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Gritty new ‘Star Wars 1313′ has fans buzzing

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(Credit: LucasArts)

LucasArts is turning to the Dark Side for its next Star Wars game.

Not the Dark Side of the Force, mind you. It's done that several times already. Nope, this time the publisher is hoping to explore a darker, more mature side of the sci-fi universe in a new game called Star Wars 1313.

The third-person action romp is set on "Level 1313, a ruthless criminal underground deep below the surface of the planet of Coruscant," according to the company. Players will assume the role of a bounty hunter taking down targets and searching for the truth behind a criminal conspiracy.

Could that bounty hunter be fan fave Boba Fett? LucasArts isn't saying, though the company will further showcase the game next week at E3, announcing things like platforms and a release window. Gamers previously played as Boba's dear old dad Jango Fett in the 2002 action game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

Also in question is the target age rating. With its universal appeal, Star Wars titles typically enjoy an 'E' (for everyone) or 'Teen' rating. Star Wars 1313, however, may well net a 'Mature' rating, which would be a first for the Star Wars game universe.

But wait, a Star Wars game without light sabers and force pushes? That might sound shocking to today's legions of wannabe-Jedi knights, but a blaster-based game that presumably has some stealth elements could help energize fans. And, as the enduring love of "The Empire Strikes Back" shows, the Star Wars faithful really love it when the universe takes a dark turn.

They're certainly interested in this one. 'SW1313' became a top trending topic overnight on both Twitter and right here at Yahoo!, proving there's still quite an appetite for cool Star Wars fiction.

"Star Wars 1313 dives into a part of the Star Wars mythos that we've always known existed, but never had a chance to visit," said LucasArts president Paul Meegan.

Lucas is throwing its full weight behind the game, relying on input from its various tech divisions, including LucasArts, ILM, Lucasfilm Animation, and Skywalker Sound. Clearly, the Force is strong with this one. Let's just hope the gameplay is, too.

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