Right about now, the hype train’s rolling out of the station for the Star Wars: Battlefront name. The next entry in the series is excitingly being developed by DICE, it’s coming soon, and the first gameplay trailer looks just like real life – now that’s all well and good, but the hype train was rolling pretty darned well even before this trailer, so why so much love for the series?
It’s simple. It’s Star Wars, but any way you want it. Battlefront I & II took one of the world’s most expansive and loved story universes in history, pulled out a beautiful selection of locations, events, characters and more, threw them in a playground and let players worldwide loose with it all.
If you’re reading this and have never played a Battlefront game before, I’ll quickly break it down for you. For simplicity’s sake, both games are pretty similar in terms of overall structure, with Battlefront I being slightly more aged and missing a few features that Battlefront II had, so I’ll explain using Battlefront II.
Battlefront consists of 3 modes: Campaign, Galactic Conquest and Instant Action.
Campaign is exactly what you’d expect it to be, in BFII’s case, telling the story of a Clone legion, their role in key Clone Wars battles and their fate as they become Stormtroopers fighting for the Empire.
Galactic Conquest is a blend between core BF gameplay and strategy games. The player is in control of a faction of their choosing (Republic, CIS, Empire or Rebels), and are fighting against the relevant enemy faction for control of the galaxy. Players take it in turn to move their fleet from one location to another, with the option to unlock new units & bonus powerups, and buy more fleets during their turns. Players invade enemy occupied planets on land when they reach them, and take to their starfighters and engage enemies in space should two fleets clash.
Instant Action is another pretty obvious one. Pick your planet, battle type, space or land and faction, and away you go – you can even set up a playlist and fulfill every Star Wars battle dream you could ever wish for in sweet succession.
With just the three simple gameplay options above, players are equipped to experience the Star Wars battle universe any way they wish. Want to get right into the thick of the story? Enjoy the somewhat lengthy campaign. Want to take over the galaxy your way in a varied and challenging format? Get that Galactic Conquest going. Want to kick back, relax and shoot some pews? Hop into Instant Action and set up that dream playlist. There’s even a particular set-up in IA that allows you to fight in one of the greatest Heroes Vs. Villains mash-up battle Mos Eisley has ever seen!
Put simply, Battlefront gave players the option to battle in the Star Wars universe in any which way they pleased and that is what gives the game its deserved prestige. In fact, if you want to go back and have some more fun with it, or experience it for the first time (which I would highly recommend you do), BFII is available on Steam for a very reasonable price!
Now, the ball is in DICE’s court; the Battlefront name is in their hands for them to create whatever spin on the format they like. From what we’ve seen and heard, the outlook is good for the upcoming AAA title arriving later this year. It looks gorgeous graphically, and the gameplay is likely to be equally amazing. The question is, can it offer a similarly valued sort of package to the games that made the Battlefront name so special? We already know that it won’t be offering a full run-of-the-mill narrative campaign, instead containing a selection of “connected” missions that can be played solo or co-op. We also know that the game is set during the original trilogy, and does not feature any content from the prequel trilogy. It’s been revealed that DICE’s Battlefront is a multiplayer-focused game, but note that it may not be a bad thing – Star Wars already has such a rich universe established that the contents of the game will need little explanation through story, unlike other recent MP-focused games like Titanfall.
There’s a lot more to be revealed about the game in the next few months, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how much of a different spin DICE may put on the Battlefront format. Whether it’s true to the previous style or a whole new kettle of fish, better or worse, I’m personally quite certain it’ll be a whole lot of fun.
Have you ever played a Battlefront game? What format would you like to see in DICE’s game?
Let us know in the comments!