There's something about the speeder bike chase segment in Return of the Jedi that proves utterly irresistible to game developers. It's got to be the sheer speed and exhilaration of the sequence, plus its heavy reliance on first-person viewpoints to frame the action. Along with the Death Star trench segment, it's one of the few movie experiences that should translate almost seamlessly into gameplay. The only problem is - as countless titles over the last 32 years have demonstrated - gaming technology just doesn't have the raw power available to bring that iconic battle into playable life. Until now, perhaps.
Star Wars Battlefront brings the forest moon of Endor to life beautifully - a combination of beautifully rich detail backed with one of the most accomplished real-time lighting models in the business. Then there's the motion blur - a key component in replicating the speeder bike experience - and here, once again, DICE's technology does an uncanny job in replicating the source material. Which led us to wonder: just how close does Battlefront get to immersing you into a completely authentic Star Wars experience? Could we shift seamlessly between gameplay and movie footage?
We began our tests by splicing some Return of the Jedi footage with PlayStation 4 capture, and came away fairly impressed by the end result - but we knew that the Frostbite 3 engine had more to offer when paired with more formidable hardware. From there, we brought out the big guns to ensure the maximum possible visual quality from the game while reducing aliasing to an absolute minimum - we overclocked Nvidia's Titan X (the most powerful single-chip GPU on the market) and combined it with Intel's Core i7 6700K.