Star Wars 1313: Drake’s Lawsuit

I stayed up until 4am this morning, watching E3. I suffered through the ‘comedy’, the dancing, the acting; I picked my jaw up off the ground after watching Watch_Dogs gameplay; I sat up, ultimately, to see what Star Wars 1313 was all about. I knew it was about a bounty hunter on Coruscant, and that it was meant to be ambitious and doing stuff never before seen, but that’s all. I looked forward to it.

Finally, after blabbering on about some rubbish, they got to the game.

They showed an in-game cutscene first. It was absolutely incredible looking. Nearly as good as Watch_Dogs had looked. I thought if the whole game was going to look like that, it would be hard to disappoint. I shouldn’t have thought that. I must have jinxed it.

After about 30 seconds, the cutscene was over, and it was back to the studio for talking. I was a tad irritated that they’d cut it off so quickly, after making such a huge fuss about it all week, but I assumed there’d be lots more to show.

Let’s ignore the fact that the whole thing lasted only a little over four minutes, talking and all (so about two minutes of actual game). That’s not what annoyed me. Granted, I’d stayed up till a ridiculous time mostly to see this game they’d been raving about. So when I saw only two minutes or so of actual gameplay, I was a tad annoyed. However, what really pissed me off was what they did show.

They showed Uncharted in space.

The first bit of proper gameplay they showed consisted of the player character (I don’t know or care what his name is) having to climb up the outside of a ship as it fell to pieces around him. My first thought was, ‘Drake?’

Nathan Drake must have cryogenically frozen himself aboard a time-machine-ship en route to a galaxy far far away, because that is who I saw last night. The sequence was nothing short of identical to the kind of climb-up-this-before-it-falls-apart sequences found in the three Uncharted games. And not just obvious similarities. Even the way the character moved, climbed and jumped was the same as Drake.

Another 30 seconds or so, and it cut off again. As impressive as the graphics were, all I could think about was the settling in of doubt and mild outrage. I replayed it in my head to ensure I’d seen what I thought I saw. I did. By the time I’d done so, the third and final piece of gameplay began.

This time, they were aboard another ship (or inside somewhere, anyway, I wasn’t really listening at this point).

This scene was very reminiscent of the plane in Uncharted 3, with crates and people sliding from side to side. But again, this wasn’t the only similarity. Nath…I mean, our brand new, unique bounty hunter character took cover behind one of these crates and began shooting enemies. It was somewhere around here when the proper outrage set in.

He was getting hit every time he popped out of cover to fire, so he blind fired. Now of course most 3rd person shooters let you do that, but there was just something about it that again made me think Nathan Drake was in disguise as a bounty hunter. Then, he moved from cover to cover, on the other side of a crate from an enemy. Then, there was no mistaking this bounty hunter’s true identity.

He reached over the crate, grabbed the enemy, pulled him over, and killed him on the ground. It was very nearly identical to two such attacks in Uncharted 2. The animation, you would swear, had been taken straight from Naughty Dog’s files and mixed together into something ‘new’.

They claim this is ambitious, and that it’s never been done before. Bullshit! It’s been done three times before for the PS3 and then again for the handheld. The only ambitious thing about it is the way they think they can blatantly rip off one of the biggest game franchises in recent history and get away with it.

Granted, they probably will get away with it. But still…

Star Wars 1313 had better introduce some massively original gameplay elements and a brilliant story on top of this stolen gameplay, or else I think they could be in trouble.

I understand the host’s excitement, because visually it looks amazing. But looks aren’t everything. And they can be fairly deceiving. Here’s the video, and a video of similar gameplay from Uncharted (go to 1m 15s). Spot the difference. Which is Uncharted, and which is Uncharted wearing sci fi makeup?

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