What we want from the new Star Wars: Battlefront
A new Battlefront game is one of those holy grails of PC gaming that we’ve all been dreaming about since we were losing sleep to Battlefront 2 in 2005. Now that we’ve got confirmation that DICE is working on the next chapter in the Battlefront saga, our heads are spinning with hopes and dreams from a galaxy far, far away. Here’s what we want from the new Battlefront.
Expanded Ground to Orbit combat
Battlefront II wowed us with the ability to have battles going on over a planet’s surface, and in the stars above all at once. The trailer for the cancelled Battlefront 3 teased us with a more refined version of that mechanic. It’s a hallmark of both Star Wars as a franchise and Battlefront. We want to finally be able to participate in a Battle of Endor with a working, orbiting Death Star (complete with a flyable path to the core) while the forest below is consumed with battle. And controlling ground installations like ion cannons and shield generators should allow the two theaters to interact more dynamically.
More eras of play
Battlefront, so far, has been restricted to the eras of the two film trilogies. We think that’s kind of a wasted opportunity. Why not include some maps from the Knights of the Old Republic Era, when hundreds of Jedi and Sith can face off across ancient worlds? Or what about the New Jedi Order era, introducing the threat of the Yuuzhan Vong and all of their crazy, biological weaponry? The Star Wars universe is a big place, chronologically, with too many eras ripe for conquest to restrict us just to the ones Lucas wrote.
Actually good lightsaber dueling
The Jedi and other hero characters in Battlefront 2 felt very tacked-on. They were more fun to play because they allowed players to feel reasonably overpowered. Being a skilled Jedi player should be more difficult than being a skilled grunt, but with appropriate rewards for those who master the gameplay. We love the idea of two saber-users meeting in battle being a tense, dramatic experience that draws the attention of everyone in the area.
A commander mechanic
DICE is working on this, so it seems like the perfect opportunity to try out some kind of commander mechanic for Battlefront. Almost all large-scale, objective-based shooters suffer from widespread lone wolf behavior, and adding someone with a mynock’s eye view of the battlefield and the ability to issue orders can lead to a better experience for everyone involved. Plus, who hasn’t wanted to warn a squad of rebel troopers about to walk into an ambush that “IT’S A TRAP!”?
Lots of things blow up in Star Wars. Imperial walkers. Bunkers. Moon-sized space stations. The cinematic, action-driven combat across both trilogies makes me want a Star Wars game where I can really cut loose on some destructible environments. And the open, sometimes off-the-wall nature of the Battlefront series leaves me with a desire to be able to, say, make an impromptu entrance to the imperial base with my X-Wing. So let us blast, slice, demolish, and crush as much of the set as possible.
Ongoing multiplayer campaigns
Battlefront’s single player featured a mode that would let you capture planets, and eventually the galaxy, through a series of objective-based maps. Why not bring that idea to multiplayer? It would make things even more interesting if each commander could attack one place while defending in another each map rotation, and would have to decide how many players/tickets from a limited pool went to attack, and how many stayed to defend.
Most big multiplayer shooters tend to strive for a 1-to-1 balance between sides. But Star Wars so rarely works out that way. A lot of the most exciting battles featured one side with overwhelming odds versus another being forced to use smart tactics and guerrilla warfare to prevail. I’d love to see more of that asymmetry in the new game’s objective maps.
Mega-sized theaters of war
Imagine the Battle of Hoth taking place across an area the size of PlanetSide 2’s Esamir. Or, since we’re going into crazy wish-fulfillment territory here... Imagine multiple gigantic continents, like in PlanetSide 2, all linked seamlessly by a space battle going on high overhead, where capital ships must be carefully positioned to provide support on the ground. We guess this is basically asking for Star Wars: PlanetSide. But it’s hard to argue that wouldn't be completely awesome. What do you want in a new Battlefront? Let us know in the comments.