Joey Sack, ’17, Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California has been full of great reveals, from an exhibit of props used in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to a second teaser trailer for the film, both of which have left fans undeniably hyped for this December. But Star Wars gaming fans have something to look forward to a month before Episode VII hits theaters: the long-awaited Star Wars: Battlefront. There has been plenty of news about this game at the Star Wars Celebration, including a trailer that features game engine footage; there’s a lot to tackle, so let’s start off with the trailer:
The trailer starts during a battle between Rebels and Imperial Stormtroopers on the forest moon of Endor, with Rebel troops fighting on the ground and on speeder bikes. A small caption at the beginning indicates that the footage is from the game engine, in this case, the PlayStation 4, so one can assume that the graphics on your screen are similar to what you’re going to be playing this November, or, at the very least, that’s what the developers are aiming for.
One thing that this trailer shows is a couple of different Rebel troop classes; there are the typical Rebel troops, but then there are these troops that are similar to the Rebel Vanguards in the previous Battlefront games, in that they have rocket launchers, but they’re different in that they have jetpacks. There are also troops that appear to carry around miniature shield generators, which can be set up to protect against enemy blaster attacks. But the real appeal of this segment of the trailer is showing how quickly the tables can turn back and forth; you think the Rebels are winning? Surprise! AT-ST. You think the Empire is winning? Surprise! Rebels blew up the AT-ST. Oh no, an AT-AT! Send in the Y-wings! Kaboom! So now the Rebels are winning right? Wrong! Enter Darth Vader, lightsaber drawn, ready to take out some Rebel scum. And he’s not the only playable character to be featured in this trailer: we get a glimpse of Boba Fett, and these two characters have been confirmed as playable in the game itself. So what other characters will gamers be able to play as? Luke Skywalker? Han Solo? The Emperor? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but it’s sure to be an extensive lineup of classic Star Wars characters.
This trailer looks, feels, and sounds great. It says that it’s game-engine footage, but there is no guarantee that this is going to be the way the game looks when players sit down to play it; but if the graphics are even half as good as this trailer, they will still look stunning. Moreover, with the power of the new generation of consoles behind it, this new game will likely have the cinematic quality that a game like this deserves. From the look of this trailer, it kind of has that gameplay footage look to it, so who knows? Maybe that really is what players will get to play when they pick it up this November.
At the Star Wars Celebration, a new class of stormtrooper for the game was also revealed, as well as one of the new weapons that he wields: it’s a weapon called the DLT-19 blaster rifle, a heavy rifle notably used by Chewbacca while participating in the rescue of Princess Leia on the first Death Star back in Episode IV. The blaster has long-range capabilities, and apparently takes time to assemble. The stormtrooper himself has not been given an actual class, and though fans have speculated wildly, according to DICE, no one has gotten it right. We’ll have to wait and see. The great thing about the image of the new stormtrooper is that he is apparently an in-game rendering, not concept art. If that is the case, we are in for a really good-looking game. And that’s not even the best Stormtrooper-related news: it has also been revealed that along with character customization, players will have the option to play as a female Stormtrooper. It’s unknown how much customization players will have to choose from, but even the most general information, like this, helps bring up the anticipation for this game to the Nth degree.
Now, let’s talk about some of the news that has come out about this new game, because there’s quite a bit. First of all, the release date: the game comes out on November 17th, about a month before Episode VII hits theaters. It’s a good strategy to get people hyped for the game and the movie at the same time (if people could get any more hyped for both).
The next bit of information may come as a surprise: there is no single-player campaign for Battlefront. There are missions that you can play by yourself, but the game is really focused on co-op and online multiplayer gaming. DICE is also keeping the battles planet-side, which means, while you can pilot X-wings, TIE Fighters, and the iconic MILLENIUM FALCON, you won’t be able to leave the atmosphere, as there are no space battles. This does, however, mean that planetary battles have DICE’s undivided attention, so that hopefully translates to good gameplay, good enemy A.I., and beautiful landscapes of these planets.
In addition, there will be no callbacks to the prequel trilogy, focusing entirely on the original trilogy; that means no Naboo, no Darth Maul, no Separatists, no droid army, and, thank the Force, no Gungans. Given that this game comes out a month before the start of a new trilogy for the Star Wars saga, it would be pointless to draw on an era in this universe’s history that many fans (not all, but many) would care to forget.
But getting away from what the game doesn’t have, let’s talk about what it does have. It has a total of (drum roll, please) four planets on which to do battle when the game is released … these planets are Tatooine, Endor, Hoth, and Sullust (which we have only heard of in the films, but never seen). This seems like a small number of worlds to choose from, but keep in mind that these are entire worlds that we’re talking about. In a lot of shooting games, we’re focused on one world (usually Earth), and don’t have too much in the way of variety. With several different planets, however, there can be all sorts of options; ground forces, aerial dogfights, aerial bombing runs, and so on. So while there may only be four different worlds to choose from, that’s four different worlds to choose from, with different areas and different battle scenarios.
Star Wars Battlefront is set to be released November 17th, 2015 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Get ready to relive the greatest battles of a galaxy far, far away.
Watch the trailer here!
Joey Sack, ’17, Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer