I think everybody expected Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world Star Wars game, Star Wars: Outlaws, to be huge. That’s been the case with most of the publisher’s recent open-world games. But the developers behind Outlaws recently confirmed just how big it might be, explaining that planets in the game will be as big as multiple regions in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
In June, after rumors and teases, Ubisoft and in-house developers Massive Entertainment finally revealed its Star Wars: Outlaws, an open-world game set in that famous galaxy far, far away. In Outlaws, which takes place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, you’ll play as scoundrel and thief, Kay Vess. And because this is Star Wars, a franchise built on found family and ragtag groups coming together, you won’t be alone: you’ll have a cute alien sidekick and an (according to the internet) oddly sexy droid partner. While we still don’t know what the game’s actual narrative is, nor what you’ll be doing precisely, we do know that the galaxy in Outlaws is going to be very, very big. Although not stupidly big.
In an interview with Edge Magazine, Outlaws’ creative director Julian Gerighty compared the size of the game’s hand-crafted planets with areas in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, another Ubisoft open-world blockbuster.
“It’s a crude analogy, but the size of one planet might be [equivalent to] two of the zones in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey,” said Gerighty. “It could be two to three zones. But it’s not this sort of epic ‘the whole of England recreated’ approach.”
Now, depending on which zones you are referring to, this could mean the planets in Star Wars: Outlaws are pretty big, or even incredibly enormous, as some regions in Odyssey were small islands while others were giant chunks of ancient Greece. Based on what Gerighty told Edge, even a modest estimation would likely mean some planets in Star Wars: Outlaws are multiple times bigger than entire Assassin’s Creed games, like Syndicate or Unity.
When you compare the maps of those titles to the recent, open-world RPG entries in the AC series, you can see just how much bigger the locations have gotten over the years. For example, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s London map—a large and highly detailed playground—can fit easily inside a small corner of Assassin’s Creed Origins’ open world. In fact, you can fit a dozen copies of that world in Origins. And Origins’ map fits in Odyssey’s huge Greek open world with plenty of room to spare. So when talking about two or three regions from Odyssey, even just the medium-sized areas, we are dealing with some vast areas of digital land.
Impressively, Gerighty also told Edge Magazine that all of the planets in Outlaws are handcrafted and not built using procedural generation, which is the opposite approach of how Bethesda is tackling the hundreds of worlds in its epic RPG, Starfield. That game uses procedural generation to help fill out its galaxy. In contrast, Gerighty says Massive and Ubisoft are taking a “handcrafted” and “manageable” approach to the open-world (or galaxy) in Outlaws. Of course, we don’t yet know how many worlds will be featured in Outlaws, though based on Gerighty’s comments, likely significantly less than the hundreds of planets in Starfield.
Of course, while giant, handcrafted Star Wars planets filled with exciting missions and places to explore sounds nice, I also already feel tired when trying to visualize these massive, Assassin’s-Creed-sized worlds. I really, really hope they aren’t covered in thousands of icons and symbols. I’d prefer some empty space, areas where you just travel through them and don’t stop and spend four hours checking off items from a never-ending list. One can hope, right? We have at least learned that you can’t just fly your ship and land anywhere, but rather at designated points on each planet, which suggests some hope of containment.
Star Wars: Outlaws doesn’t have a specific release date, but Ubisoft says it will be out in 2024 and will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. So it will be 2025.