Love it or hate it, Star Wars is arguably the most influential franchise in geekdom. So when a new installment of one of the universe’s most beloved game series is announced, and it’s going to be developed by FPS veteran studio, DICE, it’s a disturbance in the Force worth noting. As the first Battlefront title in a decade, and as the first major Star Wars title announced for this new console generation, can it deliver?
Can I haz Jedi?
Admittedly, when no one is looking, I still occasionally try to use the Force, and I know I’m not the only one! Everyone wants to be a Jedi. Everyone. Therefore, creating a combat-centric Star Wars game and denying us our life-long dream of being an unstoppable, ninja space wizard would be a capital offense. As badass as that sounds, unstoppable ninja space wizards would probably break the game. So how do you create a balanced player class without making the Jedi feel nerfed? Perhaps by making them a glass cannon of sorts that can dish out a ton of damage yet has an exploitable weakness like little to no armor.
Aren’t you a little too awesome for a Storm Trooper?
Opposite the Jedi on the Star Wars bad-ass spectrum is the lowly Storm Trooper. Essentially the Keystone Cops of the Star Wars universe, it’s a miracle the Empire even rose to power when Storm Trooper boot camp doesn’t even prepare these guys on how to properly enter a room. You can’t have a proper battle without Stormtroopers, so let’s hope DICE gives them something that makes them a little more respectable. As they are literally equivalent to infantry, they would be most at home in the heat of battle and perhaps could have access to the most powerful firepower in the field.
Red Leader, Standing By
The coolest part of the Star Wars universe (next to Jedis, of course) are those wonderfully imaginative means of transportation. The Battlefront series is no stranger to vehicles, but this time around, I want everything, and DICE is just the studio to make that happen. The sneak peek provided at this year’s E3 did hint at AT-STs and Speeders, but if I can’t bullseye wamp rats in a T-16, I’m out.
Stay on target…
It’s not called Star Wars: Minor Skirmish, it’s Battlefront, and in Star Wars, battles have multiple fronts. Whereas the “next-gen” consoles will have been around for over a year before the game arrives, developers should be more comfortable with the platforms and better at tapping into their true potential. Therefore, the ability to seamlessly transition from land to space engagements within the same giant 64-player (at least) battle should be standard. To make these two combat fronts feel more connected, allowing one to greatly influence the other (a la the battle of Endor) would be a nice touch.
The sounds of Star Wars are just as, if not more iconic than the look. The specific sounds of a crackling light saber and a deadly blaster are burned into the brains of a generation of fans who will be able to easily identify impostor sound effects. It may not seem like that important of a detail, but no matter how much fun it is, it won’t feel like an authentic Star Wars experience without the proper sound.
No matter what has (or will) happen to the franchise, what initially sparked the worldwide Star Wars phenomenon was the original trilogy. Without A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, there wouldn’t be a Star Wars. Although including some of the environments from the prequels to offer more battlefield variety would be acceptable, to honor its heritage and please the hardest of the hardcore Star Wars nerds, focusing on on episodes IV, V, and VI would be the right thing to do. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’d rather be continuously lead into traps by Admiral Ackbar than listen to the emotionless, deadpan delivery of Queen Amidala’s battlefield orders.
Do or do not. There is no try.
The popularity of DICE’s last two Battlefield games, despite being riddle with game-breaking bugs, horrendous server issues, and nonsensical user interfaces, is a testament to how well the actual gameplay is designed. Currently, the license to produce Star Wars games is still owned by Electronic Arts, and no matter how well respected DICE has become, you should never underestimate the power of the dark side. Over the years, mega-publisher EA has acquired a reputation for exerting influence and rushing their game developers. I hope against hope that they’ll allow DICE the time to properly polish Battlefront III before it ships, but I’m not sure sure EA learned its lesson (or cared at all) after the problematic launch of Battlefield 4, Sim City and Watch Dogs.
Is The Force Strong With This One?
Did we miss anything? What are you hoping to see in Star Wars: Battlefront III? Leave your comments down below, and may the Force be with us all, especially for EA.