Star Wars Outlaws better be good, because it's basically the open world Star Wars game us nerds have all been dreaming about for years

Two shady aliens playing cards in Star Wars Outlaws.
(Image credit: Ubisoft Massive)

Lightsabers and X-Wings may get all the applause, but in their heart of hearts, what every Star Wars fan really loves is the shadowy side of the galaxy. There's something irresistible about the Outer Rim and all its bounty hunters, Hutts, and moral greyness—and a videogame set in that melting pot of grim has been my go-to dream Star Wars game for yonks. So much so that me and Rich were trying to manifest one back in 2021.

Well, proof if proof were needed that PC Gamer staff have reality-altering powers: Star Wars Outlaws has been announced, and it's exactly that. Billed as "the first open world Star Wars game", it follows a "cunning scoundrel" called Kay Vess and her alien pet Nix (a fine addition to the franchise's canon of cute lil guys) as they scramble around the Outer Rim trying to pull off one last, big heist. 

She's accompanied by what appears to be a reprogrammed BX commando droid in a trenchcoat—and, listen, you're either the kind of person who thinks a reprogrammed BX commando droid in a trenchcoat is cool as hell, or you aren't. Their adventure takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (we even get a glimpse of Han in carbonite). In other words, during that darkest time when hope seemed lost and the Empire's iron fist was closing around everyone, just before that brightest time when they all got blown up by teddy bears.

Ubisoft Massive is developing the game—you'd know the studio most recently for The Division and its sequel, though it also collaborated on Far Cry 3 with Ubisoft Montréal. That's some action-adventure open world bona fides, for sure. Weirdly, it's also making Ubisoft's upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, so I guess Massive is the team you go to when you want a big open world sci-fi movie adaptation these days.

Though the cynical part of me immediately starts imagining clearing out space bandit camps and climbing space towers, it has to be said that Ubisoft as a publisher do still put out some of the most detailed, enormous, and technically impressive open worlds around—the thought of that kind of craft and scale being brought to bear on a Star Wars game, particularly an Outer Rim adventure, is really exciting.

Though we only have a cinematic trailer to go on for now, a proper gameplay reveal is due at Ubisoft Forward tomorrow, Monday 12th. Judging by what we've seen so far, I'd expect blaster battles, zipping around on hoverbikes, and maybe even some space dogfighting.

Come on Ubisoft, impress me—don't break this old nerd's heart. 

Robin Valentine
Senior Editor

Formerly the editor of PC Gamer magazine (and the dearly departed GamesMaster), Robin combines years of experience in games journalism with a lifelong love of PC gaming. First hypnotised by the light of the monitor as he muddled through Simon the Sorcerer on his uncle’s machine, he’s been a devotee ever since, devouring any RPG or strategy game to stumble into his path. Now he's channelling that devotion into filling this lovely website with features, news, reviews, and all of his hottest takes.