The last time gamers suited up for battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance was in 2005’s Star Wars: Battlefront II. A lot has happened in the gaming world since then, including the release of not one but two generations of consoles (the Battlefront series skipped the Xbox 360/PS3 generation altogether). On November 17, we’ll get another entry in the series, this time on modern hardware that makes bigger, better-looking battles possible. Just watch the trailer below to see how good the game looks.
Creating Star Wars Battlefront is DICE, one of Electronic Arts’s premier development studios. DICE is best known in recent years for its popular Battlefield series of shooters that have given Call of Duty a run for its money. Which is to say DICE knows a thing or two about making a decent online shooter. If it can bring all that experience and talent to the Star Wars universe, there’s no reason to expect anything less than a stellar sci-fi shooter from Star Wars: Battlefront.
What we know: Unfortunately, there’s no real single-player campaign in Star Wars Battlefront. Instead, you’ll be able to play a series of offline challenges that are based on scenes from the movies. If you’d like, you can play these in co-op, either online or locally.
What we hope: We’d love to see a story-based campaign like you get in the Battlefield games, but apparently that’s not in the cards. If the offline challenges are fun to play, it would be nice to get some extra offline content through DLC.
What we know: At launch, the game will be based completely on the original trilogy. No prequel trilogy battles will appear, although an early piece of DLC will feature a battle from the upcoming film (more on that to follow).
EA has announced the game will feature 40-player battles, which means they’ll be suitably epic. We know from the trailer that the game features the big battle on the forest moon of Endor from Return of the Jedi. Thanks to screenshots EA has released, we also know that we’ll be battling it out on Hoth, Tatooine, and Sullust — a planet mentioned in the films that never appears onscreen.
Unfortunately, the game will not feature any space-only battles. Every map in the game will have an on-the-ground component.
What we hope: We really hope developers change their minds about space-only battles with DLC map packs — mostly because we want to blow up the Death Star, twice.
What we know: The trailer shows the characters doing some really interesting stuff. There’s a futuristic dome shield that can protect you from blaster shots. A character uses a jetpack to launch himself into the air to get a better vantage point to shoot a towering AT-ST using a rocket launcher. You can also call in airstrikes.
What we hope: Those new items sound amazing, and as far as we’re concerned, the more sci-fi gear we get in the game, the better. Based on what we’ve seen, EA seems to be doing a great job of making every last inch of this game sparkle with Star Wars space dust. The more Star Wars-specific stuff it includes, the more the game will feel like Star Wars.
What we know: The game will have an interesting “partner system” in place. If you’re playing with a friend, you can kind of digitally hold hands. The two of you will always spawn near each other so you can stick together easily, even in the thick of the 40-player battles. Partners will also have access to each other’s unlocked weapons, regardless of whether only one partner has unlocked them.
You’ll also be able to play co-op through the single-player campaign.
What we hope: We’d love it if the partner system could be expanded to groups of four. Four seems to be a magic number in many online games, and banding together with your buddies is always fun. After all, the more the merrier.
What we know: Lots of iconic vehicles from the movies will appear in the game, including speeder bikes, X-wings, Y-wings, the Millennium Falcon, AT-ATs, and AT-STs.
What we hope: If it shows up in the movies, we want to be able to fly or drive it in the game. When it comes to vehicles, more is better. EA seems to be on the right track here.
Content from The Force Awakens
What we know: The bulk of the content in the game will come from the original Star Wars trilogy. However, in early December, EA will release a DLC pack called the “Battle of Jakku.” Jakku is the desert planet we see in the trailer that’s home to a crashed X-wing and Star Destroyer. If you pre-order Battlefront, you’ll get the DLC on December 1; otherwise, you’ll get it December 8.
What we hope: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens won’t open until a month after Battlefront comes out, but it would be great if we get to play through more battles from the movie, or see new movie characters appear in the game.