“He certainly has courage.”
That was Princess Leia’s assessment when Han Solo charged headlong into a small group of stormtroopers aboard the Death Star — only to run into a much larger group of stormtroopers.
That signature move has been incorporated as one of the smuggler’s key fighting maneuvers in the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront video game, which just announced Solo, Leia, and Emperor Palpatine as playable characters.
You can see Solo’s design above, drawing inspiration from Harrison Ford’s Cloud City attire in The Empire Strikes Back. Developers at EA-Dice say the game character was designed as a lone wolf, not so much a team player. He’s for the gamer who just wants to roam around, getting into trouble, and causing havoc.
Along with previously announced “hero” characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett, each of the three new additions to Battlefront come with personalized fighting skills.
Among Solo’s: “Rapid Fire,” which allows him to peel off shots from his blaster as fast as the player can pull the trigger, without fear over overheating shut-down — for at least a few seconds. Then it’s time to scurry away and re-approach (like when he’s surrounded by Imperials on the forest moon of Endor.) Solo isn’t so much of an endurance fighter.
He also wields a power called “Lucky Shot,” which is a build-and-release blast good for taking out armored vehicles and large groups of stormtroopers.
Finally, there’s the previously mentioned “Shoulder Charge,” which mimics this:
Not only does the charge get Solo into the middle of fights, it also helps him escape when overmatched.
“He’s such a likeable character, and turning his unique persona into gameplay features is a thrill when you’re a Star Wars fan,” says Jamie Keen, lead hero designer for Battlefront. “We’ve also witnessed the love for this character in our playtests. Han’s sardonic lines and emotes seem to put a smile on everyone’s face.”
NEXT PAGE: Check out Battlefront’s version of Princess Leia.
While Han Solo goes it alone, Battlefront’s take on Princess Leia is a team player.
While she doesn’t have a signature weapon from the original movies, Keen said designers tried to capitalize on her leadership skills to give her character special powers in the game.
Background soldiers who spawn near to her will appear as the more formidable Alderaan Honor Guards. She also has the high-intensity blaster shot known as “Trooper Bane,” capable of extinguishing the life of a stormtrooper in one hit.
She also harnesses the ability of “Enhanced Squad Shield,” which covers a small area in a protective energy field that can even block Force attacks. Unfortunately, it also prevents most within the bubble from shooting out, but Leia can use her “Trooper Bane” skill to fire through the energy membrane.
Leia also can call in supply drops, offering power boosts and health upgrades for surrounding characters.
“Leia is a character that succeeds through her fearless, strategic mind,” Keen says. “It’s clear that Leia is a leader, so in Star Wars Battlefront she’s very much about support play, buffing team members, and holding positions.”
NEXT PAGE: Watch out, here comes Emperor Palpatine …
He doesn’t look like much. That’s one of his strengths.
“We wanted many different things with the Emperor,” says Keen. “We wanted him to be very mobile, but also about deception and fooling people that he’s fragile and weak. That two-faced side was something we wanted to convey in gameplay and the Emperor’s abilities.”
While Emperor Palpatine shuffles about like a feeble old-timer, he can also activate “Force Dash” to lash out at his enemies like a bloodthirsty animal, catching them by surprise.
His main weapon is “Force Lightning,” which he can chain together to debilitate multiple opponents at once, and like Leia, he commands the ability to drop power upgrades and health boosts to his teammates. Regular soldiers who spawn near him also appear as the more potent “Shock Troopers.”
“Based on how he’s been characterized and how he plays, Emperor Palpatine might be my personal favorite character in Star Wars: Battlefront,” Keen says.
The game drops on Nov. 17. Meawhile, here’s a nostalgia-fueled trailer for the game that is making people misty-eyed.