"Star Wars: Battlefront," the first game released under a 10-year pact between Lucasfilm and Electronic Arts, is due Nov. 17, about a month in advance of the J.J. Abrams-directed "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and anticipation for the game seemed to match that for the movie at the Electronics Entertainment Exposition presentation that EA held Monday.
Mass Effect Andromeda, one of EA's bigger non-sports franchises, may have been the first game shown before CEO Andrew Wilson got the news conference started.
But "Battlefront" was considered the centerpiece of the presentation.
"It's the year of 'Star Wars' here at EA," Wilson said.
In an earlier article, senior producer Sigurlína Ingvarsdottir, who introduced the game at this year's E3 — talking over the iconic theme music — said, "The ambition of the game is to enable the player to immerse themselves in their 'Star Wars' battle fantasies."
Early glimpses of the game seemed to point to its being a sort of blaster-heavy "Star Wars" greatest hits collection, and footage of the game previewed at EA's booth at Star Wars Celebration. But this was a more extended look with an enthusiastic crowd, and more in the above presentation.
"Star Wars" fans have seen scenes from the game, so Ingvarsdottir told the assembled that they will finally get the gameplay action they've so desired. Showing scenes inspired by the Battle of Hoth, players get a battle-eye view from the vantage point of both the Empire and the rebels — all captured from a PlayStation 4.
As a soldier, you're fighting stormtroopers, AT-ATs, TIE fighters, walkers and more. You hear the plans of attack on both the rebel and Imperial sides of the battle with views from the cockpits of Imperial walkers or rebel X-wing fighters.
It's frenetic battle action — then when you think it's over, a comrade next to you is invisibly chocked out, and Darth Vader appears, a colossally not-canon move. And then, Luke Skywalker appears. It is as ridiculous as it was meant to be, a non-canon take in a familiar world where anything is possible.
Use this as a reminder that "Battlefront" is not, nor is it pretending to be, part of the cohesive "Star Wars" continuity. This is going to allow for a lot of insane matchups and throw downs. Anything can happen, including Bib Fortuna flying a TIE fighter into the side of Cloud City. Why not?
Additional "Star Wars" properties were also presented by EA. A mobile game called "Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes" — that spans the entire "Star Wars" universe — was mentioned briefly, and "Star Wars: The Old Republic" introduced a bioware expansion for the game called "Knights of the Fallen Empire." In it, two Jedi seem to grow and develop their abilities, and the player will be able to choose what path one of them takes. The expansion pack will be free to all subscribers on Oct. 27.