Battlefront is a game franchise set in George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. After nine years without, EA is planning to release a true Battlefront sequel sometime in 2015, with more news to come during the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. With engine and server improvements, the new Star Wars Battlefront III is set to uphold the series’ high critical standard.
Both of the primary games were well-received. The first Battlefront came out in September 2004 for Xbox and PC, and has since been released for PS2. Generally, it was lauded for the variety in the timeline, the immersive environments and the impressive graphics. It gave players the ability to drive and use iconic weapons and vehicles, play as a variety of classes and lead a squad of soldiers into battle. Metacritic gave the first Battlefront a 76 for PC and an 80 for Xbox. The second game came out a year later in November 2005 and repeated the success of the first. Battlefront II offered new and improved graphics, deeper missions and two huge additions: flight, which put the “Star” back in the previously ground-bound wars, and the chance to become the “Heroes” of the previous game, namely Jedi and other familiar faces like Han Solo and Boba Fett. The sequel was even better than the first with the PS2 version rated at 84, the highest Metascore of the group.
The first two games were followed by editions for handheld devices and mobile phones that were not received as well by critics, including a Battlefront II port for the PSP, which was given only a 69 Metacritic score. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron came out for the PSP and DS in October of 2009. It did not live up to the pattern of excellence set by the console titles, earning an overall score of 73. Elite Squadron came out in November 2009, also for the DS and PSP. With a standing Metascore of 61 and 63 respectively, critics complained of problems with the controls, the combat system, a lack of replay-ability and clumsy level design. The new Star Wars Battlefront is the chance for a revival of the franchise.
As a recent announcement made clear, all previous extended universe stories will not be considered integral to the plot of the ongoing saga. A group has been established to monitor future works based on the Star Wars intellectual property and ensure that it adheres to approved story lines. This ruling applies to how the new game will interact with the movie and TV show, so this Battlefront game will both be and help establish Star Wars canon.
The new game also offers hardcore gamers some eye candy with the Frostbite 3 engine, the same used for Battlefield 4. This is a major graphical leap from the original titles. The Fuse Joplin says fans are hoping DICE, the developer that took over development of the franchise from LucasArts and is responsible for the development of the graphics engine, has corrected the bugs that caused problems in Battlefield.
All that is known about perspective in the game is that it will be a first person shooter. No revelations have been made about what characters will be available for play or how limited the third person view will be. EA has already confirmed they will feature the game in a presentation at E3 in a few weeks. Typical presentations feature a trailer or demo, but all people know for sure now is that a new Star Wars Battlefront could be an excellent game.
By Aliya Tyus-Barnwell