Star Wars and video games are not a new combination. Games based on the storied film series have appeared on all generations of consoles as well as PCs. Though it’s not the first Star Wars game to appear on mobile devices, Star Wars Uprising is definitely the biggest, and it looks to be the best as well. I got a chance to play the game at PAX Prime and I was very impressed with what I saw.
Star Wars Uprising is a multiplayer role-playing game that’s set right after Return of the Jedi in an isolated sector of space. Those who live there aren’t aware that the emperor has died, and the local imperial governor has taken control of the system where a number of imperial garrisons still exist. Players create a unique character from a variety of races. All players start the game as smugglers who have started to gain a reputation.
Dan Martin, lead designer on the game, said, “Players are basically Han Solo-type characters, but they stand on their own. We don’t want the famous characters showing up all the time, because that lessens their impact.”
Kabam, the game’s developer, wants the game to be a truly free-to-play. While lots of items can be purchased with cash, none of them can’t be obtained by putting some time into the game. In addition there’s no way for players to pay their way to advancing. “There’s no premium content,” said Martin. “Paying players can’t level faster—they can get items faster.” Martin stated things like an expanded inventory space as some of the things paying players might be able to obtain. “Our community is the most important. Non-paying players contribute to the community the same way as paying players. We want people playing everyday,” Martin said.
Part of getting players to come back every day is the fact that they don’t have to do any in-depth gameplay to progress. The game can be played in “three minutes or three hours” according to Martin. Each player has a crew that can be sent out on missions to gain resources and items. Setting up these missions takes very little time. For those who want to play for longer, there’s a ton to do. Exploring and tackling quests from NPCs (non-playable characters) that will help further the story are all things players can do if they have the time.
The game will also be completely cross-platform. Android and iOS users can play together, and the game includes three character slots. Money and resources can easily be shared between other characters on the device, which makes it a great for families where multiple people would like to play.
During my time with the game, I found it to play kind of like The Old Republic, but with simpler combat. My character was easy to control and even combat required just a few simple gestures. I got a taste of the amount of story in the game, which was impressive even in the very short demo. It’s definitely something Star Wars fans will be able to sink their teeth into. I know I plan to dive into the game once it’s released. And none of us will have to wait long: Star Wars Uprising is scheduled to be released before the end of September.