Freelance 3D modeller and games artist. Commenced my games industry career over 10 years ago, starting out at Warthog on the sci-fi FPS Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter, and a space shooter of Battlestar Galactica. Most recently worked in house for Sumo Digital on a Tennis release for Sega, Virtua Tennis 2009 for PS3, Xbox 360 & the Wii, and I also worked on Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing. I have recently begun to teach 3D modelling and how that relates to games at several educational institutions including the University of Bolton on a part-time basis. Mod work includes development team leader, lore advice and modelling work for the Battlefield 2142 Star Wars themed mod First Strike.

Report RSS Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay Trailer Reaction

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Well the E3 gameplay trailers for Star Wars Battlefront are out and they're pretty damned awesome, check 'em out below:

I have to admit it was a bittersweet moment for me to see the gameplay for this finally. With our hard work on the Star Wars Battlefield 2142 mod First Strike I could see a lot of it in what was on show here, though obviously done a lot better than our non-profit efforts, but this in part was what we aimed to do with First Strike, fill that gap which was left empty by the last Star Wars Battlefront game and improve on that and bring it more into line with gritty Battlefield style gameplay, and also show EA and DICE that there was a market for this game (as if that was ever in doubt ), and encourage them in some small part in our efforts on First Strike to actually get in there and do a Battlefield engine and gameplay style based Star Wars game. Now that has happened and we can hang up our blasters and enjoy this game when it comes out like the millions of other fans out there who'll be chomping at the bit for this.

With the first video above (Co-Op Gameplay) I was very impressed with the feel and authenticity of the thing, a Tatooine based survival mode where a small Rebel group having escaped the Empire's clutches via escape pod from a captured Corellian Corvette (Rebel Blockade Runner) in orbit which is then blown to pieces by an Imperial Star Destroyer in the opening moments of the sequence. Is it Princess Leia's Tantive IV? Or another Rebel ship suffering a similar fate to that titular ship? It matters not, the scene is set and the circumstances feel authentic. Imperial forces are sent down from orbit to quash the Rebel survivors and all hell breaks loose as the Rebels must face wave after wave of increasingly more difficult foes until Rebel reinforcement space forces can arrive.

From a technical standpoint the graphics look lush, the hardware once again authentic looking with the Rebels packing A280s and DH-17 blasters from what I could tell, with different styles of firing for each. Weapon overheat was a visible gameplay factor with a Rebel needing to melee attack a Stormtrooper due to his blaster overheating. Both Rebel and Imperial forces had jetpack equipped classes which looked fun, and then there were other battlefield perks such as orbital strikes, heavy weapon pick-ups, etc. Weapons looked to have that standard console crosshair and aim assist type of thing going on, but the action looked good. I also liked the pods being sent down for the Rebels to capture and defend like dynamic flags. First Strike style withering fire seemed to have found it's way into the gameplay as Rebels were firing all weapons at the AT-ST Walkers when they eventually turned up, and one appeared to erupt on being hit by DH-17 blasterfire, unless the player happened to be firing at the target as an orbital strike took out the Walker, which is entirely possible. Whichever the case, on the strength of this gameplay footage I was quietly optimistic.

Then came the multiplayer game play footage. This was based entirely on a Hoth AT-AT Walker Assault Mode map. This one had the biggest sting in the tail for me as I had been working on a First Strike version of The Battle of Hoth as things all went to pot with EA cancelling support for their older games essentially rendering BF2142 obsolete and ringing the death knell for First Strike, but to be fair it was on it's way out long before then, and we had had Hoth in development on the back burner for some years, but on seeing their version of the Echo Base corridors and then hangar I was elated, but also seeing how strikingly similar it was to mine (well it would be they're both based on the same location and reference after all) quite gutted we didn't manage to get our version out to the public. It mattered not though, this was going to be awesome.

