At the recent Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim, California, Electronic Arts held a behind closed doors press event where they showed off footage from Star Wars Battlefront and went into detail about the game, which will be released November 17th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Like previous games in this series — including 2004’ Star Wars: Battlefront and its sequel, 2005’s Star Wars: Battlefront II — the new game is a team based, often objective based, multiplayer-focused shooter which recreates famous battles from the Star Wars movies, including the Battle Of Hoth from 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and the climactic battle on the forest moon of Endor from 1983’s The Return Of The Jedi. It will also revisit a skirmish on the planet Sullust, which was the setting of a level in 2007’s Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, and Luke’s homeworld of Tatooine, while the behind-the-scenes footage shown at the event hinted that there may also be battles on Mustafar, and Geonosis.
Star Wars Battlefront will also, like earlier installments, let you switch from first- to third-person as you wish, let you play as such pivotal characters as Darth Vader and Boba Fett, let you use a variety of weapons and accoutrements, and let you pilot such craft as a speeder bike, an X-Wing Fighter, TIE Fighters, an AT-ST, and even the Millennium Falcon.
But they also said that, unlike in the original games, you’ll be able to create customized versions of the cinematic battles, and mentioned having Mr. Fett on Endor as an example. Which may explain why, in the footage they showed of the Endor invasion — which was taken from a twenty-on-twenty mode called “Walker Assault”— there were Rebels using personal shield generators, as well as Y-Wing bombers taking out an At-AT.
That battle footage also revealed other aspects of Star Wars Battlefront that can best be described as “eye opening.” And whatever the “ear” equivalent of that phrase would be. For starters, the graphics were so rich and detailed that they looked more like professionally filmed footage of expert cosplayers running around a forest than something made by a math whiz in a dimly lit room.
To get a better sense of how Battlefield looks, check out this trailer, which looks only slightly better than the gameplay footage we say in the demo.
Similarly, Star Wars Battlefront also uses John Williams’ classic score to great effect. At least I think it does. Unless it was just a trick they employed for this event, it seems that the music kicks in when you engage in a fire fight, and even builds if more enemies show up or if you’re approached by something even more dangerous, like an AT-AT, only fading out seamlessly when that danger has passed. They also said that the PC version will support Dolby Atmos, a new surround sound protocol that’s mostly been used in theaters.
Star Wars Battlefront also adds a single-player/co-op option to the mix. While previous installments let you play the multiplayer mode with bots instead of people, Battlefront has a mode called “Battlefront Mission” that’s a series of battles with specific objectives (though they didn’t say if they’d be connected with any sort of narrative or cutscenes). You’ll also be able to play this mode alone or with a friend; and yes, it supports couch co-op as well as online. You’ll even be able to share gear between partners, if you’re so inclined.
Finally, after revealing that Star Wars Battlefront would be out November 17th, they then announced “Star Wars Battlefront: The Battle Of Jakku,” a free add-on set in a previously-unseen battle that takes place just after the events of Jedi. (In fact, you can see the aftermath of this battle at the beginning of the new trailer for Force Awakens.) EA have also said that while “The Battle Of Jakku” will be out December 8th, people who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront will get it on December 1st.
How well all of this will work, though, won’t truly be seen until Star Wars Battlefront comes out November 17th. But if what we’ve seen, heard, and been told is any indication, this may be the Battlefront sequel we’ve been looking for.