It's been over four months since Ubisoft announced its upcoming Star Wars open-world game, and fans are clamoring for any information they can dig up. There's still some time until the Ubisoft Massive-led Star Wars open-world would release, but there's already some information that might carry more weight than fans anticipate.
Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have confirmed that the Star Wars game will be developed using their in-house Snowdrop engine, which has been used in titles such as The Crew 2 and The Division 2. This could carry some huge implications for the title, and early signs point towards most of them being positive.
The choice of a game engine carries significantly more weight than the design and art elements of the project. Familiarity with the technology is just as important (if not more) than what the engine is capable of. Thankfully, the Snowdrop engine checks all the boxes in this regard.
The Snowdrop engine has already proven its mettle in the graphics department, with titles like The Division 2 teeming with visual effects and high-res textures that make these worlds so enticing to explore. Artists should also be able to leverage the efficient asset production and management process, which is touted to be one of the best and most innovative features of the Snowdrop engine.
The icing on the cake is the fact that the engine was developed by Ubisoft Massive itself, which alleviates any problems that occur from the lack of familiarity with the technology. This ensures that the team will likely spend more time and energy on the creative aspects of the game as opposed to modifying the underlying technology for the game.
In addition to the previously mentioned graphical prowess, the Snowdrop engine truly shines when it comes to rendering richly realized worlds. Games like The Division are shining examples of this great balance of micro-level detail in the environments alongside a huge scope of the open world. This would make it relatively easy for Massive to craft huge environments that sell the spirit of being in the Star Wars universe.
Lastly, the engine is touted to have great destructibility mechanics. It might not be on par with DICE's Frostbite engine, but it could very well be expanded upon for the Star Wars open-world. Ubisoft has a knack for developing systemic open-worlds such as the likes of Far Cry, and it would be great to see NPCs and factions destroying the surrounding environments autonomously.
The Snowdrop engine is teeming with possibilities and toolsets that should make for great Star Wars games. Some might require upgrades while others might be fine as it is, but the familiarity of the team with the engine should ensure that the technical aspects of development remain as smooth as possible.
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