Star Wars fans the world over were treated to a very special surprise during E3 2013: Star Wars Battlefront III was announced, under the direction of DICE, the celebrated makers of the Battlefield series.
Unfortunately, the trailer did not reveal much beyond the fact that Battlefront III exists. Official statements have confirmed that it will be a next-gen game, running on the Frostbite 3 engine and its considerable power, and the teaser confirms only that there will be a battle on Hoth. Fortunately, that leaves the door open to rampant speculation and guess-making, in which I plan to indulge myself and my Star Wars uber-fandom to the nth degree.
First, the reasonable speculations:
The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars (the galactic conflict that started in Episode II and ended in Episode III), as detailed in many books and two great TV shows, was a major part of the first Battlefront games, so it’s completely reasonable to assume that the game will feature Clone Wars-era gameplay. What’s not assured are the planets that would be featured from this era. Personally, I would like to see the forested mountains of Praesitlyn, rain-soaked Jabiim, the shadowy Umbara and its unique vehicles, as well as iconic battles from the movies such as as the Battles of Geonosis and Kashyyyk. In addition to the great potential locales, the Clone Wars supply DICE with many potential hero units, from Anakin and Obi-Wan to Dooku and General Grievous, as well as EU characters like Captain Rex and Durge, and that’s just barely scratching the surface.
One of the most fun and tactically intriguing game modes from the Battlefield series is Rush. The objective of Rush is for the attacking team to destroy/take targets while the defending team tries to prevent it. When balanced well (as DICE has proven pretty capable of doing in the past), Rush modes are incredibly interesting, with many ways to attack targets, such as through one-man stealth missions, small team assault, or an all-out attack with the provided tanks and fighters, and anything in between. With DICE making the game, a Rush Mode in Battlefront could be just what the doctor ordered for both shooter fans and Star Wars fans.
Bots were a huge part of the previous Battlefront games, at least for players like me who had sporadic or no access to the online portion of the game. Unfortunately, the bots were absolutely awful, with little to no tactical sense or accuracy. A good human player could win games almost singlehandedly when playing with bots, racking up huge points and taking all the command posts faster than the AI could recapture them. However, I still hope they bring back the AI, since it was the AI that made the Battlefront one of the most fun single-box splitscreen shooters of its generation, and hopefully DICE can continue the grand tradition.
Ground to Space Combat
One of the biggest things people have been wanting from Battlefront III is battles that span a whole battlefield, from the ground battle with tanks and soldiers to the space battle with fighters, bombers, and massive capital ships, and interaction between the two, for instance with player-aimed orbital bombardments, or the use of ground-to-space weaponry like the ion cannon in Empire Strikes Back. We got a small taste of this kind of battle in the PSP’s Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, but the PSP was just too weak to capture the massive scale that is one of the Star Wars universe’s main draws. With the power of the new generation, I’m sure all of us Battlefront fans will like what DICE comes up with in this department.
Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of the Galactic Conquest mode, as seen in Battlefront II. And hopefully, this time it will be multiplayer compatible, with one person leading an army around the galaxy as the commander, while the rest of the players get separated into the teams who fight the battles in space and on the ground.
And now for some things that probably won’t happen, but would be totally awesome if DICE decided to do:
A Good Single-Player Campaign
Battlefield 3‘s campaign was a very lackluster affair all around, as was Bad Company 2‘s. For this reason, I do not expect a very good single-player campaign, if any, out of Battlefront III. It’s a damn shame, really, since Battlefront II‘s campaign, while not exactly stellar, was still pretty fun, with the little vignette story pieces and objectives scattered across the maps we already knew from playing the multiplayer.
Knights of the Old Republic Era
The KotOR era would be a great setting, considering the fact that you see very little of the war at large in those games. The Battlefront treatment would really let us cut loose in the ground and space battles of the era, especially the battle of Rakata Prime, as well as being able to battle on Taris and Korriban, all of which provide intriguing possibilities for map design.
The New Sith Wars
The final years of the New Sith Wars, approximately 1000 years before Episode IV, and especially the Battle of Ruusan, would make for a great map, considering the fact that it was fought purely by Sith Lords and Jedi Knights, which would make for wonderfully chaotic and fast-paced battles across the war-torn surface of Ruusan.
The Yuuzhan Vong War
The Yuuzhan Vong War is probably the most radical era in the Star Wars universe, where extragalactic aliens invaded the galaxy, leading to a massive galactic-scale war. The gameplay possibilities are what interest me most here, since this is the only era where the two aggressors aren’t nearly evenly matched. The New Republic forces would play much like every other trooper in the game, but the Vong are armed with much shorter range weaponry and better armor, making them absolute tanks, but with little long range capability, leading to an interesting dichotomy of playstyles.
What eras and/or features would YOU like to see? Let us know in the comments below, or shoot me an email at Jake@Geekenstein.com, and keep your eye on Geekenstein for more Battlefront III coverage!