Coming hot off the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim reveal trailer, Battlefront is picking up momentum that is sure to carry over to E3. For Star Wars day, the good folks at DICE were kind enough to post an article detailing the development process of the Sullust map’s art direction. The article itself is fascinating and gives a wonderful overview on how to design the aesthetics of a gaming map, but the real news comes near the end of the article when they announce that the new Battlefront will have 12 maps in total.
We’ll assume that the number 12 isn’t counting the free Jakku DLC, which means we have only a few locations confirmed including Tatooine, Hoth, Endor, and Sullust. Assuming that each planet isn’t host to multiple maps (which very well may be the case), that gives us eight locations for map settings. Today, we’ll run through some possible planets where they could set maps and why they might make for interesting battlegrounds. We only have one edict: the location cannot be a prequel exclusive location as DICE has said they’re sticking to the time frame of the original trilogy.
1. Cloud City on Bespin
While this one may seem obvious, it actually presents a few possible challenges for both players and developers. While Cloud City has large outdoor areas, it isn’t the same as the large ranges of Hoth and Endor… which means ground vehicles will be constrained. If they do set a match here, don’t expect hazards such as AT-AT’s. Instead, there will most likely be a lot of tight corridors and sniper perches overlooking the outdoor areas. It would also be likely there will be an emphasis on air support, so keep a look out for those X-wings and Tie Fighters
2. Yavin IV
While most people picture Yavin IV as the site of the Death Star’s destruction, what they don’t know is that immediately after slapping medals on Han and Luke they were running for dear life as the Empire invaded the base. There’s potential for a defensive scenario as the Rebellion is evacuating their base just as the Empire is descending on the planet with everything they have. Firefights could occur in the forests, but also inside the structure of the temples.
3. Mon Calamari
While the planet is mostly covered in oceans, there are a few beaches and islands that could serve as the stage for a conflict between Rebel and Imperial forces. Because the planet is also home to many shipyards in orbit, there could also be facilities on the ground that could be used as bases.
4. Nal Hutta
It makes no sense to fight on Dagobah, but it wouldn’t be Star Wars without some kind of swamp to play in. Nal Hutta is a planet with a lot of potential, both in gameplay and art direction. Weaving your way out of slave pits, gangster hang outs, and swamp fields would provide excellent contrast to the militaristic backgrounds that will be present in most maps. There is also potential for natural hazards from the swamp as well as neutral bounty hunters scattered throughout the map.
5. Nar Shaddaa
It’s unlikely we’ll see a Coruscant map any time soon, as it’s still too closely associated with the prequels. However, everyone loves a good urban fight and Nar Shaddaa is covered in seedy cities. It being the moon of Nal Hutta, it happens to be the home of some of the vilest scum and villainy out there. DICE could maintain the frontier feel of Star Wars while still giving players the chance to fight in a massive urban sprawl, albeit a dilapidated one covered in grime and graffiti.
Ever since C-3P0’s line about being sent to the “spice mines of Kessel,” not to mention Han Solo’s infamous boasting about making it to the planet efficiently, people have dreamed of seeing it on screen. While it’s popped in a few games such as the N64’s Rogue Squadron and during a few scenes of Star Wars Rebels, it’s never quite received the treatment it deserves. Imagining fighting inside and outside of a mining operation on the planet’s rocky, barren surface as you try to capture its resources.
7. Ord Mantell
Mentioned by Han in The Empire Strikes Back, its galaxy famous junkyards were featured in a level of the N64 game Shadows of the Empire. A battlefield made of old, rusted ships from the Clone Wars would make for a very unique experience.
While it may seem close to Endor, Kashyyyk is a much more dangerous and interesting battleground. Yes, it only appeared on screen for Revenge of the Sith, but it had been in lore long before that and isn’t specifically tied to the prequel trilogy in most people’s minds. First, its jungle floor is in a state of perpetual night, as almost all light is blocked by the massive tree canopies above. Fungus covers the ground, terrible predators stalk each other, and you would be caught in the middle of it. Above, there are intricate systems of dwellings that are interconnected across the vast tree system covering the planet’s surface, which could make for a very some very dynamic battles. Oh, yeah, all of that and Wookies too.