New Star Wars Battlefront details from Celebration

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New Star Wars Battlefront details from Celebration

Design Director Niklas Fegraues shares more from Star Wars Celebration

Sitting down to watch a gameplay presentation of Star Wars Battlefront, we weren’t sure quite what to expect. A countdown ticked toward zero on screen, next to a ridiculously detailed Darth Vader helmet.

When it finally hit zero, we found ourselves seeing things through the eyes of a Rebel fighter in a lush, wooded area, surrounded by towering trees. Leaves fell from their branches, and butterflies flitted about smaller bushes, which swayed in unison as the wind picked up. This all looked too familiar… this was the forest moon of Endor. After a moment, a team of rebels appeared on screen and speeder bikes started whizzing by.

Star Wars Battlefront

The desert planet Jakku was referenced briefly on stage during JJ Abrams’ panel at Star Wars Celebration, with the promise that we’d learn more about it at the convention. As it turns out, this is the setting of a pivotal battle set after the events of Return of the Jedi, which resulted in the war-torn desert landscape we saw in the first scene of The Force Awakens’ new teaser trailer.

The only way fans will be able to experience the Battle of Jakku, in any medium, is by owning Star Wars Battlefront. It will be a free piece of additional content, and there will be more details to come.

Things got hectic fast. An AT-ST appeared and a Rebel fighter jetpacked past its front, firing a rocket into its cockpit to take it out. Overshields blinked on as the Rebels fought to fend off a Stormtrooper attack from within the trees above.

Things went from bad to worse: A massive AT-AT lumbered into the action. “The armour’s too thick!” a teammate shouted as we fired a recently obtained missile launcher power-up toward the beast. Sure enough, the shell exploded uselessly against the machine’s hull. The Rebels ran underneath it, taking care not to find themselves underfoot, and made their way to an uplink station. A moment after activation, a squadron of fighters attacked from overhead, thankfully drawing fire away from the ground troops.

The action shifted into a bunker alongside another Rebel, away from the increasing crossfire on the battlefield. The bunker felt lived in, but abandoned. Dust hung in the air, illuminated by shafts of light. The Rebels tiptoed through the hallways until — uh oh — one squadmember was lifted a couple feet off the ground, grasping at his throat. That signaled the entrance of Darth Vader himself, who swatted away incoming blaster fire with his iconic red lightsaber, casting a sinister light on his suit and reflective helmet with each flick of his wrist. Suddenly he was upon us, and the scene ended with a red flash.

Star Wars Battlefront

Niklas Fegraues, Design Director on Star Wars Battlefront, told us that making a new Star Wars game is a dream for the team at DICE. “With the new film releasing later this year, it’s super exciting,” he gushed.

He went on to describe DICE’s vision for this new project as he showed us a photo of a child playing with an AT-ST toy: “Playing with our toys and creating our own battle fantasies… that became our vision for Star Wars Battlefront.

“Being fans, authenticity is a pillar for us,” he continued before diving into impressive technical details.

Star Wars BattlefrontStar Wars Battlefront

DICE had nigh unrestricted access to the Star Wars vault thanks to their close partnership with Lucasfilm. Fegraeus explained a process in which photos from all angles are taken of actual Star Wars film props, then imported and built inside the game. This technology is what allows us to see every last nick and notch in a Stormtroopers helmet, or the ridges and scratches on the grip of a blaster. These are actual pieces of physical gear that have effectively been imported into the in-game universe.

Fegraeus noted, somewhat giddily: “When you pick up a lightsaber in-game or hop into an X-wing, you’re using the lightsaber or flying in the X-wing.”

Technical details mean nothing if a game isn’t fun, though. “Star Wars is about epic battles, good versus evil, imagination… all those things that make us want to step into that universe and be a part of it,” Fegraeus emphasized.

Players can find power-ups during battle, ranging from missile launchers and overshields to more serious upgrades like a personal X-wing or walker, or even the ability to become a hero or villain like Darth Vader himself. These can be turning points in a battle; a skilled player controlling a Sith Lord is not a force to be trifled with.

Star Wars Battlefront is primarily an online multiplayer game, but there are solo and co-op modes (both online and local split-screen) as well. “Missions” are designed to be highly replayable, and appealing to both casual and core players with different selectable difficulty levels. Co-op includes a new partner system that lets more experienced players help rookies get up to speed by sharing their unlocks and power-ups.

Star Wars Battlefront

DICE also confirmed that players can switch between a first-person or third-person viewpoint at will. This decision in particular, combined with so many of the different ways players can approach the battlefield, illustrates that player choice is high on DICE’s list of priorities. They’re working hard to create the most detailed and accurately represented Star Wars universe we’ve seen yet — what happens there is up to you.

Star Wars Battlefront launches 17th November on PlayStation 4.

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  • Why don’t they just show us the gameplay? It’s ready, just upload it to youtube EA…
    The only reason I can think of is it’s not nearly as jaw dropping as they say and it would disappoint everyone….

    • That’s the only reason you can think of? Oh dear…

    • Well, any other reasons for not showing it us? If it’s as good as DICE and the press says, what’s the reason for not showing it? It would get people excited.

    • At this early stage there’s going to be a lot of things in the game that regular gamers won’t understand.

      There’s almost certainly low resolution placeholder textures that will have some cry “poor graphics” there may even be 2d sprites in places.

      There will be no fancy lighting or particle effects at all leading gamers to believe the game is rushed.

      The sound will be awful because its not finished yet

      There will almost definitely be clearly visible bugs.

      The press, and those of us fortunate enough to have worked in games QA know that at this early stage the final game won’t be recognisable compared to this, whereas those who don’t have that knowledge will see what they think is a bad game and that hurts sales.

