E3 2012: Star Wars 1313 impressions

LucasArts is generating a ton of attention this week for Star Wars: 1313, which it is promoting as a "mature" look at the Star Wars universe. That means the game will likely be rated "M", which would be a first for a Star Wars game. At E3 2012 this week, we got to see a very early look at the game at a behind closed doors hands-off demo at LucasArts' meeting room

LucasArts has already confirmed that this game will center on the bounty hunter experience in the Star Wars universe. The game itself is set in "Level 1313, a ruthless criminal underground deep below the surface of the planet of Coruscant."

The first part of the Star Wars: 1313 presentation consisted of a video that showed how LucasArts was collaborating with other parts of the Lucasfilm family, including Industrial Light and Magic, in the making of the game. That includes using ILM's motion capture technology used in movies like The Avengers to capture real actors' body and facial movements. That data was used in the E3 2012 demo.

Then we got a live demo of the game itself, running on Unreal Engine 3 and on a PC. It showed two human characters who were transporting some kind of creature in a spaceship that's traveling inside the bowels of Coruscant, the seat of government in the Star Wars universe. The creature was placed in a shipment container rather than in a regular cage or shackles.

Suddenly, the ship comes under attack and the two bounty characters have to fight for their lives in order to avoid crashing. There was a lot of explosions and fire as the characters literally move on top of the wrecked ship as it continues to fall. There's more than a little bit of Uncharted-style gameplay in this demo.

The visuals were certainly impressive and the character models and animation were among the best we have ever seen for a live in-game demo. The details and facial movements were extremely lifelike.

However, this demo was clearly made just for E3 2012 and it's very hard to tell how the final version will turn out. LucasArts isn't saying much at all about Star Wars: 1313's storyline. Perhaps even more interesting, or frustrating depending on how you feel, is that the characters we saw in the E3 2012 demo are not necessarily the same ones we will see when the game is finally released.

While the E3 2012 demo has a lot of possibilities, the fact that LucasArts is keeping so much of Star Wars: 1313 a secret makes it difficult to really evaluate what we saw this week. Indeed, the company isn't even saying when the game will be released or on what platforms.

In the end, Star Wars: 1313 was perhaps the only demo of E3 2012 we got to see live that we can't give a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" just because we saw and learned so little of it. Hopefully, LucasArts will show off more of the game in the coming months.

Image via LucasArts

NeoGamr and Neowin's coverage of E3 2012 is sponsored by War Inc. Battle Zone.

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