The lights are on
We lay out our best-case scenario for the long-awaited sequel. The Force could be strong with this game. It’s been a long wait. Star Wars Battlefront II released to consoles and PC way back in 2005, and the past six years have only given fans two PSP games and a host of rumors about a true console sequel. Variously rumored to be in development by Free Radical, Pandemic, Rebellion, and Spark Unlimited, the actual fate of Battlefront III is shrouded in mystery. Even so, an enthusiastic fan base remains. Perhaps someday soon we’ll receive definitive word on a new installment, but in the meantime we’ve wracked our brains for the best ideas we could come up with for Battlefront III. We’ve combined some of our favorite features from previous installments with new ideas, some of which are inspired by other games on the market. How would the Battlefront formula have changed to respond to recent changes in game development and design? What technical innovations would be possible? How many TIE Fighters would we shoot down? Read on to find out, and share your own personal wish list in the comments below. The Classic ExperienceBefore we start talking about all the new-fangled craziness we’d love to see included, it’s worth noting what made the series fun in the first place. In the first installment, Battlefront aimed in many ways to emulate the fun of the Battlefield games, but transferred into the rich sci-fi backdrop of the Star Wars universe. Battlefront III should maintain that classic large team experience in at least one of its core modes. Team battles between two opposing forces should still sit as the centerpiece of the Battlefront experience, at least on multiplayer. Keep the experience pure, and free from the hero characters that populated Battlefront II – though those same heroes could show up in a separate, more story-focused mode. Single-Player IndependenceBattlefront II attempted to make single-player gameplay feel meaningful by tracking the experience of the 501st Legion through its many battles. It was a cool idea, but one that ultimately felt limited by shoehorning a single-player campaign into a gameplay experience designed for large numbers of simultaneous players. Instead, Battlefront III should feature a complimentary single-player campaign that’s fun on its own merits. Instead of copying objectives you’ve played a dozen times in the multiplayer experience, introduce situations that are uniquely shaped for a narrative experience. Perhaps a Bothan spy must sneak into the enemy base. Maybe a Jedi needs to save some prisoners before execution. What if your smuggler has to fly his ship through the imperial blockade? Using the technology and visual style of the multiplayer game doesn’t mean that single-player has to take a back seat. If LucasArts makes the single-player campaign meaningful and feel different from multiplayer, but offers touch-points between the heroic actions depicted in the single-player campaign and the events and objectives that unfold in the multiplayer maps, then players will enjoy both all the more.
Surprising StoryThe Star Wars universe is vast and varied, and it’s time to let it breathe. Tight creative and story constraints from the top levels of LucasArts have often hamstrung developers seeking to tell their own story within the Star Wars mythos. Take off the training wheels, and let Battlefront III explore some new territory. Making the Star Wars universe feel fresh shouldn’t be too hard. Give players choices and objectives that change the familiar course of the story. Travel into areas of Star Wars history that have yet to be fully fleshed out. Alternately, explore battles and moments from within the history of the movies or books that have yet to be seen. Heck, if it’s done well, we’d even be happy to see some twisted mirror universe of Star Wars where everyone’s roles are reversed. No matter what direction the game takes, let’s stop reliving the same battles and cinematic moments we’ve seen for years. Everyone loves the Battle of Hoth, but it’s time to experience some new battles, character moments, and locations that are equally exciting and memorable.DestructionModern game tech has shown the potential for insane onscreen destruction, and Star Wars would be well served by the new possibilities. Vehicles, turrets, and even pieces of the environment itself should exhibit persistent damage over the course of a match. If the map looks the same at the end of a battle as it did at the beginning, then there’s something wrong. Imagine traveling across a field filled with shattered AT-ATs, or navigating your space fighter through the debris left behind by a decimated Star Destroyer. Persistent damage makes the battlefield feel more real, and helps players believe their efforts make a difference. In addition, destruction should have gameplay possibilities. Blow a hole in the side of a ship with a thermal detonator, and enemy troops could get pulled out into space. Give players the opportunity to use environmental destruction in meaningful ways, and the fights become more dynamic and less focused on who can pull the trigger fastest.
[Next up: 128 person battles in a persistent galactic war]
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.
i remember hearing that the single player was going to be an alt-world story about what if obi-wan turned to the dark side and anakin became the hero of the republic. it sounded fairly interesting.
i just want star wars battlefront 3 to be made to tell you the truth, i mean sheesh lucasarts! theres a big enough following! makes this happen!
I would like to see heroes, heroines, and factions that are very real and present in the EU novels and comics, but ignored in other media.
I'd like to see Hutt forces fighting alongside the factions with the most dough, the Mandalorians trying to force their well-armed hands in, the Verpine fighting for territorial acquisitions, etc.
