After playing Star Wars Jedi Survivor, I'm even more excited about the prospect of dual protagonists in Star Wars Outlaws

Star Wars Jedi Survivor
(Image credit: EA/Respawn)

If it weren't for BD-1, I've often thought that Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order would have been a very lonely experience. The droid companion provides Cal Kestis with company when he's often facing the dangers of the galaxy alone, acting as a source of comfort amidst the looming threat of the Empire. But as well as being integral from a storytelling perspective, BD-1 also offers support in very practical ways. Whether it be helping Cal make it across ziplines, using its slice ability to open up doors or shortcuts, or storing healing stems, the little bot is a companion you can't be without. And after finally tucking into the sequel Star Wars Jedi Survivor, the same applies. Despite the fact that Cal now has a home base of sorts in Pyloon's Saloon, along with his own found family and a roster of established relationships, BD-1 is still the one major constant for the Jedi protagonist, with more skills to put to use for exploration and traversal. 

In many ways, it feels like one can't exist without the other, and I love how they complement each other as a pair. The more time I spend with Cal and BD-1 in Survivor, the more my sense of anticipation grows for another upcoming Star Wars game set to take us to a galaxy far, far away: Star Wars Outlaws. As lead character Kay Vess navigates the criminal syndicates of the Outer Rim, she'll be joined by a little companion of her own - a Merqaal by the name of Nix. In fact, developer Massive Entertainment is positioning the pair as dual protagonists, and if my enjoyment of Survivor's dynamic duo is anything to go, that's a very exciting prospect indeed.  

Loyal partner in crime  

Star Wars Outlaws

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Cal and BD-1 are so effective as a pair thanks to the way the droid's abilities are baked into the core mechanics of both Fallen Order and Survivor. As a Metroidvania experience, you're often met with blocked paths that you have to come back to later, but a lot of the solutions to open up these pathways are split between either character - whether it be a new ability Cal learns, or an upgrade for BD-1. When it comes to traversal, which is a huge part of the adventure, they also both work very well together, with the small robot providing ways for Cal to reach platforms or pass through locked doors by interacting with controls. And with BD-1 constantly hitching a ride on Cal's back, it feels like they're always helping each other through every location. 

Rather excitingly, it looks like Kay and Nix will also complement and help each other as they explore the first open-world set in the Star Wars universe, and come face-to-face with seedy figures in the Outer Rim. In the Star Wars Outlaws gameplay walkthrough shown off at the Ubisoft Forward last year, we got the chance to see how we can control Nix, with Kay sending out commands directing the adorable Merqaal to press a switch, or loot an enemy as she engages in a gunfight against foes. As creative director Julian Gerighty said in an interview with Game Informer, "Nix comes from a real gameplay need, which is to give the scoundrel character more reach, a little bit more possibilities while going through environments while sneaking and fighting". 

But my excitement to play as Kay and Nix as a pair isn't just down to the gameplay. It's clear from what we've seen so far that they share a bond, not unlike Cal and BD-1. When you're facing dangers, having someone at your side makes all the difference, and as Kay's best friend, Nix is said to have been her "partner in crime since she was a kid". I've always been a big fan of companions in games. They can enrich the experience, bring added context to the world we're in, and also make the experience feel less lonely, just as BD-1 does for Cal in Fallen Order and Survivor. And hopefully, that's very much what Nix will also do for Kay. 

One thing's for sure: after I put down my lightsaber in Survivor, I'm looking forward to meeting the dual protagonists of Star Wars Outlaws. 

I can't wait to not be a Jedi in Star Wars Outlaws.

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.