Tuesday 28 April 2015

Deeper Look Into Star Wars Battlefront EA [Gaming]

Star Wars Battlefront is some months from release now. After two teasers at E3 events [2013 and 2014], it was about time we had some information for the game. At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, we had that information. DICE are playing the information game very slyly. We have some info, but not enough to accurately say how this game will play or feel.

Take the main piece of information - that there will only be four planets in the game - and think about that. The developers say multiple maps, varying in size depending on the mode. And each planet will have more than two maps at launch. However, we still have very little information on the different modes to take a guess at how those maps might be set out. The only information we have is on Walker Assault, where an Imperial AT-AT lumbers along the battlefield for the Rebels to take out. And that's about as much as we know about that. Although it does seem to be a protect/destroy the base type mode.

In terms of other modes, we should at least be able to expect normal conquest and perhaps capture the flag type modes. In true Battlefield style, I expect conquest to have small, medium, and large maps playable for each planet. Capture the flag doesn't need that big of a map, so a medium one would do. Considering we also have dogfights in the air, depending on how vehicle distribution will be played out, I expect one map will be a military base of some sort, where one team has a hangar full of ships and the other has them spread out. This could of course bring a mode into play like the destroy/protect the base mode, but in the air instead. Of course, the four map types and modes are purely my thoughts, and it should be interesting to see what actual modes there are.

Instead of a true singleplayer campaign, there will be a Missions mode, playable in singleplayer, local co-op or online co-op. There is also very little to go on with this mode as well. I think we can expect something along the lines of Battlefront II's campaign though. Remember, the structure will be different, but the campaign of Battlefront II was a number of objectives for one larger mission. It might be possible that Missions mode is just one larger overall mission, sort of like the PSP version of Battlefront II had. Collect a number of objects, kill a number of special units. That sort of thing, but of course with a lot more variation. Galactic Conquest mode, under the circumstances of only four planets, doesn't look likely to return. As long as there is another singleplayer mode waiting to be announced as the replacement, however, it shouldn't be too troubling.

Customisation of characters has been announced, but we have no idea of how it will play out. Feeding into that is how online will work. The Battlefield series as of late uses Battlelog - a browser based app - for everything not directly related to the game itself. Character, weapons, unlocks, jumping into a game. Well, that's how it works for the PC version, at any rate. Funny thing is that Battlelog has so far not been mentioned relating to Battlefront. It might use it, it might not. There might even be a revised version specifically for the Battlefront series, or even all Star Wars games. At this point, we don't know. Heroes have been mentioned, but not shown in detail. Heroes work different depending on the mode, and considering we saw Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the Millenium Falcon, it can be considered that vehicles of the heroes will be playable as well. Depending on mode, of course. Considering focus is on the original trilogy, there won't be that many Jedi to play as. We'll have old Ben instead of young Obi-Wan. Which will make a nice change, I'm sure. Dependant on how many heroes for each side we get, it might be possible that some sort of Hero Assault mode might be included.

The biggest treat is that Battlefront EA, just like the previous Pandemic Battlefronts, will be a first/third person shooter hybrid. That is possibly the biggest worry many of us had, as many saw Battlefront as a primarily third person shooter.

Of course, I could say go all out on this, especially when there's free DLC in the form of the planet Jakku, but I'm instead saying wait until E3. Because, with all this playing sly, it could be that they are hiding a lot more. Or, it could be the usual hype building by only releasing small droplets on information. I'm optimistic and am hoping it is the former. From all I am reading, it does sound like DICE are doing an awful lot of teasing.