Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a media demo for the upcoming game Star Wars: Battlefront by DICE, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. The designers of the game gave an in-depth preview of what was to come. All information was embargoed until today, so now I am thrilled to share my reactions to the upcoming game.
But first, a caveat: I'm not much of a gamer. My most advanced consoles are Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 2, and the only games I regularly play are Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. So needless to say, I don't have much in the way of gaming experience—but I did play the first two Battlefront games, and I always enjoyed them when I played them. That's why I was pretty excited to see this demo, despite my overall lack of gaming experience.
The first thing we saw was actual, pre-alpha gameplay footage from multiplayer mode—and Battlefront is designed primarily as a multiplayer game, though they of course have single player. This footage is of Rebel troops fighting through the forests of Endor, where they have to contend with stormtroopers, AT-STs, and even a formidable AT-AT. Multiple different weapons are used as the Rebel player makes their way through the green and watery woods, including a blaster rifle, a blaster sniper rifle, and a missile launcher.
What you notice immediately about this footage is how intense and visceral it is (no pun intended—gaming fans will get that reference). There's a very realistic feel to the gameplay we saw. The footage of running through the jungle, firing on surprise incoming enemies, and bombers dropping fire from the sky was very reminiscent of the Vietnam War, to the point where you have to imagine that was a deliberate comparison.
The most interesting part of the demo to me was the announcement of a free DLC releasing a few weeks after the game is released. The DLC is called "The Battle of Jakku." You may have missed this since yesterday, but Jakku is the desert planet seen in the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We'll be able to actually play the battle in which Jakku becomes a war-scarred desert, and when the giant Star Destroyer comes crashing down into the desert wastes. This is another piece in Lucasfilm's transmedia approach to Star Wars canon, with different stories in different mediums having an impact on one another.
This is the type of game that would make me consider purchasing a console. I went into the demo feeling somewhat interested, but left being pretty excited about the game. I look forward to seeing everyone else's reactions once the Celebration panel is finished and more information is released online.