When it was announced that Ubisoft would be making a Star Wars game, it’s fair to say there were two immediate reactions.
The first was “what about EA?”, with the publisher still making Star Wars games, albeit not exclusively.
The second was “why Ubisoft Massive?”
I’m here to tell you, friends, that Ubisoft Massive is just who you want to give a Star Wars project to.
Ubisoft Massive Is A Great Choice For A Star Wars Game: Here's Why
Ubisoft Massive, also known as Massive Entertainment, was founded in 1997, and since then has gone from Vivendi, to Activision, to Ubisoft. Upon joining the Ubisoft portfolio, the team acted in support of other developers.
Working on Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Far Cry 3, the team finally got the chance to show what they could do when they dropped The Division in 2016, followed by its sequel in 2019.
Why does all this matter? Because aside from the looting and the RPG aspects of the Division franchise so far, the real star is its world. Admittedly a little too close for comfort nowadays, the studio’s third-person cover-based shooters take place in a world where chaos reigns after a pandemic.
Sure, it’s story is fairly generic, but in the spaces between each double-cross and gunfight are environmental touches that offer a broad mix of “before the outbreak” calm and frantic panic as the world’s reality sets in.
It grounds the game’s story in very human places. ‘Echoes’, holographic memories reconstructed from surveillance data, show families being separated based on their symptoms, or villainous factions rising up to carve out parts of New York (and subsequently, Washington D.C.) for themselves.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Star Wars in the last few years, it’s that the franchise needs to be grounded in more human, and less binary, places.
For all of The Last Jedi’s flaws, we saw a different side to the Jedi Order, something Rise of Skywalker glossed over with all the grace of hiring a Gungan to decorate your house.
We’ve had The Mandalorian emerge as one of the franchise’s best projects in years, making us care about a man who is rarely unmasked but is tied to his surroundings through his personal connections.
I’m not saying Ubi Massive are making a Mandalorian game (although I’d be absolutely OK with that), but I am saying that if you saw the team as “the ones that made the shooter with loot in NYC”, then you’d be missing what the studio brings to the table.