Yes, it’s time once again to vicariously indulge in Star Wars: Battlefront 3. To cherish a game that was once so close, yet was tragically lost (we can only hope not permanently) in the Lucas Arts shuffle, by watching somebody else fly through the perpetually-sunset skies of Bespin’s Cloud City over the Internet.

But we don’t mean chide. After all that’s been the next best thing since Lucas Arts ordered a production halt of Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 and, allegedly, Battlefront 4 in 2008, cutting both games down in the midst of their development. And, clocking in at nearly an hour, the footage goes far beyond the immense metropolis of Cloud City, sweeping through segments on Desolation Station, Kashyyyk and Mustafar, and revealing even more weapons, vehicles and game modes – all working to various degrees of success in their patchy alpha build.

The video is the work – the editing, the compiling, the running voiceover – of Past to Present Online, whose narrator claims he was invited to test out the game so many years ago. Past to Present also brought us April’s 3-minute Battlefront 3 gameplay footage spun from the game in it’s middling stages, but it turns out they were only teasing the motherload for a later date.

Whether or not the unpolished build is worth your undivided attention for 3396 seconds, we can’t say. What goes without saying is that it’s still populated with a few highlights any veteran of the first two games could appreciate: A Bespin flying scene at 4:05 provides perspective on the scope of Free Radical’s design; close quarters combat at 10:30 spotlights shaky-cam sprinting, interior textures, and a new promotion system; and there’s a good portion of the story mode, starting at 32:30, which showcases the layout of a Luke Skywalker Cloud City mission. Laggy animations, transmatter lightsabers and clunky controls are replete throughout, too, as would be the case for the “alpha” designation.

Battelfront 3 Gameplay Luke Skywalker

Look, watching old Battlefront 3 videos like bootlegged episodes of a redlighted TV show, reading old headlines about why Lucas Arts dropped the ax on Free Radical’s projects after the developer was acquired by Crytek – we get that it’s little solace for those looking ahead to the series’ future, hoping that future even exists. Right now, Battlefront’s fate still lies with Lucas Arts. Recently known for such Star Wars adventures as the Han Solo/Lando Calrission dance-off, Kinect: Star Wars, the company came to E3 showing of the gorgeous and gritty Star Wars 1313 and instilled us with hope that maybe, just maybe, it was ready to live up to its high quality-standards for the legendary franchise.

Rumors are still swirling that Battlefront 3’s production is underway within clandestine Lucas realms, perhaps with developer Spark Unlimited. Quite frankly we can’t think of another game that could better pair up with 1313 and write the first chapter of the company’s next-gen legacy, should they wait to choose that route.

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Past to Present Online