get the AT-ST right, right? And of course we have to do that too, but it’s all about the new stuff, the new characters, the new story, the new locations, the new creatures, the new tech,” Hennig teased at PAX West in September 2016.
“All of this stuff that has to sit authentically alongside the Star Wars that we’re so familiar with.”
Hennig hinted that there will be a lot of similarities between the Visceral Games title and Uncharted, except that you’ll be able to see what the bad guys are doing too – just as you can in the Star Wars films.
“So I thought that some of the rules I had used making Uncharted no longer applied,” she said. “In Uncharted or in Indiana Jones you actually kinda stick with Indie the whole time. There are times you cut away, but it’s always something that informs you on what he is doing, like Marion in the tent. In Star Wars you’re always cutting away to the bad guys, and seeing what they’re doing: ‘Meanwhile, back at the villain ranch…'”
But, more importantly, Hennig wants to make sure that the heroes feel like the underdogs, overcoming all the odds stacked against them.
“They have to work together and they have to be cleverer than their enemies,” she explained. “Therefore, how do you turn that into gameplay? How do you take that idea and then deconstruct it as mechanics, sequences, that then play to that core principle? That’s the challenge of making these kinds of things.”
What did we learn from the trailer?
There’s technically a very, very early trailer for Visceral’s Star wars game incorporated into EA Games’ E3 2016 video. Revealed during its special EA Play event, it revealed a quick a look at what the publisher is doing with the various Star Wars titles in the pipeline.
If you watch the below video, between minutes 2.14 and 2.50, you get an incredibly quick overview of what Visceral’s plan is. That actually includes a whole EIGHT SECONDS of early gameplay footage.
But thankfully there are a few tidbits to eke out of this flicker of gameplay footage.
It features Mos Eisley Cantina
The chap in the video footage seems to be walking out of the Mos Eisley Cantina, rather than some unknown desert town. You’ll remember it from the moment in Star Wars IV: A New Hope where Obi-Wan and Luke strike a deal with Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Well, it could well be that it’s this very same cantina shown in the footage for Visceral’s game. As the trenchcoat-wearing chap emerges into the light, there’s a little pod with a circular window to his left and a circular piece of metallic junk to his right. However, that’s the very same set of items you see in A New Hope when they head into the Cantina.
Hints to multiple heroes
In the concept art that flashes up in the Visceral segment, you can see three figures approaching – although one seems to be walking away. The guy on the right seems to be the same chap seen walking in the early in-game footage, but it’s the girl on the left that intrigues us.
Many have pointed out that her outfit looks remarkably like Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra from the ongoing comic book series of the same name, first released in December 2016. The comic book series is actually set between Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, which also boosts the above Cantina theory somewhat.
There’s also the fact that the male character walks towards a set of two 74-Z speeder bikes (of Return of the Jedi fame). They’re parked right next to each other, so it may well mean he’s gone to the Cantina with Aphra, or whoever this female protagonist is.
Amy Hennig also said at PAX West 2016 that if Visceral “weren’t telling an ensemble story, then it wouldn’t pass the litmus test on whether it feels like Star Wars“. She also added that “having a lone wolf protagonist wouldn’t feel right”.
It could be set during the Galactic Civil War
There’s a few clues in the footage that suggests the game could be set during the Galactic Civil War, namely the presence of two Star Destroyers and the TIE fighters that fly over the spaceport.
Tatooine, where Mos Eisley’s Cantina is located only attracts the attention of the Empire when Princess Leia is captured and C-3PO and R2-D2 run off with the Death Star plans. Sharp-eyed fans noticed that the Star Destroyers are Imperial II class shops because of their two shield generator domes. They’re different to the ones you see in Episode IV when Han, Luke and co escape to make the hyperspace jump to Alderaan.
These Imperial II Class Star Destroyers don’t actually appear until Star Wars Episode V, so the game could be set well after Luke and his crew blast outta there.
When will we be able to play it?
Unlike Respawn’s Star Wars game, EA Games has given us a loose release date for this one. The release date for Visceral’s Star Wars title will lie somewhere in 2018, although anything more concrete when it comes to the launch plans is currently unknown.
If we had to guess, we’d say the Star Wars Battlefront sequel will arrive at the tail end of 2017, with the Visceral Games title arriving sometime between September and November 2018. Hopefully, we’ll then see the Respawn game arrive at the end of 2019.