With Star Wars fans all over the world torn between fear and delight over DICE’s green light to develop a new Battlefront title, gamers can do nothing but speculate as to what the next installment in the famous series will yield. There’s the questions of gameplay, mechanics, aesthetic, even graphics, but one aspect that stole my attention was the maps. Will the maps be good enough?
Frankly, I hope so.
To keep the next Battlefront maps up to scratch, DICE has the incredibly daunting task of recreating levels from the Star Wars films, extended universe, and even the first two games. Not only must they get the locations right, but they also need to scale them appropriately with the different game modes and keep it somewhat believable. With these maps they need to make them feel like the old Battlefront levels we all know and love. That’s why it wouldn’t go amiss for them to remake a couple of the older maps to include in the new game, for nostalgia’s sake – we already know that Hoth is included, as we saw in the trailer.
Here is a list of the top 5 maps that belong in Battlefront 3.
5. Death Star (Battlefront II)
The Death Star interior, as seen in Battlefront 2, narrowly won this spot, just scraping past Utapau and its varying levels (literally) of gameplay and elevation. The fact is, the Death Star is one of the most iconic weapons in Star Wars history, and the map itself was great fun to play on. From the open engagements of the hanger to the claustrophobic firefights through the corridors, the Death Star had it all. And don’t even get me started on the AI destroying that bridge from the laser control center to the catwalk (pictured above). The one thing that DICE could improve is the scale – and the location.
By location, I of course mean include space combat.
Picture it: you’re flying around the space outside the Death Star in an X-Wing, dodging turbolaser shots and dog-fighting TIE fighters, when you take a critical hit to the engines. You fly towards the Death Star itself and manage to land in one of a few – slightly re-sized – hangars, joining the game of conquest that’s already underway deep in the heart of the interior map we all know and love. Imagine chunks of the Death Star chipping away in all its Frostbite 3 glory as the Rebels slowly whittle down its defenses, and imagine the chaos of trying to land inside a hangar when there are Imperials everywhere. This type of map not only allows for different gameplay, but also a new type of game mode (imagine Rush from Battlefield, but less ‘plant explosives’ based).
4. Rhen Var: Harbour (Battlefront)
Rhen Var Harbour deserves this spot in the top 5 because of how enormous it is, the multitude of gameplay options it offers, and because it manages to have long, medium, and close-range combat all in one. The snow setting just makes it that much prettier – and somewhat less forgiving.
Taking the form of a siege, players who spawned on the Republic/Rebel side of the mountain were able to pilot tanks or an AT-TE around the mountain into the waiting jaws of the CIS/Empire, they could go around on foot and into one of the structures that dominates the harbour proper, or they could take a shortcut through the ice caves in the mountain. All these options create wildly different scenarios, each with its own unique benefit for either team, such as mobile-spawning from (or destroying) the AT-TE, or the incredibly tight and dangerous shortcut the ice caves offer.
A remake of this map would be fantastic just the way it is, but if DICE were to improve on it, they could add air vehicles to the fray, a couple more buildings/outposts, or maybe even expand on the harbour itself. None of these additions would detract from the map, and making it slightly bigger couldn’t hurt.
3. Coruscant: Jedi Temple (Battlefront II)
The Jedi Temple interior was a map that – much like the premise of the original game – owes its success to the films; specifically the fall of the Jedi. There was even a campaign mission dedicated to carrying out Order 66, and the fact that the map was fantastically laid out helped soften the blow that you were turning on the Jedi.
The open space pictured above allows for plenty of cover among the ruins in an otherwise long-range engagement. The fact that all rooms branching off the main hall circle back around is clever design that creates medium-to-close range combat which flows seamlessly into the long-range.
If DICE remade this map in their Battlefront, imagine the possibilities with the engine alone: what if Frostbite 3 allowed for the pillars to completely collapse, bringing part of the roof down on players’ heads? What if players could pilot fighters – and capital ships – flying outside the Temple and in-atmosphere? This type of gameplay tweak could open new avenues for another siege-type game mode (as mentioned with the Death Star) and allow for a larger map. This map will not only play differently, but it will feel like the players are part of something bigger than a multiplayer battle. Especially when they’re laying siege to the Jedi Temple from the air and the ground.
2. Bespin: Platforms (Battlefront)
Bespin Platforms is, to this day, probably my favorite Battlefront map in existence. The opening layout, where each team holds 3 bases and fights for a neutral point in the middle of a completely symmetrical map, created some of the most intense and focused gameplay I’ve seen from any AI-driven multiplayer game. And the aerial setting makes it absolutely perfect for a heavy emphasis on ship-to-ship combat, with manned AA guns bringing balance to the skies. The fact that, at any time, players can fly around to the back platform of the enemy base – without being shot down – and take that control point to turn the tide of battle is brilliant, especially when both teams do it simultaneously.
If DICE remade this map they could keep the focus on the aircraft, with almost a ‘Air Superiority’-like flair, while expanding the size of the platforms themselves to create slightly more open infantry gameplay. Not too much though, or else it might detract from the atmosphere that made the original so intense: constantly fighting with your back against the wall, or within spitting distance of a fatal drop. And what if some parts of those bridges, or maybe even entire platforms, succumbed to aircraft fire eventually and collapsed? Frostbite 3 can make it happen.
1. Tatooine: Dune Sea (Battlefront)
Finally, the top map for DICE to remake in Battlefront 3: Tatooine: Dune Sea. This map saw more playtime on my Xbox than any other map in Battlefront and Battlefront II. The gameplay options are virtually endless. Do you want to be a regular soldier and charge the front lines? Fine. Do you want to jump in a tank and back up your buddies? No problem. Do you want to lay down sniper fire from the top of that ridge on the left? Done. Do you want to take to the skies and dogfight enemy fighters? Do it. Do you want to get eaten by the Sarlacc? Nope, me neither. But it can still happen.
Dune Sea showcases the core of the Battlefront experience in its open environment, long-range combat (between infantry, vehicles, and aircraft), and strategically placed command posts.
If DICE remade Dune Sea, they could emphasize the distance and the desolation that made this map so memorable. For example: by creating an extension on the house down the bottom of the picture (like the hole that Luke lived in), a couple more mesas and rock formations, and even making the Sarlacc pit slightly bigger, they could get away with re-sizing the map in proportion to the new player count. Further, more aircraft – and even frigates or Star Destroyers – could play a huge role in this one too, especially in the context of the Empire first invading the Dune Sea. Either way, this map has huge potential to be an even bigger, better, and more open battle, the likes of which Battlefront has never seen.
And that’s our top 5 remakes! If you have any suggestions as to which maps you think would better suit a remake, put them in the comments section below.