In DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront, hitting PC on November 17, you’ll be able to take to the skies in an X-Wing or TIE Fighter or even the Millenium Falcon, but you won’t be leaving the atmosphere. There won’t be any space battles in Battlefront this time around.
“Are we going to see space battles?” I asked DICE producer Craig Mcleod. His answer was a bit more politic than “no,” but didn’t leave much room for ambiguity. “We’re focusing on epic planetary battles for this game,” he said.
Mcleod told me that Battlefront’s maps will be set on four planets: Tatooine, Hoth, Endor, and Sullust. There will definitely be dogfighting above those planets, and the trailer for Battlefront that EA released today does show a Star Destroyer hanging around ominously in the background. Could that hint at a level set on a Star Destroyer, or Star Destroyers somehow coming into play in the planetary maps?
Mcleod only gave me a vague answer when I asked.
“It’s very important for us to create a true Star Wars environment,” he said. “We want it to feel real. There are so many different aspects to this. It goes from the ground up, really. So when you think about that initial layer of infantry combat on the ground, then you add ground vehicles and the walker combat on top of that, then you go into another layer of dogfighting between X-Wings and TIE Fighters, and there was a Star Destroyer in the trailer, so yes they do exist within our game. It’s important that you build this in layers so it feels like a real Star Wars environment.”
It’s possible that Battlefront could give us a brief taste of space with its mission mode, small single-player/co-op battles designed to recreate iconic moments from the original trilogy. DICE showed a model of Admiral Ackbar during its demo, and Ackbar did lead the Rebellion against the Empire in the Battle of Endor. I’m in full conspiracy theory mode, at this point. Based on Mcleod’s answer, our time with Battlefront will mostly be spent with boots on the ground, or flying the skies just above.
Read my full preview from the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim.