Nearly 150,000 fans packed in the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California this weekend for the 2015 Star Wars Celebration, a massive event that's packed with news and tributes to the most successful science-fiction franchise of all time. Even after all this time, Star Wars is a media juggernaut, and 2015 may be its biggest year yet. Not only does the seventh film in the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, hit theaters on December 18th, but a brand new Star Wars video game is on the way as well.
Fans attending the Star Wars Celebration witnessed the premiere of a brand new trailer for The Force Awakens, which sent shockwaves across the Internet with its evocative visuals, including a melted Darth Vader helmet and an elderly Han Solo exclaiming, "We're home!" This trailer alone would've been enough to make attendees feel like they got their money's worth, but Disney and Lucasfilm went one further, unleashing some big news about the upcoming video game Star Wars: Battlefront.
By all accounts, Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that many thought they would never see (the series has been dormant for nearly a decade) looks like it's going to live up to the hype. The reveal trailer shown at the Star Wars Celebration is absolutely incredible, using in-engine footage to showcase a cinematic version of the game's 40-player online multiplayer battles.
However, not all gamers like to play online, but may still want to enjoy Star Wars: Battlefront. While the definitive Battlefront experience will be the large-scale online multiplayer battles between the Rebels and the Empire, the studio behind Star Wars: Battlefront, DICE, has some good news for people who prefer single player experiences.
Star Wars: Battlefront will support bots. There is a game mode called Missions that can be played either solo or cooperatively, and will be filled with bots. This mode can be played either offline or online, so if the Internet goes down, players can still get their Star Wars: Battlefront fix.
DICE, hasn't really used bots in its previous games. Known primarily as the developers of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Battlefield franchise, DICE has proven its ability to develop high quality online multiplayer experiences. However, Battlefield 4 had a really rocky start, keeping many fans from enjoying the online multiplayer. Perhaps an offline bot mode for that game would've quelled some of the backlash.
In any case, it's a good bet that DICE's time working on Star Wars: Battlefront will influence its future work, so even if bots don't pop up in Battlefield 5 (whenever that comes), expect some elements of Battlefront to sneak their way into the game.
Fans of the original Battlefront games know that bots were a major part of the experience. Most gamers did not play online on the PS2 and original Xbox, so for many, their experiences with Battlefront consisted almost entirely of slaying bots with their friends. It's good to see DICE stay true to the roots of the franchise, and while most people will probably stick to online multiplayer, knowing that bots are an option is a big relief.
By the time 2015 comes to a close, Star Wars fans can look forward to a brand new film as well as a new game, both of which look great. On top of all that, the bookworms out there also have a chance to read a Battlefront tie-in novel entitled Star Wars: Battlefront - Twilight Company. This book is written by a writer well-versed in the world of games (he worked for BioWare for six years), Alexander Freed, and chronicles the aftermath of the destruction of the original Death Star. Furthermore, the novel will be canon, as is Star Wars: Battlefront itself.
Star Wars: Battlefront releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One this year on November 17th.