Star Wars: Hunters, let's discover the characters

Star Wars: Hunters, let's discover the characters

Star Wars

Announced nearly a year ago in a Nintendo Direct, Star Wars: Hunters has more than one eyebrow raised. Another action multiplayer arena, set in the Star Wars universe and developed by Zynga, those of FarmVille: was there really a need? A question that will have to wait to be answered given that the game will be released in 2022, but that begins to be a little less obvious, now that we have seen the first trailer in action. Star Wars: Hunters, in fact, seems to have good potential, but it was not the gameplay that captured our attention, but the colorful cast of characters that we can select to form a team of four players and give them a good reason in the various arenas of the planet Vespaara.

There will be at least two game modes, to begin with: Escort, in which a team will have to escort a load to the goal, defending it from opponents' attacks, and Control, in which the teams will have to conquer the center arena before time runs out. The Vespaara arenas are inspired by the most iconic scenarios of the saga, from Tatooine to Endor, passing through Hoth, Mos Espa and Cloud City. Players will be able to customize their heroes with a plethora of cosmetic items that they can obtain by winning battles and possibly swiping their credit card in the inevitable store. We don't know the details about the potential microtransactions yet, but considering that the game will be released for Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS, it's hard to imagine otherwise.

The Hunters

Star Wars: Hunters, J-3DI is a droid who believes himself to be a Jedi Knight. Now we come to the cast we were talking about earlier. The style adopted by Zynga has conquered us, because it is very reminiscent of the stylized and sharp character design of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the hugely popular animated series in computer graphics produced between 2008 and 2020, but not misrepresented: the playable characters are all brand new and have never appeared in any licensed movies, comics, or novels. This does not exclude that they can carve out a space in the so-called Expanded Universe, also because some are really interesting.

Let's take J-3DI, for example. Built to entertain the public, this droid has been programmed to believe he is a Jedi Knight and can draw on a huge database of information and knowledge that probably belonged to the Order. Wearing a traditional blue lightsaber, J-3DI can even simulate some Force powers through a mix of technology and special effects. One of his special moves is called Faux Pull and it allows him to fire his fist like a rocket to grab the target and pull it towards him.

And if there is a Jedi, real or fake, a Sith cannot be missing. In this case we are talking about Rieve, a young warrior from the Dark Side who fights with unprecedented ferocity and can really draw on the Force to brutally attack her opponents. One of her moves is obviously the Lightsaber Throw which allows her to hurl her vermilion lightsaber at the enemies.

Utooni is not one character, but two: they are in fact two Jawa brothers, one above the others, who live by following a series of bizarre principles. First of all, being funny is important because it gathers more people around you and increases the chances of stealing everything they own. As a result, the more you win, the more famous you become, and in that case, sometimes, you don't even need to steal - your fans give you what they have. A typical Jawa behavior, which for the uninitiated are the creepy aliens with hoods and darkened faces that appeared in the very first Star Wars Episode IV. Utooni attacks from a distance, and one of his abilities is called Scrap Cannon: as the name suggests, it is a weapon that deals massive damage to anything in its path.

Sentinel is another attacker a distance with a decidedly iconic appearance: he is a former imperial stormtrooper. The description of him allows us to better place Star Wars: Hunters in the multimedia saga. If it is true that Sentinel fights to prove that the Empire will be reborn once again, then we can speculate that the game takes place between Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens. In any case, this character fights with a huge submachine gun and can call two stormtroopers to fight alongside him with the Empire's Finest ability.

Star Wars: Hunters, Zaina is the only "support" announced so far Imara Vex is a bounty hunter who wears a helmet very similar to that of Boushh, the Ubese that Leia played in Return of the Jedi during the rescue mission in the palace of Jabba the Hutt. We don't know her kind of membership, but we do know that Imara Vex is deadly and is using the Arena to show off and get potential customers to hire her. One of her abilities is called Seeker Salvo: Imara explodes a forest of missiles that track enemies from afar and hit them wherever they are, dealing massive damage.

Zynga's latest damage dealer is still shrouded in mystery. We only know that his name is Aran Tal and he is a Mandalorian - a pretty obvious choice for the cast of the game, given the popularity of this race of warriors following the success of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian on Disney +, as well as the upcoming release of The Book of Boba Fett. Given the artwork, which illustrates Aran Tal wielding two blasters, it is quite obvious to assume that he is another medium / long range fighter and that he can fly briefly with his jetpack.

Defense and support

Star Wars: Hunters, Utooni is a character made up of two Jawas The roster of Star Wars: Hunters for the moment is unbalanced on the "damage" front, practically those characters who specialize in melee combat or at a distance and can easily eliminate opponents. They won't be able to go very far, however, without someone to support them. In this case we are talking about Zaina, the only "support" hunter expected at launch. Zaina is a veteran of the Rebellion, a born leader who has fought in countless battles leading her fellow soldiers to victory. His skill kit should have been meant to extend battles, keeping his teammates alive or temporarily improving their performance, but for the moment we only officially know of one skill: Sticky Bomb, as the name suggests, is an explosive. sticker that bursts after a few seconds, inflicting area damage.

The last two characters announced belong to the category of "tanks", that is, those fighters who, with extraordinary resistance, can take the hits of enemies and distract them while the rest of the team converges on the real goal. One of the tanks in question could only be a Wookiee, but Grozz is even heavier than his fellows and wields the arms of a poor KX model droid as blunt weapons. This means that Grozz fights mostly in melee, but his Boulder Bash ability allows him to hurl a boulder from the ground beneath his feet at enemies, stunning them on impact.

Star Wars: Hunters, they couldn't miss the duels with lightsabers The other tank is Slingshot, another couple like Utooni made up of a droidka and his driver, a crazy Ugnaught who goes by the name of Dizzy. This combination with a lot of means of transport allows him to move quickly around the Arena and to fight at short / medium range with a mix of close and long range attacks. One of his abilities, Rocket Stomp! - Shields Up, sees him jumping and bouncing on enemies, damaging them, slowing them down and at the same time generating protective shields on himself.

As we said, Zynga has drawn in a truly imaginative way to the boundless universe of Star Wars, always remaining within the prudent limits of fanservice, to create a captivating cast of characters that recall the films and the Expanded Universe. Now we only need to understand if the gameplay will be up to the artistic direction, if the game will run properly on the expected systems and if it will be able to win the interest of an increasingly savvy public towards this videogame genre.

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