Just when you thought the "Star Wars" news was dying down after the new "Episode VII" teaser dropped yesterday, EA Games unveiled their own heavy hitter: "Star Wars: Battlefront!" In addition to showing off all-new game footage at Star Wars: Celebration this morning (April 17), the company revealed an awesome and unexpected tie-in to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
For the uninitiated, "Star Wars: Battlefront" is the latest in a series of "Battlefront" games, which let you fight in classic "Star Wars" battles on iconic planets, and rise through the ranks in the Rebellion or the Galactic Empire. In today's presentation, we saw the first "Battlefront" official pre-alpha demo, set during the Battle of Endor from "Return of the Jedi."
Right off the bat, we can tell you the game looks absolutely gorgeous, from the textures and lighting to incredibly accurate detailing in the ships, locations and characters. This is due to EA's photogrammetry technique, which utilizes highly-detailed photo references -- in this case, direct from Lucasfilm's archives -- to create near-perfect duplicates of materials seen in the "Star Wars" movies.
Moreover, "Battlefront" is the first video game ever to support Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound, which makes the gameplay experience even more immersive. We could especially hear the difference in the demo, as our faceless Rebel hero charged under a massive AT-AT, the machine's clunky feet pounding all around us. You can see some of this for yourself in the brand new "Battlefront" trailer released today. Check it out:
EA also revealed the different play modes offered for "Battlefront." While the game is "first and foremost" an online multiplayer experience, it will also include single-player and split-screen co-op modes, dubbed "Missions." Then, within gameplay, players can switch between third-person and first-person perspectives at will, in keeping with previous "Battlefront" installments. Overall, the game is looking very impressive -- or "most impressive," to quote a certain Sith Lord.
But that's not even the kicker. Remember the desert planet we saw in yesterday's "The Force Awakens" teaser, Jakku? The one with the crashed Star Destroyer and X-Wing in the opening shot? Well, EA announced that "Battlefront" will release free downloadable content that explains just how that epic battle went down (literally). Called "Battle of Jakku," the add-on marks the first "Episode VII" video game tie-in.
EA also confirmed the release dates for this content, all of which actually predates "The Force Awakens" hitting theaters on December 18. "Star Wars: Battlefront" will be available November 17 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Meanwhile, the "Battle of Jakku" DLC is slated for December 8, but if fans pre-order the game they can access the DLC a week earlier on December 1. In other words, EA is offering the best movie primer this side of the Outer Rim.