Recently Star Wars: Uprising was soft-launched in New Zealand, as well as other regions, which means that over the past week I’ve been playing so much that buses may or may not have been missed. Uprising is a mobile game made by Kabam, which will be released sometime in September on both Android and iOS. The game’s currently in beta mode so there are a few issues that will hopefully be well gone by September, but it’s still a fun little timekiller.
So what’s this game about? Basically, you’re a smuggler and you’re trying to pay off your debts alongside your strategist sister, Riley. It took me far too long to figure out my Twi’lek Riley was the same character announced with the game, even with her leg brace. I am not a wise woman.
In the days following the Battle of Endor and the fall of the Emperor, The Anoat sector has been locked down by the Empire. With the Rebel Alliance on the other side of the Iron Blockade, it falls to the sector’s smugglers, freedom fighters, bounty hunters and gangsters to join forces and form an uprising.
Eventually more Factions come into play, and players will be able to travel to more planets within the sector than just Burnin Konn (not to be confused with Burning Con). Hoth and Cloud City will both eventually be open for travel, though that will come with more people playing and helping to open them up. The game is set up in such a way that everyone needs to push the story forward, even if each person plays their story in isolation.
The game has two main parts: missions, and the time spent outside of them. A mission is essentially a few minute-long dungeon, where you run through (sometimes with the ability to bring in another player to help you out), shooting enemies and collecting loot. Outside of missions you can mess around with upgrading and levelling gear, send your collected crew on their own missions, buy supplies, and more. The system’s simple, if not a little repetitive, but the missions are great for picking up the game for a few minutes when there’s time to kill.
There are also massive events called Sector Battles which every player can join in on that help dictate area expansion, level caps, and more. There are four stages to each sector battle that have different missions that contribute towards the battle, including helping to choose which system a given battle will take place. At the start everything’s a little overwhelming, but there’s an ongoing chat where questions can be asked, as well as little tutorials in most areas.
Somehow, probably because everything’s all on the phone screen, the game feels more intimate than, say, The Old Republic. The smaller number of players currently most likely contributes to this feeling too. Because of this, I’ve enjoyed the little chat quite a bit. Obviously not everyone is a nice person—this is the Internet after all—but being able to ask questions and chat to others playing feels less lonely, even if the co-op hasn’t been working so far.
As for the playable character, the character creator is cute and simple with enough options to make a character that to me feels unique enough to be mine, but not so many that hours could be spent lost in hairstyles and eye variations. The creator feels somewhat similar to that of Knights of the Old Republic in style, probably because of how simplistic it is. A plus: the characters themselves are adorable, even the buff Zabrak guys.
As someone who usually takes a decade of confusion to figure out a new game, I found the controls pretty intuitive, though on smaller screens different gestures can be picked up wrong. I even play on a Note 4 and sometimes instead of throwing grenades I just end up running in circles while being shot at. (In other words, I make the Stormies look good.) That said, the abilities can be really fun to play around with. Right now I have a shotgun kinda thing and I’m having so much fun blasting everything near me into oblivion.
Other nice little touches include warnings of incoming boss battles, an equal amount of female crew members to the male ones, and gorgeous art in the loading screens. As for the not-so-nice touches, the game is a little repetitive—though I figure a lot of that is the level and story capping for the beta—and there’s an issue where crew members can fail missions they have 100% ratings for. Nobody knows whether this is a glitch or something we’ll see in the full release, but I’m hoping for the former.
On the whole, I think the game has a lot of potential. I’ve picked it up every day since getting it, even if only just to send my crew on missions and grab whatever new stuff they have to offer me as their benevolent boss, and that is so rare for a phone game for me. If it’s not already obvious, building a cute, all-female crew has been my favourite part of the game so far. Team Misandry for the win!
Despite the little issues, I would definitely recommend Uprising come full release, and I would also recommend giving me your username so I can friend you. After the first ten levels it’s not a sit-down-for-hours-and-play game, but because of the length of missions it’s fun to pick up while making toast or waiting for your friends to arrive because the bus you almost missed ended up being ten minutes early.
Thanks to Max for the heads up.
Featured Image: Kabam.