Hands-on with Star Wars Battlefront’s Single-Player Mode
Star Wars Battlefront is finally receiving a single-player mode. After many requests from fans, developers DICE have created a game type specifically catered to those who want to experience the game offline, playing either solo or split-screen with friends.
So what can we expect from the heavily anticipated mode? Well, if you’ve played Battlefront in multiplayer, the answer is “basically more of the same.” Titled Skirmish, the offline game type combines the modes Walker Assault and Fighter Squadron, affording players the opportunity to play with and against AI bots. You’ll still be working towards capturing/defending uplinks, you’ll still have the opportunity to play as Heroes via generated pick-ups and you’ll still collect weaponry power-ups. The only difference is that this time, you won’t be doing so online.
It’s an update that’s been a long time coming, but it does the job. I got the chance to play a round of Walker Assault, in which a team of Rebels and Imperial troops are tasked with battling it out to take command of a series of control points. As is the case in the multiplayer version of this game type, if Rebels capture one of these control points (referred to as “uplinks”) for a short period of time, they’ll be rewarded with a Y-Wing bombing run. There are three stages to this process, with the end of each stage seeing these Y-Wings bring down the shields of the Empire’s AT-AT walkers. The Rebels must then direct their firepower towards these AT-ATs, in the hope of depleting their respective health bars before the gargantuan vehicles make it to their objective.
The AI is competent enough when playing on Hard difficulty (I concede that I was more than a little rusty at the game, so found myself submitting to Rebel soldiers at will within the first 5 minutes or so), with there also being a Master difficulty option for those who are a little more proficient at the game than myself. My AI teammates were capable, too, with my fellow Imperial soldiers actually managing to march through our enemies with surprising efficiency, given the notable balancing issues that particular map faces. I even managed to go it alone and successfully defend one of the two final uplinks, which are notoriously difficult to control when playing as the Empire.
Skirmish will unfortunately be limited to Battlefront‘s two most popular game types at launch, though in a meeting at Star Wars Celebration 2016 DICE informed me that its popularity will determine whether or not the mode will be made more robust in the future. They also gave further clarity to the mode’s confusing listing on the EA site, which seemed to suggest that it would be a console exclusive update, stating that it will indeed be making its way to PC but that it won’t be available to play in split-screen on the platform.
The Star Wars Battlefront single-player mode will be available to download from July 21st.
Death Star DLC
DICE also said that the upcoming Death Star expansion, which was unveiled during the EA panel at the Star Wars expo, could eventually be included in the Skirmish mode depending upon its popularity.
Touching upon the expansion, Battlefront‘s lead designer Niklas Fegraeus said that he wants it to allow players to “relive the kind of experience you associate with what Luke and Han did in the first film,” though remained tight-lipped on whether or not the expansion would allow players to reenact the famous trench run that led to the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope. I pressed them on whether or not it would feature Fighter Squadron Hero ships, but thus far only Chewbacca and Bossk have been confirmed as the expansion’s ground-based Heroes.
Fegraeus added that the Death Star’s indoor maps would be narrow, noting how the location is “filled with corridors” for players to battle one another in. Check out the debut trailer for the expansion below: