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E3 2012: Star Wars: 1313 Shows a Glimpse of the Future

By
Posted on June 8, 2012 AT 04:40pm

Taking motion-capture to a whole new level

Mind-blowing is a statement thrown around too often in video games, however there is no other way to describe Star Wars: 1313. I walked into that room expecting to be bored to death by a generic Star Wars shooter, and instead was greeted by a cinematic experience like no other. Many fans were worried about the lack of Jedi and force powers, but 1313’s setting and fast-paced gameplay easily makes up for it.

They’re so real you can almost reach out and touch them

Star Wars: 1313 sets a brand new bar for graphical fidelity. Using state of the art motion-capture technology the team has managed to create the most believable characters to date. Along with the mo-cap bodysuits the team is also using special cameras to capture facial animations. By recording dialogue, movement and facial reactions together they have created some pretty realistic and movie-quality performances.

Welcome to level 1313

The game is set in level 1313 of Coruscant, where Jedi and the force simply don’t exist. It’s the criminal underworld, a place where the entire planet’s deadliest citizens dwell. The opening section of the game that was shown to me features our hero taking a dangerous creature down into the depths of the planet, after an attack from an unknown assailant their ship starts plummeting down through the levels, eventually crashing into level 1313.

Wait! No force powers?

When I first heard that 1313 wouldn’t include Jedi or force powers, I was extremely disappointed and wrote the game off before even seeing it. However, after seeing it in action and having some time to think about the lack of force powers, I’ve concluded that this isn’t a bad thing. The main character’s arsenal of weapons will more than make up for the lack of lightsabers. A secondary weapon ability fires a stasis shot that pulls and pushes enemies around replicating force powers. The story and gameplay should benefit from this fresh take on the franchise.

Is darker better?

The idea of the Star Wars universe moving to a more mature setting with a darker outlook is intriguing, but is it what the series needs? The whole original story is based around good and evil, if you start blurring the lines then there’s a chance that you lose a part of what made the franchise so popular. However, on the flip side it allows the development team to explore new territory and make some darker decisions. There’s no longer that need to make things black and white, which may be exactly the kick back into gear that Star Wars needed.

Will 1313 succeed?

Based on what’s been shown so far, the excitement levels are pretty high. However, I’ve been burnt in the past by games that looked great, but played horribly. If the entire game can play out like the five minutes that I saw, then there’s no way that 1313 can’t become a major success. The only question mark is over the story – due to the fact that the team wasn’t ready to share information on it, or even reveal who the main character was. The deck is stacked very favorably for Star Wars: 1313.

Can the game work without lightsabers and force powers? What do you think of the setting? Let us know in the comments below.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett has only been covering the gaming world for a short while, but he’s eager to make his mark. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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