It’s been ten years since Star Wars Battlefront 2 was released - that’s a long time in gaming terms; a lot has changed. Now that we’re living through the eighth generation of consoles, and have home PC’s that can display resolutions unimagined a decade ago, the technology is here to provide us with the true Star Wars game that fans have always dreamed of. Will it be this new, rebooted Battlefront? It definitely looks that way.
But, like so many video games that have yet to be released, a large number of people have already made a negative judgment on the game. Rather than looking at the positives, they’ve just focused on what they perceive as being potentially ‘bad’. For the pessimists out there, here are 10 things that will perhaps give you some optimism for Battlefront, and for the people like me who just can’t wait for the game, hopefully this list will get you even more excited for November 17.
10. It uses the Frostbite 3 engine
Imagine the glorious graphics of Battlefield 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition used within a Star Wars game; well, in five months time you won’t have to imagine this, you’ll be playing it. Yes, the new Battlefront will be built using developer DICE's Frostbite 3 engine.
You just have to watch the game engine trailer to see what the final product will (hopefully) look like. Flying over the frozen landscape of Hoth, riding a speeder at a lightning pace through the trees of Endor, and controlling Boba Fett as his jetpack takes him above the barren world of Tatooine - moments that deserve the graphical quality Frostbite 3 can provide.
9. There have been 14 multiplayer maps confirmed so far
At launch the game will contain 12 multiplayer maps. These will feature four locations from the Star Wars universe: Hoth, Tatooine, Endor and the lesser-known, lava planet of Sullust; for those who aren't that much into the lore: this isn't the lava planet where Obi Wan hacked off Anakin’s legs, that was Mustafar.
Come December (either the first or the eighth, depending if you pre-ordered the game) two more maps will be made available with the Battle of Jakku free DLC. This takes place in the aftermath of the Rebel victory in the Battle of Endor, players will experience the events that created the massive, battle-scarred landscape of Jakku, as seen in The Force Awakens trailer. Will we get to fight inside the remains of a crashed Star Destroyer? Here’s hoping. And, as with all multiplayer games of this kind, expect regular DLC with new maps being released over the next few years.
8. Nothing from episodes I, II, or III
Star Wars Battlefront assistant producer Jesper Nielsen has confirmed there will be nothing in the game relating to episodes I - III or the Clone Wars era. He’s quoted as saying
“Sometimes you have to make choices, and those choices may be hard. We are the ones making the game and have to make hard choices sometimes. One of them was to focus solely on the original trilogy”
So this means we get no bumbling droids, midi-chlorians, young Anakin, younglings, or the evil that is Jar Jar Binks. How was leaving all that out considered a hard choice?
7. A new Battlelog matchmaking system
For those who haven’t played a Battlefield game in recent years, Battlelog is an in-browser portal/social network that allows players to find matches, connect with other players, and configure loadouts across multiple Battlefield titles before launching a game. Seeing as Uprise, the studio responsible for Battlelog, is working on Star Wars Battlefront, it was assumed the system would make an appearance in the game - turns out this is not the case.
What we will see, however, is a brand new system comparable to Battlelog, but completely built from scratch. With the server browser having been around since 2011, it’s time for a new and improved version to make an appearance.
6. It will run at 60 frames per second
Now that modern games don’t have the drag factor of being designed with last generation consoles in mind, we’re seeing an increasing number of them running at 60 fps as standard. Star Wars Battlefront is a Xbox One/PS4/PC only title, and as such it will be utilizing that hardware to the max, this means it will run at 60 frames per second.
Anyone who claims they can’t tell the difference between a game running at 30 and 60 fps is either blind or a liar. The sheer smoothness of it can be a thing of beauty, and it’ll be especially noticeable when moving at high velocity in a ship or a speeder.
5. No more classes; customize your soldier the way you want
The vast majority of multiplayer games will ask you to select an archetypical soldier class before you begin. You know the kind: sniper, medic, assault, etc. But this is another area where Star Wars Battlefront breaks the mould: there are no pre-made classes to choose from.
It has been confirmed by the studio that instead of having a class system, players will instead be able to freely pick their weapons and gear. New items will be unlocked through a normal experience point progression system, meaning you can tailor your character exactly how you want them, rather than being forced to choose the class that closest suits your playstyle.
4. The 'Partners' Feature
Another one of the more controversial aspects of Star Wars Battlefront is the move away from squads, bringing about a huge change in what we’re used to when it comes to large, multiplayer games -five player squads being a staple of DICE’s Battlefield series. Instead, squads have been replaced with what’s known as the ‘Partners’ feature.
This new aspect of the game basically allows two players to play together. They are able to see each other on their Heads Up Display and can spawn on each other. One of the interesting things about this feature is that the partners share unlocks. This means if you’re teamed up with a higher level partner, or someone who has a bought a different loadout, then you can have access to their items without having to unlock them yourself.
3. Control Star Wars vehicles
So it’s a Star Wars Battlefront game, what vehicles can I take control of? Well, there’s AT-AT’s, AT-ST’s, TIE fighters, X-Wings, speeder bikes, and even the Millennium Falcon! And that’s only what we know so far, there’ll doubtlessly be a lot more revealed soon.
Of course, the one caveat that keeps getting mentioned is the lack of space battles, but consider this: the developers have purposely not included them in order to focus all their attention on making in-atmosphere dogfighting the best experience possible. There’ll still be huge starfighter battles, but instead of taking place in the blackness of space, you could be fighting inside a giant canyon or above an icy battlefield as you watch the action below, occasionally swooping down to fly between an AT-AT’s legs and blast some troopers to bits.
2. Multiplayer Focused
What percentage of people buy games such as Call Of Duty or the Battlefield series because of the great single player campaign? Not many. Star Wars Battlefront is first and foremost a multiplayer game. While 2005’s Battlefront 2 did contain single player campaigns, there are none in this title.
What is included for those of us wishing to practice solo, before being humiliated online, is the Missions. These can be played in single-player mode or as local/online co-op scenarios. Details are still thin on the ground surrounding them, but it’s thought they’ll revolve around completing specific tasks linked to the original movies - working in a similar way to the Spec Op missions from COD:MW 2 and 3. These Missions will also have their own unique maps, rather than regurgitating the multiplayer ones. Some recent snippets of information about what these missions entail have included taking on armies of AI and testing a player’s piloting skills.
1. Play as Heroes and Villains
While the mechanic behind how it will work has yet to be revealed, the prospect of controlling some of the most iconic heroes and villains from the Star Wars universe is probably the most exciting aspect of this new Star Wars Battlefront. You were able to control these characters in Battlefront 2, but it often felt too easy to pull off. It’s suspected that being able to unlock and control the Vaders, Fetts, and Skywalkers of this game will require a lot more savvy from players.
Some of these characters were also considered to be overpowered in the previous game, and while DICE has promised they will still retain their ability to turn the tide of a battle, they won’t be the unbeatable force they once were; you will fail in a one-on-one battle with Vader, but if enough of your team attack him together, then you may have a chance.
At the moment only Vader and Boba Fett are confirmed, but expect to see Skywalker, Solo, Yoda and the rest of the big names making an appearance.
There are a lot of elements in Star WarsBattlefront that differ from what we’re used to seeing in multiplayer shooters. For a generation brought up on Battlefield, and for fans of the previous game in the series, this may seem like a case of “If it’s not broke, why fix it?”
But all games need to evolve, otherwise we’d have cries of “It’s just Battlefield 4 with a Star Wars skin.” This really does look like it could be the greatest Star Wars game ever made, so don’t be negative about it. And remember: the Force will be with you, always.