Lucasfilm’s Videogame Graveyard Reportedly Experiencing Zombie Games
Wow, it’s been an interesting few days for Star Wars gaming, hasn’t it? Literally less than two days ago we saw precious minutes of the long lost (then, next-gen game) Star Wars: 1313. Now we’ve got the entire opening of Free Radical’s Battlefront 3! Once again, we have the studious fans at the Free Radical Archive to thank, and their associate FuZaH, a reliable Battlefront 3 leaker who’s shared several glimpses at Battlefront 3 in the past.
What’s particularly exciting about this video is we get a genuine look at how AAA games evolve. Not only do the differing milestones demonstrate greater performance, but improved presentation across the board. Bear in mind that the dialog overheard is entirely placeholder. Though the finished vocal performances for the campaign were recorded, they are absent in this build.
A handful of this dialogue and its associated cutscenes are reincorporated in the Rebellion developed PSP version, Battlefront: Elite Squadron. While far from an ideal recreation, it was one of only two handheld ports of Battlefront 3 to actually see release. All home console releases were cut due to Lucas Arts losing faith in the project. For more details, The Vault has its own fan-made documentary on the rise and fall of Battlefront 3.
(Please bear in mind, one section in the documentary features a swear-filled rant by an alleged Free Radical developer regarding Lucas Arts.)
What Could’ve Been With Battlefront 3
While clearly unfinished, it’s fascinating seeing so many aspects of Battlefront 3 in action. Free Radical’s vision for the franchise going forward was wildly divergent. While much has been said of Battlefront 3’s planned ground to space transitions, even modders in Battlefront 2 on PC have achieved similar results nowadays. Much less has been said on other aspects of the game’s design.
Not only would there be an involved story campaign for each planned subsequent entry (Battlefront 4 was already in pre-production at this point), but the flow of combat was intended to be much snappier. In the final part of the level where players control Jedi Master Ferroda, we can even see the new HUD elements, which compliment the more organic animations.
Reports vary as to whether customizable classes were intended to be a feature in Battlefront 3 or 4. Regardless, customization is featured in Elite Squadron as Rebellion already implemented them in their last Battlefront game, Renegade Squadron.
But as Yoda said “there is another”, even in the case of surprisingly good-looking work in progress clips of Battlefront 3. Leaked by an anonymous source to games preservationist Andrew Borman (see: PtoP Online), footage of the game’s PC build on Coruscant, and what looks to be a separate Tattooine milestone with improved lighting, gives us another astonishing look at what could’ve been.
Once again we have the tireless efforts of games preservationists ensuring that we can even see this footage. Though games preservation is a relatively new effort in the gaming community, their finds are truly remarkable. We eagerly await to see what they uncover next!