It’s practically inevitable. The stars are aligning for all pop culture enthusiasts to be overcome with Star Wars fever in the coming months. We’ll all line up to watch the upcoming movie The Force Awakens, and many of us will spend our time before then playing Star Wars Battlefront, which came out November 17 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Can you feel it? The cage is slowly closing on us all. Soon we’ll be prisoners to George Lucas’s creation, operating without free will. There are some fine reasons not to buy Battlefront, but let’s face it: You’ll buy Star Wars Battlefront. I’ll buy Star Wars Battlefront. Everyone who plays games will buy Star Wars Battlefront. Here’s why.
1. The beta attracted 9 million players
Electronic Arts has made a mountain of games in its long history. Many of them have been incredibly popular. According to the official website for Star Wars Battlefront, over 9 million people played the recent beta, making it the “single largest beta in the history of EA,” according to senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir.
Nine million — that’s a lot of players. Correction, that’s a whole lot of players. Granted, many of the beta players were attracted by the prospect of a free glimpse at the game, and not all of them will hand over $60 for the retail version. Even still, the beta’s success illustrates that lots of people are interested in the game, and now know what to expect. Interest is high enough that EA projects sales in the 9 to 10 million range.
2. The Star Wars hype is just getting started
The movie Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens will hit theaters on December 18. Until then, the drumbeat of hype for all things Star Wars will only grow louder. If this release is anything like the rollout for Episode 1 in 1999, expect to see the Star Wars logo emblazoned on T-shirts, magazines, cereal boxes, Pepsi cans, toys, beach towels, and just about everything else under the sun. This movie is going to make a giant splash, and Star Wars Battlefront will absolutely benefit from the tidal wave.
3. The game is drenched in Star Wars movie magic
I was one of the 9 million who played the beta, and from the moment I booted the game up, my senses were overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of the original trilogy. I can tell you from experience that this is like a drug injected directly into the neurons of anyone with nostalgia for the series.
The famous score from John Williams blares in the background, the iconic sounds of blasters shoot from the speakers, and the character models and animations are dead on. No one would ever mistake this game for anything but a Star Wars product. When it comes to the vibe of the game, developer DICE nailed it.
4. The free DLC connects to The Force Awakens
In a brilliant stroke of corporate synergy, EA is planning to release a free downloadable level that leads directly into The Force Awakens. The map, which will be available on December 1, will let players participate in the Battle of Jakku, a fight that takes place on a desert planet shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi.
If you’ve never heard of Jakku, that’s because we haven’t seen it yet outside of the trailer for The Force Awakens. Jakku is the sandy landscape that’s home to the crashed Star Destroyer at the start of the trailer. Want to find out how the massive battleship crashed? You’ll have to play the game.