Star Wars Battlefront is a video game from DICE, a game developer owned by Electronic Arts. It is DICE's take on the format presented in the first two Battlefront games which were released in 2004 and 2005.
Star Wars™ Battlefront™ is the ultimate Star Wars battle experience, brought to life by the creators of Battlefield. Fight in epic Star Wars battles on iconic planets and rise through the ranks playing as the heroic Rebellion or the evil Galactic Empire.
Unlike previous Battlefront entries, this game does not have a story of its own. Instead, it reinterprets the stories and battles presented in the original trilogy, alongside some battles presented in the novel Battlefront: Twilight Company such as the Siege of Inyusu Tor. The game has the option to switch at will between first-person mode and third-person mode, much like the previous entries in the series. Instead of a single-player campaign, the game features a set of co-op missions that can be played alone, online, or offline with split-screen. Players are able to play as hero and villain characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Each player is outfitted with a partner, and the duo are able to spawn on each other and share loadouts. DICE based the game's AI on the Star Wars films, but tweaked it to make it accessible. Classes are not featured in the game, for the player is able to freely customize their weapons, character, Star Cards and hands, and traits. When the game first installs on the system, players have the opportunity to play a mini-game as it is loading. They take the role of Darth Vader and face waves of Rebel troopers inside Echo Base (similar to the singleplayer Hero Battles).
- Missions (A series of singleplayer/co-op game modes)
- Hero Battles
- Skirmish (Offline game modes)
- Walker Assault
- Fighter Squadron
In January 2016, the game was updated to include new concepts such as private matches and timed Community Events for players to take an active role in. The update also included multiplayer balances.
The three largest game modes are Walker Assault, Supremacy, and Turning Point, allowing 40 players (20 per team) to play in a single match. The other game modes will have smaller player counts. Other multiplayer modes included are Fighter Squadron, Blast, Drop Zone, Cargo, and Droid Run.
Blast is a standard Team Deathmatch, with 10 players on each side. Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall revealed that there would be a 10-minute/100 kill limit, and that the mode would not include a chance to play as a Hero or Villain.
Cargo is an interpretation of the classic Capture the Flag game mode. Each team controls a base with their own captured cargo. Teams need to run into the opposing teams' base, pick up their cargo and bring it back to their own base, while also defending their base from the opposing team. However, you do not need cargo in your own base in order to capture the opposing team's cargo, creating a "tug of war" experience.
Drop Zone is based on King of the Hill. Players need to control the landing sites of drop pods as they fall from the sky. The first team to capture five of these pods or the team who holds the majority of the drop pods after 10 minutes will emerge the victor.
Fighter Squadron allows players to pilot the ships that appear in the game. In these matches, each team consists of 10 players, along with additional AI teammates. Alongside these, each team also has a transport or shuttle attempting to make it across the map safely. The opposing team attempts to shoot down this transport or shuttle before it can escape. Players are also to grab hero pickups that will allow them to play as either the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, Red 5 and Vader's TIE Advanced.
In Heroes vs Villains, each team consists of 6 players. 3 players spawn as the heroes of their corresponding team, while the other 3 spawn as troopers. However, if you are a hero/villain and you are defeated, you will spawn as a normal trooper. The objective is to take out the opposing teams' characters.
Hero Hunt pits one hero or villain, depending on the planet, against seven soldiers of the opposing team. The objective is to defeat that hero or villain; however, when this character is defeated, the player who defeated them will become the new hero or villain. The objective of the player who spawned as a hero or villain is to take out the seven soldiers of the opposing team and keep yourself alive.
Supremacy, based on the classic Conquest mode, is a 10-minute match which features five control points for the teams to capture, with each side owning two at the start of the match. Each one will unlock in sequence as they are captured, and the maps will be the largest in the game.
Walker Assault is partially based on the classic Rush game mode. Imperial forces are attempting to push their AT-AT's to the end of the map in order to destroy either a Rebel transport or base. In three separate phases, Rebel forces must activate two uplinks in order to call in Y-wing bombers to attack the Empire's AT-AT's and prevent them from reaching their destination. In order to prevent this, Imperial forces must keep these uplinks offline. The Imperials are the only faction allowed to use ground vehicles in this mode. Players on the Imperial side are allowed to use AT-ATs and AT-STs; AT-STs are a smaller, two-legged version of the AT-AT that have less health than the AT-AT. In this game mode, the AT-ATs are referred to as Imperial Walkers, while the AT-STs are referred to as Scout Transports. Players can use the scout transports until they are destroyed, while AT-AT pilots only have a certain amount of time. This time can be extended by getting kills in the walker. The orbital strike ability can be used while inside of the Imperial Walker to clear the area of Rebel ground forces.
