EA has officially confirmed the appearances of Han Solo, Princess Leia and Emperor Palpatine as playable heroes in their upcoming title, Star Wars Battlefront. The new title has already given players a chance to experience the fun lightsaber duels of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader on the Icy planet of Hoth in the beta earlier this month, but these characters are here to change up the game.
DICE, the developers behind this new entry, have gone to a lot of trouble to turn what could have been simple lightsaber swings in to character defining gameplay. Both Vader and Luke act very offensively throughout the iconic Star Wars films, and their Battlefront avatars are no different. However, when tailoring gameplay to non-lightsaber wielding characters, they had to take a different approach.
In this sense, the playable version of Princess Leia Organa, who is a born leader, takes a strategically defensive approach. Her character has always been capable of pulling together a roughly assembled team, and using them to turn the tides of war. In Battlefront, she embodies that by giving specialized buffs to all team members, and can stop certain force abilities with her enhanced squad shield. With all of the power behind her, it’s no wonder that her sharp-shooting stance can take down stormtroopers in a single shot. As an additional bonus, players who spawn near her on the battlefield will be given Alderaan Honor Guard uniforms to aid in their defense of the Princess.
Han on the other hand, plays extremely offensively as he enters the battle as a lone gunman. Players familiar with Assault classes in first person shooters will swoon over Han as he storms the battle to take down the Empire. His abilities echo this sentiment as he is the only character who can use rapid fire. This ability allows players to fire his blaster as fast as they can pull the trigger without the weapon overheating, the only downside being that it’s only active for a few seconds at a time.
Han Solo’s lucky streak continues in Battlefront thanks to his Lucky Shot ability. With this, he charges his blaster for a few seconds before releasing a powerful shot that, if timed well, can take down enemy vehicles in a single blow. Lastly, Han’s Shoulder Charge is reminiscent of his encounter in the original film as he charges shoulder first into a group of Stormtroopers. This move presents an excellent way of getting into and out of battle.
Arguably the most intriguing addition to the game is the evil Emperor Palpatine as a playable hero. His abilities are as duplicitous as he is, as he plays a new kind of defensive strategy. Like Leia, he acts as a support character who can buff himself and nearby Stormtroopers to gain an edge in the battle. However, his offensive skills are what make him the powerful ruler that he is.
The Force Lightning ability makes a return in this game through the Emperor. His lightning acts as an area of effect attack that can deal incredible amounts of damage to a group of nearby enemies. Fun though it may be, it is limited by the overall area it affects, and can only be used at close range. Which is where his Force Dash ability comes into play.
While rebel soldiers might be scanning an area to see if it’s safe, the sight of an old man might not be that intimidating. Once he uses his Force Dash ability, however, that changes as he exerts his powerful ability to travel great distances in mere seconds, putting him right up next to the enemy and killing them all.
The addition of playable hero characters has livened up the gameplay of what would have normally been a standard first-person shooter. Han, Leia, and the Emperor, however, bring a whole new level of strategic value to the game.
You can learn a little more about each of the characters in the official PlayStation blog post, but the excitement is palpable as fans are eagerly waiting for the game’s release. Here’s hoping that the in-game models will look just as good as the official images when Star Wars Battlefront is released on November 17 for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.