They say time heals all wounds, but fans of the original Star Wars Battlefront series… well, they’re still waiting. The blow dealt with the closing of practically all Star Wars video game titles has been softened since, with publisher EA handing the license to more established studios. But while DICE is hard at work on bringing a brand new take on Battlefront to life, fans are still left to wonder about the Star Wars: Battlefront 3 that almost was.
Given just how quickly hardware and graphics progress these days may cause the uninitiated to take one look at the newly-leaked alpha gameplay footage of Battlefront 3 (running on Xbox 360) and understand why the project was scrapped. But for those who played through the first two titles from Pandemic, the undeniably addictive premise – fighting through enemy ranks for domination and control of maps set in key locations in the Star Wars universe – was a series that died far too early.
Some early footage of Battlefront 3 has appeared online in the past, but a new batch has recently found its way online, with the action set on Tatooine, Hoth, and even Coruscant. Given the ‘alpha’ state, the footage shows a less-than-finished product. Even still, a moment of silence is recommended.
The hurt feelings and bitterness surrounding the Battlefront name aren’t quite as palpable as they once were, with the makers of Battlefield now entrusted with doing the license justice (a task that they admit is a terrifying one, but an opportunity they felt they still had to beg for). With even a third-person component to gameplay confirmed by the studio, and both Hoth and Endor included in the first gameplay footage released, there seems a real possibility of the dream of Pandemic’s first two games being realized on next-gen systems.
Of course, seeing what state the game existed in when cancelled doesn’t take away from the drama that has occurred as a result. With accusations of “psychopathic” behavior from those overseeing the game just the tip of the iceberg, and developers claiming the game was essentially finished when it was scrapped, fans may never know the truth of what really happened without some bias from one side or another.
So perhaps seeing the alpha gameplay’s similarities to the previous two titles may help calm some frayed nerves. The upcoming Battlefront reboot (likely launching alongside Star Wars: Episode VII) looks more impressive than ever before.
But will a home run from DICE help put the series’ previous incarnation to rest? Only time will tell.
Star Wars Battlefront is aiming for a 2015 release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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