EA has finally released information about their upcoming title, Star Wars: Battlefront. Unfortunately, a lot of features from previous iterations won’t be returning.
The first and most important reveal is that the game will launch November 20th 2015 in the UK and the 17th in the US. This is to precede the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Xbox One users will get to play the game early thanks to EA access. PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will all have the game at launch, while Xbox 360 and PS3 will not receive versions of the game at all.
In a similar fashion to Evolve, Battlefront will not feature a straightforward single player campaign. It will, however, include a number of single player and co-op scenarios instead. These will be based upon the original trilogy and will evoke key moments from the series. This is not surprising news as the original Battlefront also lacked a single player campaign. Split-screen will be local only and will not be available for PC. There is currently no news on the return of Instant Action or Galactic Conquest modes yet.
In terms of gameplay features, it has been confirmed that first and third person perspectives will be available, a return to the series’ roots. Character classes in the game are set to differ from the traditional set roles, and will allow more fluid variation.
What was surprising is that Star Wars Battlefront will not include space battles or the prequel era, despite playing a significant part in the second game’s success. DICE has explained that they wish to create the most authentic re-creation of the original movie possible, so the inclusion of a prequel setting would dilute that. While this rules out Jar-Jar and pod-racing (thank god), it has sparked some controversy from fans who enjoyed playing as CIS and Republic clones. The removal of space battles has similarly caused upset, but the game will allow in-atmosphere dog-fighting with TIE fighters and X-Wings.
The setting of the game includes a smaller number of planets than were present in the earlier games. Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and Sullust will be available, with DLC likely to fill any gaps post-launch. Jakku is included as part of a free add-on a month after launch. It has been confirmed there will be more than eight maps, with more than two for each planet at launch.
Hero units have been confirmed, but so far only Darth Vader and Boba Fett have been revealed.
Nikilas Fegraeus of DICE has confirmed the game will run at 60FPS, but the visuals shown in the trailer will likely not be what we see on consoles.
There has been some concern over the immediacy over Battlefront’s launch. Critics have suggested that by cutting staple gameplay features, the smaller number of maps, and a lack of a single player and prequel settings, suggest that DICE is rushing to meet its deadline. Hopefully, once gameplay is shown instead of pre-rendered cinematics, these fears will be put to rest.
Though the game is gathering momentum, Battlefront’s showing at E3 will ultimately make or break the game. Watch this space for more Battlefront news as it breaks!