With the resurgence in the Star Wars franchise due to a slew of upcoming films the announcement in mid-2013 that Electronic Arts had secured the rights to make games in the universe was seen as a major coup. Within months word came around that several big studios including DICE, Bioware and Visceral Games were all working on titles. The first of these big releases is Star Wars: Battlefront from DICE, the developers of EA's massive Battlefield shooter.
Now, two years after the announcement of EA's coup, the veil is starting to lift on the game, Star Wars: Battlefront which has been announced for release this November and focuses on the Original Trilogy of films for locations and characters, with some links to the upcoming film. While we wait to see gameplay, what we have seen from the in-engine trailer, and the details, already have us drooling.
Battlefront looks like a game maxing out the PS4.
The first exciting news about this game is that unlike the earlier games in the franchise, this title allows you to switch between first and third person modes and you will be able to select from a range of classic characters including Boba Fett and Darth Vader, while other characters such as C-3PO and R2-D2 will also be present in the game. It will be possible to customise your character and while details are under wraps about this, it's not a stretch to imagine being able to select different weapons, equipment and perhaps perks.
Announced so far, battles will take place on a range of battlegrounds on planets including Hoth, Endor and Tatooine as well as the previously unseen planet Sullust while post-release DLC will include battles on Jakku (more on that later). The ground based battles also include a range of vehicles including speeder bikes, AT-STs and more while, for the first time, the franchise will allow you to take to the skies and pilot the Millennium Falcon, X-Wings, Tie Fighters and more. That should be an exhilarating experience.
Darth Vader is a playable character in Star Wars: Battlefront.
Somewhat unsurprisingly the developers have confirmed they have focused on the multiplayer aspect while confirmation there is no single-player campaign or story mode. Having said that while there isn't a story, offline players will be able to play through a series of "challenges" set up for single gamers.
While there are a number of multiplayer modes for up to 40-players to battle it out, the game also includes online co-op as well as local split-screen for the Mission modes. Naturally a lot more details about game modes will be released closer to release however we do know there will be a mode called "Missions" which allows you to play with bots either online or offline.
Star Wars: Battlefront will also include DLC, the first of which has been confirmed as Battle of Jakku which is due out on December 8, 2015, or a week earlier for those who pre-ordered the game. This DLC will be free to gamers who own the title before the DLC relase date but what makes it even more exciting is the knowledge that the two maps in this DLC show the battle on the planet preceding the events in Star Wars: The Force Awakens which is due out soon after.
Visual detail around Endor is stunning.
The surrounding screenshots have been taken from the Reveal trailer, which uses DICE's Frostbite 3 engine to power the reveal trailer. Unfortunately this reveal trailer doesn't show actual gameplay, but gives a good idea of the overall visual quality, and aesthetics which the development team are going for. Indeed the developers have had access to the archives and experience at LucasFilm to ensure authenticity to the source material. What we do know is that this game will not have the same level of destruction as DICE's Battlefield franchise, but given the license and the fact that this franchise is more about lasers then high-powered explosives it makes sense anyway.
What we also know is that the developers DICE are targeting a 60fps frame rate on consoles which should provide a slick experience, and while we would like to see a 1080p resolution it's possible that, like the Battlefield titles the resolution may be dropped slightly to keep the frame rate up.
Flying a X-Wing in Star Wars: Battlefront.
One of the greatest things about the Star Wars franchise is the wonderful audio design. From John Williams' absolutely stunning and memorable musical score, to Ben Burtt's groundbreaking sound design and the great news is that DICE will have access to Skywalker Sound and the library of audio used in the feature films. Translating these sounds into the game will add an air of authenticity.
While DICE had a bit of a rough patch with issues plaguing the launches of Battlefield 4, there is no doubt the developer, along with publisher Electronic Arts, will be putting everything in place to make this one of the biggest launches of all times. With the game due out a month before Star Wars: A Force Awakens hits cinemas interest in the franchise will be at fever pitch yet again. Right now, Star Wars: Battlefront looks like one of the most exciting games of 2015.
Below is the Official Reveal Trailer for the game. This shows off the phenomenal game engine, although doesn't show off actual gameplay. Still, if the game looks like this it should be spectacular.