Turning Point, introduced in the free Battle of Jakku DLC, is a large game mode allowing up to 40 players total. In this game mode, Imperial forces command three control points that Rebel forces are attempting to capture. On the outskirts of the map, the Empire controls a large base, which is the main target for Rebel forces.
Extraction, in the Outer Rim DLC, is another multiplayer mode. Rebel forces have entered the Outer Rim to extract a shipment. They must return to the transport before the time runs out or the Empire stops them.
Sabotage, in the Bespin DLC, is a multiplayer mode which takes place in two parts. The Empire are using Tibanna Gas Generators to power their tractor beams, preventing Rebel transports from escaping Cloud City. The Rebels must blow up the generators, and if successful, must defend their extraction point. The Empire must stop the Rebels and hunt them down.
Battle Station, in the Death Star DLC, is a three-phase multiplayer game mode where it starts out in space with the Rebels trying to take out a Star Destroyer, then moving inside the station to extract a droid, and finally recreating the Battle of Yavin, adding Red 5 and Darth Vader's TIE Fighter.
Single-player and co-opEdit
Single-player and co-op are available in the form of a series of game modes collectively known as Missions. These "missions" include Survival, Battles, Hero Battles and Trials. Survival will only offer the chance to play as Rebels, although players can join either side in other modes.
In the Survival mission, you (and your partner, should you have one) must hold off against 15 waves of Imperial forces. Each wave gets increasingly more difficult than the last. Throughout the mission, several drop pods will descend to the ground, allowing you to capture them for power-ups. You can only play as a Rebel trooper in this Mission.
Training consists of five various Missions to allow you to be more accustomed to the gameplay and its mechanics. The player can play as either Rebel troopers or Imperial Stormtroopers, depending on the Mission. In the tutorial Probe Droid, players can learn of the various Star Cards, which make up your loadout, weapons, and "blowing up Imperial hardware". In the Beggar's Cannon mission, players will be able to pilot X-wings in the skies of Tatooine while combatting enemy TIE fighters. The mission called Invasion is relatively similar, although players this time pilot Snowspeeders on Hoth. In Overpower, the player acts as an Imperial soldier piloting an AT-ST. In the Endor Chase mission, the player must chase after Rebel troopers who have hijacked speeder bikes. Finally, in the Mission respectively called The Dark Side, the player can play as Darth Vader while attacking a Rebel base on Hoth. Should you play with a partner, they will be assigned to playing as Emperor Palpatine.
Battles pits the player against enemy AI in a deathmatch-like scenario. Playing with a partner allows one to play against them as well, either backed by enemy AI or in one-versus-one action. The goal of the player is to reach 100 points; however, in order for a point to count by taking out an enemy, the player must pick up a token they drop when taken down, otherwise the kill will not count. Hero Battles plays the same way, except it allows the player to control a hero or villain rather than playing as a regular soldier. At most, your team can have 5 AI allies while the opposing team can have 14 enemy AI.
Skirmish was introduced on July 21, 2016. Based off of the classic instant action game mode from the original Star Wars: Battlefront games, Skirmish allows the player to play the online multiplayer game modes Walker Assault and Fighter Squadron offline against AI.
EA first unveiled their plans for the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 10, 2013. In the hopes of creating a realistic, immersive experience for players, the DICE team visited the Lucasfilm Archives as well as filming locations for the films. The images were then turned into the 3D format by the process of photogrammetry. Additionally, preparing for the sound design, the DICE team worked with Lucasfilm and had access to their Star Wars sound library. They also had the chance to work with sound designers Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood. Audio Director Ben Minto and his team also recorded sounds in a Foley session with Dennie Thorpe and Jana Vance, and on location. On December 4, 2013, EA announced that projects from DICE, including Star Wars: Battlefront, would be delayed until performance issues in their video game Battlefield 4 were fixed. A subsequent announcement from EA clarified that the patch work would not affect upcoming release dates. Executive producer Patrick Bach revealed that the team is trying to create a new experience for players, one that isn't directly inspired by DICE's Battlefield series while still keeping ties to the original Star Wars: Battlefront series, such as perspective switch.
Senior Producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir revealed in an interview that DICE originally asked to make the game due to the studio being fans of Star Wars and having experience on previous multiplayer experiences such as Battlefield. They wanted to create a game that would allow fans to immerse themselves in Star Wars fantasies and be able to play in their own way, such as driving an Imperial vehicle or having Luke Skywalker face Boba Fett. As part of the process, they visited the Lucasfilm archives.
The game became playable via EA Access in December, 2016.
