Thanks to Disney, Star Wars is everywhere! This not only means cheaply made stormtrooper coffee mugs but also a slew of video games (unfortunately only done by EA). After the disappointingly shallow Battlefront, I was left longing for a grand adventure that could match the highs of KOTOR. It seems that Visceral’s Amy Hennig and her unnamed Star Wars game could be our only hope.
Hennig is a legend in the industry. She directed and wrote Uncharted 1-3 as well as the PS1 gem Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Action Adventure is obviously her specialty and I can’t wait to see what she delivers in 2018.
Let’s talk about why.
She truly loves the franchise and wants to do it justice
In an interview with Soren Johnson on the podcast Designer Notes, Hennig fondly remembered the first time she saw the trailer for A New Hope.
Yes there was a time when someone else did the voices for trailers
Hennig saw the film repeatedly for many consecutive weekends. She’s a certified Star Wars fan and this is exactly the type of person you’d want helming this game.
Unlike George Lucas’s joyless prequels, Hennig understands the heart of the original films and plans to portray that tone in her game.
“It means getting the tone right. It’s what my writing partner Todd calls breezy urgency. It’s the idea that there’s sort of a swash-buckling charm to the thing. There’s humor and buoyancy but at the same time there’s stakes and jeopardy.”
To prepare for Uncharted, Hennig studied Indiana Jones and other pulp action in an effort to break down the mechanics of what made those stories and films work. She recently spoke of utilizing this same strategy now.
“The process that I’ve been using is really similar to what I did with Uncharted, to be honest. If you’re trying to re-create that classic–in [Uncharted’s] case–pulp action adventure experience, you need to deconstruct the films so you know how to reconstruct them in an interactive context as gameplay.”
It won’t be Uncharted: In Space!
“The end goal is by the time the player has finished playing they feel like they really did play a Star Wars film. So I’ve done the same thing for Star Wars. What does that mean? It’s getting the structure right. It means you have to understand where the act breaks fall, where all the obstacles and reversals fall, and the set-pieces…what are all the component parts that make up a Star Wars story.”
“The difference between Star Wars and Indiana Jones is that there aren’t side characters, there are co-protagonists, and so the same thing is true of our game…They only escape the Death Star because everyone does their part in parallel. The challenge for us then is how do we enable that in gameplay.”
Some take this to suggest co-op play but Hennig’s comments lean towards a single-player experience
“[Characters are] always outnumbered and outgunned, so they have to be smarter than their enemies, more improvisational, and work together. The challenge for us is to figure out how we enable that in gameplay so that the player really feels that experience, so that it’s not just part of the story but also the gameplay. That’s why you deconstruct and reconstruct.”
Don’t forget that Visceral Games has already had success in the stars with Dead Space. While this new game should have slightly less horror, it’s reassuring to know they’ve been up there before.
What do you think?