As we edge closer and closer to the release of Star Wars Battlefront on Nov. 17, EA Studios and DICE are divulging more details about the work they’re putting into the game and what we can expect. Here are some of the newest things we know about the game.
First, EA confirmed earlier this week via the game’s official Twitter that Battlefront will not feature cross-platform functionality for multiplayer. This means that those playing the game on Xbox One, Playstation 4 or PC won’t be able to play with their friends if they’re on a different console or platform.
Although it appears EA confirmed this more than a week ago, it seems to have slipped past many outlets.
Previously, EA confirmed that there will be 12 multiplayer maps available at launch, with the possibility of two more becoming available. Those maps can support up to 40 players online.
In addition to these revelations about the gameplay, EA and DICE have also given us several peeks behind the curtain at how the game is being made and the philosophy of the developers. Their most recent post concerns the use of a technique called Physical Based Rendering, or PBR.
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Simply put, PBR involves imbuing certain elements in the game with the physical, visible properties of their real-life counterparts to give the game a realistic feel throughout. That means things like scenery and props are all given consistent characteristics that react based on whatever environment or context they’re in, and the developers don’t have to make adjustments every single time a situation changes.
Here’s how the publisher explains it:
"“Say you’re battling amongst the lava fields of Sullust. The armor will be affected by ash and soot as you’re playing. When you’re on Hoth, the snow and frost will build up over time. Weathering is also contextual, so if you’ve stepped in mud on Endor and then walk in the water, the mud will wash away.”"
This feature makes plenty of sense when you consider the variety of planets that EA and DICE are incorporating into the game. In addition to places like Hoth, Tatooine and Endor’s moon, they’re also introducing an entirely new planet called Sullust that’s only been hinted at in past Star Wars materials.
Sullust is a lava-covered volcanic world that actually already made its debut in Marvel’s Star Wars: Princess Leia #3 comic. But that issue only really gave us a glimpse at the subterrannean caverns beneath the planet. Expect Battlefront to let players explore the planet aboveground.
These little developer diaries are shedding plenty of light on how the game’s makers are trying to balance the spectacle of Star Wars with the realism of warfare.
Stay tuned for more info in a few weeks starting on June 15, when EA presents more gameplay from Battlefront at the E3 gaming convention.