Dead Space Dev's Star Wars Game Is Not "Star Wars Uncharted," Coming in 2018
Amy Hennig shares some new details.
Uncharted veteran Amy Hennig is heading up development on the new Star Wars game that is currently in production at Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline studio Visceral Games. In a new interview with Glixel, Hennig stressed that the game will not be "Star Wars Uncharted." The report says the game may be "spiritually similar" to Uncharted, but it will also be its own thing.
As the site points out, Uncharted games are told pretty much exclusively from the point of view of main character Nathan Drake. Stories in the broader Star Wars franchise, however, are often told from multiple perspectives, with the audience forming connections with a handful of characters and plot points. This could be the setup for Visceral's new Star Wars game, though nothing is confirmed.
In September, Hennig said there are "a lot" of similarities between Uncharted and Star Wars, but there are obviously some big differences, too.
"So I thought that some of the rules I had used making Uncharted no longer applied," she said at the time. "In Uncharted or in Indiana Jones you actually kinda stick with Indie the whole time. There are times you cut away, but it's always something that informs you on what he is doing, like Marion in the tent. In Star Wars you're always cutting away to the bad guys, and seeing what they're doing: 'Meanwhile, back at the villain ranch…'"
Also in the interview, Hennig recalled her reaction to Visceral GM Steve Papoutsis' initial pitch to her to come work on the game. He reportedly said EA wanted to make a "scrappy" third-person action adventure game. Hennig said she was initially uneasy about signing on.
"Imagine how heartbreaking it would be to work on something I love so much only to be crushed under the combined wheels of EA, Lucasfilm, and Disney," she said.
Hennig eventually committed to joining EA to work on the Star Wars game after being promised that she and her team could work closely with Lucasfilm. Specifically, she said she was convinced about taking the job when she knew she would be able to meet with Lucasfilm veterans like Kiri Hart (head of story) and Doug Chiang (executive creative director). Hennig has visited Skywalker Ranch numerous times to see Star Wars props up close and to photograph them for use in the game.
Also in the interview, Hennig discussed her departure from Naughty Dog, which took place during the development of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. It's suggested that her exit was not voluntary. According to Glixel, "Anybody who knows her and her work knows she would never willingly leave a project in the middle of development."
Hennig also confirmed that she has not played Uncharted 4, which she was directing before being replaced by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.
"If you break up with your spouse and they get remarried you don't want to see photos of the happy couple on Facebook, do you?" she said. "When you're pulling these characters out of yourself, it's kind of twisted, in a way, to see them in the hands of someone else."
A report claimed Naughty Dog lost development on Uncharted 4 was set back by eight months when Hennig left the studio, but she said in the new interview that it was more like six. She also talked about the working conditions at Naughty Dog, reiterating that it was normal for junior and senior staffers alike to pull at least 80 hours a week. She did that for 10 years.
"Sometimes we would do 50 hours straight, without stopping," she said. "That beautiful result we talked about comes at a price. When you're young it's one thing, but when you're married and have kids, and you realize you haven't been home for dinner in a year and you haven't seen your kids... it's a tough thing to sustain."
Speaking on a podcast in October, Hennig criticized Triple-A development.
"We have to get our act figured out as an industry, and the problem is that the ante keeps getting upped... It's an arms race that is unwinnable and is destroying people," she said.
The Glixel interview also references a 2018 release date for Visceral's Star Wars game. Go read the full Glixel interview with Hennig here. It was written by former GameSpot editor Laura Parker.
Back at E3, EA showed off a brief look at Visceral's Star Wars game, including the images in the gallery above. According to Motive Studios head Jade Raymond, Visceral is taking the game in "groundbreaking directions." For her part, Hennig added, "Our goal has always been not to just sort of make a game that is set in the Star Wars universe, but to really tell an authentic Star Wars story."
This game is just one of the new Star Wars projects on the way from EA. DICE is currently at work on Star Wars Battlefront 2 in collaboration with Motive. Check out this post to see a rundown of all the Star Wars games currently in development.
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