    • That’s true, but as far as I know from the articles about this 7 minute gameplay, it’s not actual gameplay controlled by someone, but more like a gameplay trailer. So it is probably well builded. And if the press says “jaw dropping” it is probably ready, even the press wouldn’t say it’s amazing if there are missing textures and sounds. It’s a trailer designed to show the game’s real look, and not an actual gameplay presentation what we can see at E3s. And trust me, we will se the exact same trailer, just later, maybe at E3 or before it.

    • The closed door press event has been confirmed to have been “in engine footage” and not real time gameplay. It was gamers inability to understand the difference that lead to claims the Watch Dogs had been “downgraded” when in fact it had not, it was people wrongly comparing what they watched with what was released despite them being two entirely different things.

      We might see real gameplay at E3, we might not. But so far we definitely haven’t, and neither has anyone else.

    • Source of the comfirmation?
      Destructoid said that DICE has told them that it was pre-alpha PS4 gameplay footage(not a live match, staged)

    • Well what would have been the point of all those people lining up to watch the PS4 gameplay at the Star Wars event if they could have just stayed home and watched it online?

  • E3 should be interesting regarding this game

  • So glad to see the inclusion of splitscreen!

  • If they hit 60fps then I reckon they could use Morpheus in the future . Perhaps create Morpheus specific levels with dog fights in space or around the death star .
    Who knows…..
    I also can’t believe it looks that good.

  • The trailer is misleading in my opinion – only the first scene is captioned “game engine footage,” the following scenes are certainly pre-rendered. Don’t get your hopes up, the PS4 is nowhere near powerful enough to produce those visuals at 60fps.

    • Actually nothing is powerfull enough right now to run the game with that visuals. It’s just impossible.
      Maybe if the game would be linear(more linear than The Order 1886) and you would be the only character and you would just walk through a corridor, maybe, just maybe it would run on the newest PC tech.(like a i7 5xxx CPU and a TitanX)
      What we’ve seen in that trailer is CG like.

  • Not really a fan of online multi-player games(they are fun tho for a bit) but as this is Star Wars & does sound & look cool(still need to see it running on a PS4 & not some high end PC i bet) so i might get sucked into the Dark Side(i.e buying a EA game again) :D Oh + it has Split-screen which could be FUN ;)

  • I don’t trust DICE to make an online multiplayer game.

    • I really like Dice battlefield 4 multiplayer, u can fly a plane , drive a tank and destroy building , great game. Would be cool if u could do all that in battlefront :)

    • DICE isn’t the problem. EA is.

      Battlefield 4 was so terrible at launch because EA forced them to release an unfinished product.

    • Wait what? DICE is pretty much the only team out there that CAN do a decent multiplayer. Used to love Killzone too but Shadow fall not that much. I’d love to hear who you trust to make an online multiplayer game if not DICE. I will roflol if you’re a COD fanboy.

  • We can only pray that the game does not get downgraded. This has happened too many times in the past and this needs to stop. The lies and false advertising needs to end.

    • It’s not false advertising, no one said it’s gameplay. It’s just “game engine footage” which means they rendered the video with the Frostbite 4.

  • No solo senarised game just a crappy online and online tutorial game asimiled to solo… sorry I hate online games it s just for geek. This gen is just a [MODERATED]. Indy nes games and AAA online only … I think I will stop playing video games thank you for desgust me of video game… this is not for the players

  • Im trying youtube on psvita now without the app and it is not good I was so spoiled before now Im kicked on like an ordinary mobile loser and can’t se all youtube videos! I never look att youtube on a computer so in the future I will go over to Ipad when I look att youtube and sometimes ps4.

  • No comment in the post about the visuals, how does the gameplay compare to the reveal trailer?

  • Me and a whole lot of other people were utterly disappointed by not being shown any gameplay footage.

    Yes, it’s captured with the engine but we all know that the Frostbite engine can produce some great eyecandy. What we wanted to see was GAMEPLAY because at the end of the day if the game is not worthwhile in that department it won’t matter how good it looks, it just won’t be worth it.

  • I pre-ordered,… then Cancelled.
    Themes crash the Playstation 4 when trying to View them (only one downloads, No.1), and now crashes constantly even trying to Access the Themes in the Dashboard Settings etc. I did what it was suggested and Initialized the Ps4 (which deletes everything), so i’ve lost eveything and it didn’t fix the solution and now i’ll have to download everything all over again. smh.

    • That has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

    • @MaxDieHard,.. oh think it does. Hence why i put it here, to bring awareness so other people don’t pre-order Star Wars on the Psn from all the excitement like i did following the reveal, till it’s resolved. And so they don’t Initialize their Ps4 because that what it recommends and lose all their Saved content with the problem still remaining. This is the latest Star Wars post since the reveal (at time of originally posted)… So i will put my concerns wherever i damn well feel fit! k

    • I don’t see what PS4 themes have to do with a Star Wars post.

    • @MadDieHard You seriously can’t comprehend what i’ve written in my posts and how it relates to “Star Wars”, lol… and yet…your first comment. LMAO

  • No campaign, no spacebattles. PASS.

    • I’ll still get it, but i’m annoyed that it’s online focussed, just like Battlefield. I want a dedicated singleplayer campaign and an Instant Action mode, which is what made the original Battlefronts’ so fun.

  • Am I only one thinking he was watching a different video?

  • What happened to the digital deluxe edition?
    I had it in my basket ready for purchase, then poof. Gone, and it would seem, also from the store..
    Anybody know how to bring it up on the store? Or how to get it now…
    Kind regards

    • you seriously want to preorder a game 7 months early? what difference does it make preordering now or the day before launch?

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