Then you get outside and you see TIE Fighters and X-Wings buzzing around and my heart sank. They have fallen for the same trap that I found the original Star Wars Battlefront ran foul of. Taking key battle locations and then just sacrificing authenticity for a larger canvas of gameplay. Personally if I'm playing The Battle of Hoth I want it to be as close to the movies as possible. Sure the sequence isn't going to be identical to the movie version, as gameplay obviously plays a part, but if you make such radical departures from the source material what is the point? On a Hoth battle map I want Imperial Walkers, Rebel Snowspeeders and perhaps logical extensions and embellishments so that the battle is essentially still the same in feel and authentic, but broadened out to see more of what went on than we see in the movies. So perhaps Snowtroopers on Speederbikes performing recon missions or striking outlying Rebel Outposts, perhaps Imperial Probe Droids taking a more offensive role in the battle itself. All things that could be happening while the main meat and potatoes of the battle is going on between Walkers and Snowspeeders. It would still feel authentic and just appear to be elements of the battle that we didn't see but were happening just beyond our vision in the movie. Slapping X-Wings and TIE Fighters all over it just might as well have shat all over it as far as I'm concerned. It is no longer The Battle of Hoth, but something else entirely. And don't get me started on the heroes/villains showing up at the end. I thought their inclusion ruined the last Star Wars Battlefront game, and they appear to have done the same here. Heck, they don't even have Luke wearing the appropriate gear for the time period the battle takes place in, with him wearing his Return of the Jedi style Jedi gear. Well at least they haven't gone the way of some earlier Star Wars games and gone and given the TIE Fighters missiles to balance them out against the X-Wings (touch wood).

It almost made me want to continue with FS and bring out our vision of The Battle of Hoth via the Unreal 4 Star Wars mod that FS has merged with, and this could still happen, as every moment of that gameplay trailer I watched, for every good bit there was something that made me flinch and think how I'd have done that differently. I just don't understand what DICE are playing at here, they're harping on about going to the Lucasfilm Archives and getting all the research in to achieve an as great level of authenticity as possible, which visually and through sound design they certainly have done, but then throw that authenticity to the wind when it comes to the level design and gameplay. It is almost like someone went to all the trouble of recreating the Mona Lisa perfectly down to the cellular level, and then painting a big red nose and happy face over it or something. What gives?

I hope that maybe this is only one mode that is available on this map and that there maybe a more authentic truer to the movie gamemode that can be played, or EA and DICE are going to have a lot of unhappy punters on their hands. Who am I kidding though? It looks gorgeous, and it is Star Wars, people (myself included begrudgingly) are going to lap it up, plus the earlier Star Wars Battlefront had this issue playing free and loose with the lore of the locations featured in their maps, so why would this one be any different? I just hoped with this focus on authenticity and painstaking efforts to achieve movie like accuracy with their assets and locations that this new Battlefront would manage to avoid it.

So conflicted, want it bad, but hope it won't be as bad as I fear it might be. I think it'll be very good, but that there will be little niggly things that are going to annoy the hell out of me and drive me nuts.

Like I said, conflicted....


I totally understand you. I personally don't mind changes like adding some fighters to the Battle of Hoth. To be fair, it makes sense to launch some TIEs to escort the ground troops (like close-air support in the real military), especially after the first transports escaped with X-Wing escort. But I agree on the part about changing gameplay like adding missiles to the TIE-Fighters or adding heroes... in inappropriate gear.
I am also a bit worried that we will see too many people with jetpacks, grenade barrages etc, breaking the atmosphere as it's not really about your regular troopers anymore.
Instead I would prefer to see an limited "commando" class with these abilities for example.

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Agree with you on most points there. My problem with the TIEs on Hoth is that they were not there during that battle. Yeah it makes sense to have them in there, and in any other ground battle I'd not have a problem with it, but if you're going to do the Battle of Hoth surely authenticity is key? And if that is the case, there were no TIE Fighters on Hoth. Like I say if they do a mode which sticks closer to the movie version of the battle and sacks off extra stuff like the TIEs I'd be happier.

Agree with you regarding the jetpacks, fun as they are, they were not that densely deployed amongst the standard troops, so yeah, there should be some way to limit their numbers, be that a limited availability class, or a pick up item or something. If everyone has one it ceases to be an authentic and realistic Star Wars battle and becomes a round of Quake.

20 minutes of gameplay footage I've seen recently shows this to be true. I certainly hope they find a way to limit the use of those packs somehow.

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