Star Wars Battlefront's upcoming Skirmish mode will enable offline play

I played Star Wars Battlefront during the free beta and it was good fun, but I didn't pursue it any further than that in large part because I hoped for more single-player options. Following next week's update, however, there will be a new offline mode, called “Skirmish." 

“The new mode will be available starting July 20 and offers players the option to play offline against bots in a solo mission or with a friend using co-op split screen. (Console only) Skirmish can be played on a difficulty level of your choosing and across two modes, Walker Assault and Fighter Squadron,” the announcement says. “With multiple locations that span the galaxy, from the frozen planet of Hoth to the lava encrusted planet of Sullust, we hope Skirmish brings players a new way to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront.” 

(The “console only” wording is a bit unclear, but EA has confirmed that it refers specifically to the split-screen co-op.)   

It's an improvement, but it's also a far cry from a proper campaign, and that's disappointing. More to the point, I don't see how it makes the game more appealing for people who aren't already playing. Skirmish mode is single-player in only the most technical sense, as the gameplay remains entirely unchanged: It's the same experience, just with bots instead of humans. (In EA's defense, it describes Skirmish as an “offline mode” rather than single-player, but tomayto, tomahto, right?) 

EA also promised more free in-game events, more Hutt contracts, log-in rewards, and “open trials to experience Bespin”—that's the recently-released second expansion—and said that the third expansion, Death Star, will be out in September, with “more new maps—on ground and in space—new weapons and Star Cards and two new heroes including one larger-than-life character we know you've been patiently waiting for.” (My money's on IG-88. Love that guy.) Death Star will be free for season pass holders, and available for purchase separately for everyone else. Pricing hasn't been announced but given that the previous expansions are listed for $15, I'd say that's a good bet.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.