We’ve been asking for it for years, a Frostbite 2 powered Star Wars: Battlefront 3 from developer DICE, and it’s actually happening. It began as a pipedream on our part for the repeatedly postponed/canceled third installment in the Star Wars version of Battlefield but through a stroke of luck – perhaps destiny – Disney shutdown LucasArts, licensed Star Wars to Electronic Arts, and there began the development of what we all wanted.
Star Wars: Battlefront drops the “3” but picks it up in its next-gen game engine, the Frostbite 3, and was teased with a short cinematic clip from the battle of Hoth. And that’s all we needed. With Battlefield 4 representing one of the highlights of E3 2013 last week, fans have much to look forward to from the Battlefront relaunch, but don’t worry, it’s not just going to be a re-skinned version of what DICE already has.
Speaking with IGN during E3, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau explained why DICE is the perfect developer for Star Wars: Battlefront (we agree!)
“Battlefront is a vehicle experience, it’s a character experience. DICE has proven, in how they develop Battlefield, as far as being able to do air, land, sea combat, all the way up to F-18s fighting. They’ve been able to demonstrate through the Frostbite tech and through their design capabilities and talent that they can create these huge, epic set-piece wars. That’s kind of the dream of Battlefront. Hoth, the battle of Hoth. You’ve got space, you’ve got the surface, you’ve got infantry, you’ve got AT-ATs. That’s the table stakes that they come in with. They know how to do that. They’re really good at it.”
While we’d almost be happy enough with a total conversion of Battlefield 3/4, that’s not the plan. Star Wars: Battlefront will be different and promises to “innovate.”
“They’re going to bring their own sensibilities and design ideas. We want to innovate. We want to try new things. You guys had a blog on your site that said, ‘hey, what would you like to see in Battlefront?’ There’s a lot of stuff in there that we’re planning on doing. There’s a lot of new stuff that we’re looking at too. From our perspective, it’s capturing that epic, Star Wars, all-out huge scale. That’s what we’ll go after.”
We can only hope this refers to rumored gameplay features from Battlefront 3 which included the ability to fly from a planetary surface through the atmosphere and into a space battle seamlessly. That’s what next-gen Star Wars should be. Let’s also hope for more players. We’d all love to see the Battle of Hoth have not only five gigantic AT-AT walkers, but dozens of speeders to go along with hundreds of ground troops. Maybe that’s a fanboy wish, but if you’re going to hype up Frosbite 3 and innovation, let’s see Star Wars back at the top of gaming, where it used to be in the ’90s.
We wouldn’t be upset of the prequels were left out of the game. If you missed it, here’s an hour of gameplay footage from the canceled pre-alpha build of Battlefront III.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes what you want most from Battlefront 3.