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DICE: why Star Wars Battlefront AT-ATs are on-rails

Non-playable Ewoks confirmed, and no you can't use them for target practice.

Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE has explained its decision to limit the game's AT-AT walkers to movement along a preset path.

The iconic vehicles feature heavily in Battlefront's Hoth level, which Eurogamer played at E3 last week.

Just as in Empire Strikes Back, Battlefront's Rebel characters must take down the AT-ATs by piloting snowspeeders and wrapping tow-cables around the AT-AT's legs.

Or, if you are playing on the side of the Empire, your objective is to reach the Rebel's base in one piece.

Players that control an AT-AT are limited to moving its head-mounted turret cannons to aim at Rebel infantry and positions on the ground. You can also call in a powerful orbital strike.

Battlefront senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir told Eurogamer that DICE had been forced to make the AT-ATs move on-rails to avoid "game breaking" consequences - for example if players made the AT-ATs wander off and ignored the level's core mission parameters.

Ingvarsdottir also addressed the lack of space battles in the game, gave more detail on the Battle of Jakku DLC and revealed that yes, you will meet Ewoks.

Eurogamer: AT-ATs can shoot at Rebels and call in orbital strikes - but you don't stray from their preset path, right?

Ingvarsdottir: The path? No, you don't. It's a part of the mode itself, because the AT-AT is the objective of the mode. They have a set path because they're headed to the shield generator.

If you were to control their path - that would be game breaking.

Eurogamer: But that's just unique to the AT-ATs - you can move around how you want on the AT-STs and Snowspeeders?

Ingvarsdottir: Yes - the AT-AT is obviously an extremely unique vehicle. They're so big, their movement is slow, their attributes are so different they have almost their own laws.

Eurogamer: Speaking of vehicles, I have to ask about space battles. Why was the decision made not to include combat in space itself? It was in previous Battlefront games and is something fans have come to expect.

Ingvarsdottir: We're two generations on from the last Battlefront. Our goal was to hit all the core mechanics of the series. So the fantasy for us was to be able to engage in a dogfight, be in the cockpit of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter. And you can absolutely do that.

And we have another mode which we haven't shown yet called Fighter Squadron. That has big, epic dogfights. We'll be talking more about that in the not too distant future.

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Eurogamer: Are full-on space battles possible for the future? Would the Frostbite engine support it, or is it too much of a leap?

Ingvarsdottir: Frostbite is incredibly powerful. There are so many things in Star Wars we would like to see in the future. We have to pick and choose.

Eurogamer: And which things are those?

Ingvarsdottir: Many things! [laughs] I can't tell you because as soon as I say them they're something we've promised to a lot of people.

Eurogamer: One thing you have talked about is the Battle of Jakku DLC, which is coming free just after launch. It's our first look at something from The Force Awakens - how much more will you draw from the new film?

Ingvarsdottir: So it's important to understand the timeline for that. You see the desert planet of Jakku in The Force Awakens' trailer - you see a crashed Star Destroyer in the background.

We're showing you the events of when that Star Destroyer crashed, 30 years prior to the events of The Force Awakens. That's the context, because we are Original Trilogy-focused and these events happen in that same sort of time, just after the Battle of Endor.

Eurogamer: Will there be a season pass for the game?

Ingvarsdottir: We're not talking about any more DLC plans for the game yet. But we will support it post-launch.

Eurogamer: One thing our readers care a lot about is getting the full value of any triple-A game they purchase. Will there be any kind of micro-transactions or in-game purchase system?

PR: Again, we're not talking about any DLC. Just what we're showing at E3.

Eurogamer: Micro-transactions aren't really DLC... They'll be in the game from day one, if they are in there.

PR: We're not talking about that today.

Eurogamer: Final question then - can you play as an Ewok?

Ingvarsdottir: You can't play as an Ewok... but you'll be able to see them.

Eurogamer: Hopefully they don't die. I'll be upset if they die.

Ingvarsdottir: [Laughs] We won't make you upset.

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