Star Wars Battlefront footage
Walkers? Check. Stormtroopers? Check. Rebels? Check. Good-looking engine?
Exciting footage of Pandemic Studios' Battlefield 1942-alike third-person Star Wars title Battlefront has been released, giving us a nice chunky minute-and-a-half of AT-ST walkers chasing a fleeing rebel through the forests of Endor, sun peeking through the gaps in the canopy overhead, detailed Stormtroopers blasting at anything in sight, and the Imperial March thumping along to proceedings.
Controlling AT-STs from above and behind looks a darn sight more agreeable than manhandling the staggering drunken stick-insects of Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike on GameCube, while it's clear that you'll also be fighting for the streets of Naboo with droid tanks blasting shells into a softly lit courtyard, and bounty hunters arcing through the skies on the end of a trail of laser-fire as droid destroyers trundle around beneath their feet.
The real surprise in this early footage though is the quality of the lighting. Early screenshots didn't hold too much hope for a significant level of detail, neither did the target platform (PS2) or the need to have plenty of players and vehicles on-screen at once, but the trailer here demonstrates Prince of Persia-esque soft-lighting, shafts of light and other trickery which masks the relatively angular Stormtroopers and Rebel fighters prancing around the familiar Star Wars locations. It gives new life to the otherwise basic environments, as do little flourishes like the swaying grass and all-consuming explosive effects.
Although we obviously can't comment on how it plays yet, we're certainly a little happier about how it looks having seen this trailer, and based on what we know it's shaping up to be well worth a look. PS2, Xbox and PC versions (all online-enabled) are due out before the end of the year. We'd certainly defy any Star Wars fan watching the near climactic showdown between rocket launcher and AT-ST to shrug it off and forget about it...
You can download the Battlefront trailer from 3D Downloads here. It's about 45MB.