Three new playable Hero characters have been revealed for upcoming Star Wars Battlefront. Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Emperor Palpatine all play specific roles on the battlefield and play quite differently to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Many of you probably played the recent open beta for Battlefront so you’ll have an idea of how Vader and Luke play. If you didn’t, then know that they’re offensive characters with lightsabers (duh) and some Force abilities.
“Our goal for all the Hero characters has been to capture their essence and spirit from the original Star Wars film trilogy,” DICE’s Lead Hero Designer Jamie Keen said, “and then convey that through gameplay.”
Princess Leia is perhaps the most different from all of the Hero characters revealed so far. She is a support character who, if played right, will have an enormous impact on the game. Players who spawn close to Leia will spawn as Alderaan Honor Guards, which we’re assuming will mean they’ll get a different player model and some slight buff. She is also able to call in a Supply Drop for teammates, and deploy an Enhanced Squad Shield that is much stronger than the vanilla Squad Shield. It can also stop certain Force abilities, and Leia is able to shoot out from the Shield using her one offensive ability, Trooper Bane. This ability gives Leia a single-burst shot that insta-kills enemies and causes enormous damage to enemy Hero characters.
Han Solo is a little more straightforward. In the films, Han uses his blaster really effectively, so this Hero character has been designed as a “gunslinger mainly designed for lone wolves”. One of Han’s abilities, Rapid Fire, allows you to fire his blaster as fast as you can pull the trigger; it also negates any overheating effect so you can pew-pew with abandon. A second ability is Lucky Shot, which is a charge-up-and-fire ability that can cause great damage to vehicles. It’s also one of the only abilities that can get through Darth Vader’s lightsaber blocks. Finally, Han can Shoulder Charge his way into a group of enemies that’s meant to be a link to this scene from A New Hope.
I really hope he shouts like that in the game as well.
Finally, Emperor Palpatine has been designed to play out similarly to how he appears in the movies: “As you’ve seen in the original StarWars trilogy, Palpatine pretends to be a weak old man, when he in fact is extremely powerful. That two-faced side was something we wanted to convey in gameplay and the Emperor’s abilities.”
Palpatine will have his iconic Force Lightning attack as his primary means of dealing damage. A more powerful Chain Lightning variant will allow him to hit an area-of-effect that can spark lightning through a large group of enemies. Finally, he has Force Dash, which will probably play out like a blink ability, meaning you can cover enormous ground in next to no time.
Star Wars Battlefront hits PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 17 November.