There's an insurmountable amount of hype surrounding Star Wars this year. From the figures to the books to the trading cards to the games and movies, if it has Star Wars in the name, people are excited. If you can somehow manage to tie one of those things to another, the hype levels begin approaching stratospheric levels. While we were told Star Wars Battlefront was going to be one of the first places we'd see the destitute landscape of Jakku, a planet that's been focused on quite a bit in trailers for The Force Awakens, we had little idea of what exactly that meant. With today's teaser trailer for the new map, questions of "What will it be like?" were immediately replaced with statements of "I want to go to there."
Taking place 29 years before The Force Awakens, the Battle of Jakku happened about a year after the Battle of Endor, which signaled the first indication the Rebel Alliance might rid the galaxy of the Empire's influence. There were numerous conflicts after the destruction of the second Death Star, as much of the literature under the "Journey to The Force Awakens" banner has revealed. Though Jakku's present in lots of Star Wars' recent content, Battlefront will present our first actual on-the-ground glimpse of that landmark conflict, including watching those massive Star Destroyers fall from orbit in magnificent fashion.
It's a big year for Star Wars, in case you didn't know. Aside from a wealth of new action figures and collectibles, books, comics, and that new movie or whatever, there's also going to be a new installment in the fan-favorite Star Wars Battlefront series. It's been too long since players have been able to pick up an E-11 blaster rifle and defend the likes of Mos Eisley or Hoth from the Rebel Scum (TM), but soon we'll be able to travel back to that galaxy far, far away to blast the Empire's enemies back from whence they came.
During Sony's PlayStation press event at Paris Games Week, DICE unveiled a new gameplay trailer for Battlefront which offered the first looks at newly-announced Heroes like Leia, Han and Palpatine in action. There's a lot of trench warfare happening, as well as some questionable voice acting, but Battlefront appears to be shaping up to be everything fans have been waiting for from the series since it vanished those many years ago.
With less than a month to go until Star Wars Battlefront arrives, DICE and EA are finally sharing more details on the heroes and villains joining the battle on both sides of the virtual war in that galaxy far, far away. Already, players knew familiar faces like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader would be part of the action, alongside the bounty hunter no one can seem to get enough of, Boba Fett. Those three won't be the only special characters fans get to play with, as the sides are going to get evened out a bit with these new additions.
Though Leia is a Jedi, during Battlefront's timeline, she doesn't quite know it yet. Since she's best known in the original trilogy for being an incredible leader, building her character for the game was a bit of a challenge for DICE. As lead hero designer Jamie Keen described on the PlayStation Blog, Leia's tricky to create as a unique character since she doesn't have a favorite weapon or visible ability in the films. With that in mind, DICE ended up focusing on her leadership abilities.
I've often thought about what it would be like to actually take part in the Battle of Hoth. In The Empire Strikes Back, we saw only a glimpse of the chaos that ensued once the Imperial Army found the Rebel base on the icy planet, and didn't truly get an idea of the conflict that broke out. It makes sense considering the films follow such a small cast of characters, and can't just spend hours on showing the ins and outs of one space battle. That's why I was excited to dive head first the galactic civil war with Star Wars Battlefront later this year. At least, until I played a little bit of the beta this week at New York Comic Con.
Now, don't take that to mean that I've lost all my interest. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm just not all that interested in living out the Battle of Hoth from the Rebel perspective anymore. While the films and comics and books have always talked about the strength and power of the Imperial side of the conflict, you don't truly grasp how daunting a task it must have been for the Rebel Alliance to pull out such tremendous victories until you're planted firmly in their boots. It's impressive that any of the ships escaping Hoth made it out of there alive, especially if any of those Rebel troopers fought as poorly as I did.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself steeped in the midst of the epic battle on Hoth. Listen to the Y-Wings and TIE Fighters zoom over your head and the pings of laser fire bouncing off of the rocks behind you. Immerse yourself in that world, then open your eyes. Of course you're no longer in that epic and icy struggle, but if you were playing Star Wars Battlefront then what you saw in your mind would match what was happening on screen. The level of detail that went into reproducing this battle is enormous, and all of it pays off into what is a fantastic experience.
Gaming dice get their own personalities in the hands of Lee Bretschneider, who creates portraits of everyone from your everyday d6 to the regal d100. He also dreams up labels for Harry Potter-themed booze, goofy fanart, and plenty of music and roller derby posters.
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