It seems as though with every E3 that comes and goes I get my hopes up less and less for a reveal of Star Wars Battlefront 3. In all honesty I had very little hope this past E3. Last E3 was a different story however, there were numerous signs pointing to a possible Battlefront 3 reveal that year. Not the least of which was actual Star Wars Battlefront 3 servers that were spotted. We’ve seen signs of the game from the servers being online, to a retailer accidentally posting the game for sale, to actually seeing footage from the game itself.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 was in many ways the first competitive game I ever played online. It was the first game that I actually joined a gaming clan on and did gaming tournaments on as well. While I can look back fondly, I can also say the game was far from perfect. I played both the Xbox and PS2 versions of the game. The Xbox version was significantly better because you didn’t need to rent servers, you had free downloadable content such as new Jedi characters and you could also import maps from the first Battlefront game, which was a nice addition.
That all being said, I still played the PlayStation 2 version a ton and I even paid the fifty dollars a month to rent my own server. I actually went on to have my own highly successful clan on the game and even to this day there are a group of highly dedicated fans and even clans still active on the game. You can even still find a competitive community. The fact that almost six years after the games release that you can still find dedicated players on the game is a testament to how solid the game was.
The Star Wars Battlefront series is without a doubt one of the best-selling Star Wars franchises of all time, and still we haven’t seen a next generation version of the game. We are left but to wonder what could have been? Personally when I was playing Halo reach for the first time last year I remember thinking during the space flying mission that it reminded me a lot of the space battles from Battlefront 2, but on a much grander scale. I admit I was very nostalgic after I played through that level.
There are a few reasons we don’t currently have a Star Wars Battlefront 3 game by now. The biggest reason is the company that was originally making the game “Free Radical” released the critical and commercial flop that was Haze. The game was bashed so much and such a failure that Free Radical was forced to close down. Lucasarts revoked their right to create the game after Haze was released and the rest as they say is history. Not too long after they were unceremoniously relieved of their duties a video came out to the public showing off a nearly completed Star Wars Battlefront 3 game, with amazing land to space battles, voice overs and fantastic looking graphics. The person who leaked the footage was an ex Free Radical employee who went on to say the tech seen in the video died with them.
Apparently Free Radical was working on the project for well over two years and it was in it’s Alpha build phase, which is always the last stage before a game is released. We also got to see some concept art from the game and it looked stellar. It was such a personal letdown when all of these things were released to the public, because it was at that point that I realized those things in particular would never be seen in a Battlefront game.
Since that time there has been very little straw to grasp, mostly it’s rumors. Battlefront 3 supposedly went over to Pandemic studios, Pandemic had been the ones behind Star Wars Battlefront 1 & 2, so it made sense. More bad news followed the game however, Pandemic closed their doors after the less then stellar Lord Of The Rings Conquest was released. Leaving Battlefront 3 in limbo yet again.
The game was then supposedly tracked to Rebellion Developments, this assumption however turned out to be wrong as Rebellion was actually working on Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. Once again we were left wondering if we’d ever see or hear anything about Star Wars Battlefront 3.
Some of the latest rumors as far as development goes is that Star Wars Battlefront Online was being worked on by Slant Six, the ones behind the Socom Confrontation game. Once again there seemed to be a curse attached to anyone trying to develop a new Battlefront game as Slant Six was hit with a slew of layoffs and the title was left up in the air yet again.
There has been some news on the Battlefront recently however. It seems Lucasarts and Epic Games has agreed on a multi-year agreement to use their, “Unreal Engine 3″ as an arsenal for, “multiple projects”. It only makes sense that Unreal 3 could possibly power a new Star Wars Battlefront game. In addition to the Unreal 3 news is the news that Lucasarts also grabbed Tim Longo for an “unannounced” Star Wars game. Now Longo has worked on such games as the new Tomb Raider which comes out next year, as well as Star Wars Republic Commando and Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter to name a few.
Let’s face it, it’s a rare thing for a game that was trapped in development purgatory to actually be worth the wait (looking at you Duke Nukem!) and honestly one of the things I loved so much about Star Wars Battlefront 2 was the smaller community and the people itself. A new Battlefront game could potentially have a hundred thousand players on it. Compare that to the one thousand the PS2 version had at its height of popularity and you can see one of my main concerns.
Lucasarts has recently not exactly delivered what the fans actually want, so who knows if we’ll ever actually see a new Battlefront game, we seem to get things like Force Unleashed when we really want Battlefront 3, Kotor 3, Jedi Academy 3 and even a Republic Commando sequel.
We can always keep our fingers crossed, but I for one refuse to get my hopes too high at this point. I’d be interested in what some of the Battlefront fans would like to see in a possible new Battlefront game, so please feel free to leave some comments.
Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]