The 2015 Star Wars Celebration might be winding down, but the flow of new information hasn’t slowed down at all. Earlier this morning, director Gareth Edwards revealed that his upcoming Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One, centers on the theft of the Death Star plans prior to Star Wars: Episode IV. Similarly, while Friday morning’s presentation delivered the bulk of the information regarding Star Wars: Battlefront, DICE and Electronic Arts haven’t stopped dropping new facts here and there.
For example, one of players’ biggest concerns regarding Star Wars: Battlefront is that the game will basically be a reskinned version of DICE’s popular Battlefield games, but according to DICE that’s not the case. As DICE executive producer Patrick Bach says, Battlefront isn’t a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” but is being built from the ground up with Star Wars and previous Battlefront games in mind. As Back puts it, “It’s called Star Wars: Battlefront for a reason, so [we’re] going back to the roots and the core ethos of that.”
And, so far, that seems to be true. While some of the features of past Battlefront games – space battles and locations from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, among others – won’t make it into the new title, it does look like DICE is trying to honor the Battlefront’s legacy. The game will have bots and split-screen multiplayer, and will use a new system, not Battlefield’s Battlelog, for matchmaking.
Of course, some Battlefield mechanics snuck into Star Wars: Battlefront regardless. Members of the press who saw a Battlefront gameplay demo noted that Battlefield’s Killstreak and Nemesis bonus systems both made an appearance.
According to Bach, a lot of Battlefront’s unique voice comes from DICE’s collaboration with Lucasfilm, who gave DICE full access to the Star Wars archives to make sure that the game looks as accurate as possible. “We have the opportunity to work with them on this; it’s a super tight relationship,” he says. “In some ways you could argue [Battlefront is] close to what we’ve done before – because it’s something awesome and people want that – but in other ways it was like no, let’s go down this [new] route because it fits with the IP, it fits with what Star Wars stands for.”
In fact, DICE’s desire to stay true to Battlefront’s Star Wars roots is driving many of the developer’s decisions. For example, while players can customize their characters, choices are limited to thematically appropriate options. Female Stormtroopers or “different heads for different species” are fine, Bach says, but “you won’t be able to put a pink cape on Darth Vader.”
Bach admits that silly tweaks like that “would be easy for us to build and some people might say that’d be fun, but it’s not authentic” – and authenticity is what Battlefront is all about.
Star Wars: Battlefront arrives November 17, 2015 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.