In 2004 LucasArts released one of the most well received and best selling Star Wars games of all time, Star Wars: Battlefront. In Battlefront the player took control not of a jedi, but of a grunt with his boots on the ground, ready to fight or die for his cause. Featuring massive open maps, frantic combat and the ability to drive an AT-AT, along with huge Multiplayer matches, Battlefront stood head and shoulders above anything else LucasArts would put out for nearly a decade. And now it's back.
At E3 yesterday EA announced that DICE, developer of the megapopular Battlefield franchise, currently has a new Battlefront game in the works using the company's lauded Frostbite 3 engine. When LucasArts was shuttered after rights to the Star Wars franchise were bought by Disney a few months ago, Disney announced that LucasArts would license games rather than develop them in house, and Battlefront is the first of these new licensed games to be announced.
This is an exciting development, as The original Star Wars: Battlefront was a direct response to the huge popularity of DICE's Battlefield 1942, which was released two years before Battlefront. Both games had the players take the roles of ordinary soldiers in massive battles with dozens of enemies and allies on expansive maps. Both games had the ability to take command of vehicles, which could drastically change the course of a fight by bringing heavy armor and firepower directly where the players needed it.
Battlefront's sequel, the next year, expanded upon the gameplay by introducing special characters, alien races and space battles where players could dogfight against each other in X-Wings and TIE Fights to see which was really the deadliest starfighter. Sadly, despite good sales, LucasArts never made a Battlefront 3, while DICE continued to release Battlefield games, including the award winning Battlefield 3 and its Frostbite 3 engine.
While not much has been said regarding the gameplay mechanics of the new Star Wars: Battlefront, whose name isn't even finalized, considering the team developing it and the history of the franchise, it can be safely assumed to be a return to all out war in the Star Wars universe and a chance for the struggling Star Wars video game market to once again return to the prominence it enjoyed in the mid 90s.