There is so much more to Star Wars than just Rebels, Imperials, CIS, and the Republic, and I would like to see this reflected in the experience of Battlefront III. It would go well towards establishing that galactic sense of conflict, danger, and adventure that Miller was talking about.
Matt, you sly dog. You raised everyone's hopes by just putting Star Wars Battlefront III in the title, but as we read the article, we saw it was just founded on hopes and dreams. Good hopes, excellent dreams, and the makings of a perfect Battlefront. Now, what you need to do is take this to a company and have them make it. Hell, take it to Bungie. They are looking for good games and they are done with the great Halo series. This could turn into the greatest shooter since Gears of War, Battlefront 3, and even though I hate to say it, Modern Warfare. Keep up the excellent work.
What Battlefront needs is a melee attack. I would always run out of ammo or the enemy would be right in front of me and I would only be able to shoot at them. And I wouldn't be able to shoot at them without ammo!
i think dice should make it. but we all know they probably wont so i just hope we see another one. cause star wars battlefornt was excellent. p.s if anyone wants to try a unique star wars shooter expierience try star wars republic commando for the xbox.
makes it more start war and less of a lame shooter and it will be a game...
you pretty much sumed it up in myy opinion lol
Just keep it simple no fancy shenanigans like xp ranking and weapon attachments then it gets too complex. I really hope that they return to the first one because I loved a lot of the maps like "the spire" and the rhen var much better than most of the new stuff.
funny thing is this game would already be out and awesome if they wouldve kept Free Radical on making but they switched to Rebellion and its been on hold since I think it will get out sometime
I smell an early hype train! It'll be announced within the next two years probably year.
i want this sooooooo bad!!!
I want more Galactic Conquest Mode. I'm talking full blown, online multiplayer conquest. I LOVED the "board game" stategy/ground war/dog fight style play of it. It was the only mode I preferred and it was great to play with friends.
Seriously thought this was an announcement for the third game for a second. Thanks GI, you almost gave me a heart attack.
When I played the first game it blew my mind, when i found the second game i almost shed a happy tear. But now i cant find words for it. All I could simply say is thank you to whoever is going to make this game and make it kick my eyesockets bleed when i get my hands on it. thanks
does any one think its kind of weird that they randomly just posted up an article about battlefront now when battlefront 2 came out 5 years ago and it took them this long to write a wish list. Plus lucusarts havent announced a new game since starwars the force unleashed 2
I loved Battlefront, slightly disappointed with (SW)BFII but overall great games. Put a lot of hours in those games.
If done right, Star Wars: Battlefront III could be THE definitive Star Wars experience. Not doubts there. And I sincerely hope we get that quality "Battlefield-like" Star Wars experience we've all been anxiously waiting for, because I was extremely frustrated with Battlefront I & II.
As far as faithfulness goes, they could be fun, but Pandemic made so many canonical mistakes, it was like Star Wars: Battlefront I & II were only "Star Wars" by name. Even entry level knowledge was botched. I wondered if Pandemic had even scene the Star Wars films. For crying out loud, they had the wrong sfx for the wrong weapons and vehicles and the wrong blaster bolt colors for the wrong weapons and vehicles. It went even further with them implementing incorrect cockpits and weapon loadouts for vehicles, incorrect models for vehicles/weapons/infantry... even interceptor class starfighters being put in the role of bombers. All of these mistakes just completely ruined the immersion.
For games, canon must always give way to gameplay when necessary. That’s a given. The problem was the absolutely ridiculous amount of unnecessary or stupid canonical mistakes made that either had nothing to do with gameplay, or was done when there was a better alternative.
Now, speaking of gameplay, both games had quite a few missed opportunities. What Pandemic got right with the sequel was off set with the omission of a few things they got right in the first title. It was like taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Here's an example: implementing space combat in BF II, but leaving out cockpit views, the ability to prone, and a implementing trimmed down, fairly worthless comm-system.
Now that Pandemic (and unfortunately, Free Radical) are toast, if we want the definitive Star Wars, "Battlefield-like" experience, who better to develop it than DICE? It's unlikely, I know, but you gotta admit they own the open battlefield genre. They pioneered it, after all. I can only imagine the awesomeness that would ensue if LucasArts ever partnered with them and EA. DICE does their homework. So you know they’d do it right. Star Wars: Battlefront III with the Frostbite 2 engine? Yes please!!
In the meantime, I've been playing an absolutely INCREDIBLE Battlefield 2142 total conversion called Star Wars: First Strike. I tell you all, this is the game Battlefront I & II should've been. I simply cannot recommend it enough.