Star Wars Outlaws: Andor Gets More Fanservice

I’ve had mixed feelings about Star Wars Outlaws since its first trailer was unveiled last year. I’ve always had a soft spot for Star Wars games, having fallen in love with the medium because of Knights of the Old Republic, and I’ve greatly enjoyed narrative-heavy additions to the franchise like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Star Wars Outlaws has no business charging over a hundred dollars for Ultimate and Gold editions.

But against all odds, I’m optimistic about Outlaws. The premise is particularly interesting because it diverges from the usual shtick of following Jedis on their journeys. Instead, it tells a story about a scoundrel on the Outer Rim trying to pull off a massive heist so she can give herself a life where she isn’t struggling to survive.

This is reminiscent of recent Disney series The Mandalorian and Andor, which also focus on non-Jedis elsewhere in the universe, exploring how people who don’t use the Force struggle to survive. Star Wars has created such an iconic setting that it would be foolish not to explore other avenues of storytelling within the universe, and I’m glad that Outlaws is daring to do just that. I’m comparing it to Andor instead of The Mandalorian for a few reasons.

Both Andor and Outlaws take place before the formation of a concrete Rebel Alliance. Partly because of this, both Cassian Andor and Kay Vess are criminals and thieves, forced to find ways to survive because it’s really hard to thrive under an authoritarian regime. Both Andor and Outlaws play within similar genres – while Andor is something of a spy drama, portraying burgeoning rebels in their sneaky attempts to undermine the Galactic Empire, Outlaws seems to be a stealth action game that focuses on the seedy underbelly of life under the Empire and an individual struggle for liberation.

One major difference Outlaws has from Andor is in how intertwined with the canon Outlaws is. Just in the story trailer, we see Jabba the Hutt, Han Solo encased in carbonite, Qi’ra in the shadows, familiar planets like Tatooine and Kijimi, and several previously established Star Wars criminal groups. Andor, in contrast, largely stays away from cameos from familiar characters and establishes itself as a standalone series despite being a prequel to Rogue One.

Despite that, I’m not writing the game off just yet. In fact, I’m excited to see what story the game will tell when it launches later this year, and if it can in fact be the Andor of the Star Wars video game universe. Will it be a standout, embracing its differences from its contemporary peers?

Or will it just be more samey Ubisoft fare? We’ll find out on August 30 when Outlaws launches. Star Wars Outlaws follows Kay Vess as she bids to out manoeuver the galaxy’s deadliest criminals.

An open-world action-adventure game from Ubisoft, it also features grand space battles and a deep story.

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