In October 2014, EA confirmed that it would release the game during the 2015 holiday season, near the theatrical release of The Force Awakens. On March 19, 2015, EA announced that the game would make its debut at Celebration Anaheim in April 2015. In announcing the debut, EA stated that they "could not think of a better or more appropriate place to debut the game officially for the first time than the premier event that celebrates the Star Wars universe and the legions of fans who have fallen in love with it." Soon after, EA released a letter to fans saying the first gameplay footage would be seen at E3 2015.
Beta testing was originally open from October 8 through October 12, during which players were able to access three game modes: Walker Assault (Hoth), Drop Zone (Sullust) and Survival Mission (Tatooine). On October 12, the Beta was extended one day to October 13. Reportedly, the beta drew nine million participants.
Four editions of the game were released:
- Standard edition
- Deluxe edition (includes digital exclusives)
- Darth Vader-themed PlayStation 4 bundle; Lucasfilm and Sony gave away some of these in a Twitter sweepstakes.
- Ultimate Edition (includes Season Pass)
A Battlefront companion app was released by the Apple App Store and Google Play. It includes the mini-game "Base Command", which can be used to earn credits that can unlock content in Battlefront. The app was first made available during the October 2015 beta test.
On October 12, 2015, EA announced that the game would have four expansion packs, and that a $50 Season Pass would be available that would cover all expansions and grant the purchaser early access to each.
Star Wars Battlefront: Battle of JakkuEdit
On April 17, 2015, EA announced the first downloadable content for Star Wars Battlefront, titled Star Wars Battlefront: Battle of Jakku. It was released at no additional charge on December 8, 2015, approximately one week prior to the world wide release of The Force Awakens. Players who had pre-ordered Battlefront were eligible to play the downloadable content beginning on December 1, 2015, one week before those who had not pre-ordered.
Star Wars Battlefront: Outer RimEdit
This expansion pack was released on March 22, 2016 for Season Pass holders. Players now have the opportunity to play in Jabba's Palace and the factories of Sullust. The mode also introduces a new "Extraction" game mode, new star cards and weapons and two new heroes and villains: Nien Nunb and Greedo. With the release of the pack, players now have access to Hutt Contracts: by completing challenges, they can unlock the new equipment.
Star Wars Battlefront: BespinEdit
This expansion pack was released on June 21, 2016. It features five new maps set on and around the Cloud City of Bespin which support various modes. It also includes new Star Cards, and a new type of multiplayer mode called Sabotage. The DLC will also allow for players to take control of the Heroes Lando Calrissian and Dengar.
Star Wars Battlefront: Death StarEdit
This expansion pack features the debut of the Death Star and was released on September 20, 2016 for Season Pass holders. A teaser was released on July 16, showcasing vehicular gameplay above and around the Death Star, as well as multiple capital ships. It was further confirmed that Chewbacca and Bossk would serve as the heroes for the expansion pack.
Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One: ScarifEdit
This expansion pack features maps set on Scarif, a tropical planet that appears in the Anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The heroes for this DLC are confirmed to be Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic. It was released on December 6, 2016 for holders of the Season Pass.
Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One: X-wing VR MissionEdit
This free add-on adds a virtual reality mission to the game. It is exclusive to Playstation VR and was released around Christmas time, 2016. The experience was developed by DICE and Criterion Studios, and was announced at E3 2016. The team at Criterion Studios were able to integrate the game with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after working with Lucasfilm.
The novel Battlefront: Twilight Company features a story based on the game set following the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Turtle Beach sold a Battlefront-themed Sandtrooper headset as a Best Buy exclusive. Prima Games released a Star Wars Battlefront Strategy Guide in a softcover Standard Edition, hardcover Collectors Edition, and as an eGuide.
Gameplay footage was first shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015, where the game garnered multiple award nominations from attendees, and received 39 wins. Following its release, the game received mixed reviews. Official Xbox Magazine granted it a 7/10, noting its exceptional Star Wars experience and range of multiplayer battle options, but also its dearth of single-player content and the voice acting. The Playstation 4 review was more positive, garnering an 8/10 while praising the game's epic battles. The downsides were, according to the reviewer, the smaller modes feeling just like filler and balancing issues with the game's weapons. Game Informer gave the game a 7.5/10. The reviewer called the in-game action thrilling, but also shared the concern about the multiplayer content. His concerns were somewhat mitigated by the upcoming DLC. Nerdist.com's review called the game "disappointing," citing a lack of substantial content while at the same time noting that the game presents a gorgeous setting and attention to Star Wars details.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Official DICE game page
- EA Star Wars games site
- EA Announces New Star Wars: Battlefront Game. Forbes. Retrieved on June 10, 2013.
- EA Press Conference
- Lucasfilm confirms all future Star Wars content to be canon, including the games (Article). Gamespot.com (03). Retrieved on May 3, 2014.
- EA Star Wars: A Look Ahead
- Star Wars Battlefront on the Star Wars Battlefront Wiki