Emperor Palpatine’s “Hit And Run Tactics” In Battlefront

On the one hand, Star Wars: Battlefront [official site] is absolutely plumbing our nostalgic desire for meticulously-recreated AT-AT battles and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter dogfights. On the other, it’s this absurd cartoon wherein a super-powered Skywalker or Vader sprint around the battlefield getting right up in everyone’s faces. And now Han Solo, Princess Leia and OH FOR GOD’S SAKES Emperor Palpatine have been added to that list.

Ol’ melty-face was about the only character to emerge relatively unscathed from the prequel movies, but now he’s getting stripped of whatever mystery and menace he had left by becoming a playable Battlefront character. I left most of my Star Wars gonkery at the door years ago, but enough remains that I wince when I read something like “So is there a good strategy playing as Palpatine? A hit-and-run tactic is always good: get in close but don’t get stuck. Jump into fights, be aggressive with your lightning attacks, and then jump out again using the Force Dash.” He’ll also “hand out powerups to team mates and health boosts to other Villains.”

So he’s a sort of angry teleporting doctor? Not to mention that the guy was supposed to be cloaked in mystery during the original movie era; it’s not quite the same if the Rebels tell fireside stories like “oh yeah, Palps, P-Dog, I’ve seen him. He was sprinting around Hoth the other day like he had a wasp in his pants, but then he got stuck on a snow drift and was accidentally squashed by one of his own AT-ATs. Dark ruler of the galaxy my foot.”

Though, if he is getting personally involved, I suppose at least it means he’s finally acknowledged what the rest of us have known for decades: Stormtroopers are incompetent. (Also, the guy was playable in past Battlefronts, but that doesn’t automatically make him a natural fit for the new one’s hyper-authentic graphical wizardry).

There’s a more detailed description of how P-zilla works over here, and similar articles about Leia and Han. Inevitably, Boba Fett’s in there too, because IconicTM VillainTM.

I’m sorry if I’m ranting, but on top of my slightly unsavoury nerd puritanism, I just want Battlefront to be a straight-up battle of soldiers and war machines. Getting ganked by mythical superheroes just seems disruptive to the fantasy. Though there will, at least, be scope for high comedy. I’m down for landing a TIE Fighter on Harrison Ford. “That’s what you get for wearing that stupid earring, old man.”

Game’s out November 17th, FYI.

43 Comments

  1. Nevard says:

    I’ve already seen gifs of people crashing Y-Wings into Darth Vader, so dive bombing Harrison Ford can’t be too hard behind.

    • dontnormally says:

      > Y-Wing

      A-Wing

    • Baldness says:

      The real issue here is the if you get in an AT-AT you can rack up 30-50 kills and you can only usually manage a few on each go as one of these Heroes.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Jerodar says:

    Yeah seeing them bunny hopping across Hoth was a bit weird, but we also got hilarious stuff like this out of it: link to youtube.com

  3. Eagle0600 says:

    While your frustrations do have merit, it’s worth pointing out that these were all playable characters in Battlefront II.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      “(Also, the guy was playable in past Battlefronts, but that doesn’t automatically make him a natural fit for the new one’s hyper-authentic graphical wizardry).” Just in case you can’t read all of the article.

      • Psn_soulsmasherx says:

        Well just in case you are a jerk who likes to troll people innocently mentioning a valid point that wasn’t brought in the article. In response to everyone who had a point to be made when they posted, such as Palpatine dashing across the field not being canon, don’t forget Palpatine had a bunch of clones of himself, which I realize doesn’t matter in consideration of the other heroes lol. Battlefront will likely allow heroes to be disabled like th other games.

        • phuzz says:

          “Palpatine had a bunch of clones of himself”
          Really? I didn’t know that, is it in one of the EU books?

  4. mukuste says:

    It’s a big ol’ manshoot based on Space Fairy Tales. I can’t really muster the outrage over a lack of gravitas when the premise is this silly (and silly isn’t necessarily bad).

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I remember playing through The Force Unleashed and there is a fight with the Emperor at the end, and thinking at the time that he looked ridiculous dodging around like a madman. It’s very unbecoming — the Emperor just isn’t that kind of guy.

    Well, they made Yoda into a hyperactive backflipping blur in the prequel trilogy so I guess you’re just not allowed to have quiet and dignified characters anymore.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Senior Force® Users’ Off Their Rockers™ ($29.99 Betty White© Force® Grip© action figure sold® separately).

    • LionsPhil says:

      Everybody knows you can’t be cool if you don’t at least do ninja flips.

    • Cinek says:

      Not really surprising though. Both were younger at a time, and force can sagnificantly enhance physical capabilities, especially in the most powerful users. In the era old movies took place there was simply no point at which using force for that kind of combat would be beneficial in any way. Yoda was almost dead, and Emperor was trying to convert Skywalker, so he made Vader fight him instead of getting involved himself. When plan failed he used his favourite weapon – force lightning.

      As far as I see – all of that makes sense.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Because 30 years makes all the difference to someone who’s gone past 900 years old.

        • pauleyc says:

          To quote Han Solo: It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

    • gunny1993 says:

      But then they’d have to come up with a mechanical way as to why he isn’t the most underpowered unit in the game because being quite and dignified outside of the movie world is a great way to get yourself shot in the face.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Hah, The Force Unleashed games seem much better than Battlefront. Even the second one, which got flamed for being even shorter than TFU 1, has a truly epic campaign compared to the apparent singleplayer content in Dice’s Battlefront. I know Dice is all about MP, but all I care about is SP, so I’ll play the TFU and the Jedi Knight games to ward off any abstinence.

  6. Ufofighter says:

    The more I see about this game the less I want to play it.

    • JFS says:

      Yep. Yet Another Star Wars Travesty ™.

    • XxBrentos9xX says:

      I feel like this could have been so much better. I loved playing the earlier Battlefronts, and I didn’t really have any friends to play it with either. After getting into online gaming several years later, I stopped playing the beta after 2 hours. It just seemed so generic.

  7. Orix says:

    “Ol’ melty-face was about the only character to emerge relatively unscathed from the prequel movies”

    Er… you might have missed the entirety of Revenge of the Sith, I cannot help but cringe at Palpantine’s transformation, IIIIINFINITTTEE POWAHHHHHH, and fight with Yoda. Compared to Obi-wan, Palapantine got it pretty bad!

    I’m kinda with you on the rest of the article though. Would be nice just to have a super soldier of some sort for each faction instead of relying on “hero units”. What’s wrong with Dark Troopers and Bothan Spies? I suppose they’re not marketable enough for EA.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      And how does a light saber absorb and then reflect force lightning?

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Just like all the other nonsense in the prequel trilogy: because the script said so.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Na we got those two units in BF2 and if EA add too much stuff from the original game now they wont be able to add it in later at a cost

  8. Neutrino says:

    “Ol’ melty-face was about the only character to emerge relatively unscathed from the prequel movies”

    I’m so glad that I switched off the dvd about a quarter of the way through watching The Phantom Menace and never watched any of the other prequels. I’m looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens though.

  9. amateurviking says:

    I have been thinking about this and have reached acceptance by reframing Battlefront as STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE SIMULATOR 2015. And now I think DICE should include slightly out of scale He-Man and Liono as unlockables.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      ^^^ this dude knows how to sell me videogames.

    • silentdan says:

      You know, that’s a much better way of looking at it. If anyone from EA contacts you about a consulting job, I humbly request that Snake Eyes from GI Joe also be unlockable. He’s a straight-up ninja, so the backflips would fit.

    • Ufofighter says:

      I would immediately buy the game if an AT-AT could suddenly transform into a Decepticon.

      It fits in the Lucas’ logics behind everything in recent star wars: Can we make a toy of it? Then make it so!

  10. yabonn says:

    “oh yeah, Palps, P-Dog, I’ve seen him. He was sprinting around Hoth the other day like he had a wasp in his pants”

    Bad for the SW fan, certainly, but quite fun for the gamer.

  11. socrate says:

    isn’t Star wars now aimed at 10 year old boy and moron that still think star wars is still good in any way?

    to me this isn’t surprising…i actually fixed my beta and played it and while its a pretty game that run really really well on my really older gaming computer…the gameplay is just horrible in every way and the whole star wars thing to me is pretty much dead at this point…every time i see anything star wars all i can think of is either sand or jarjar bink and these horrible movies and cartoon.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      This ! I was at my mother’s recently and watched my kid brother playing Battlefront 2, and it engrossed me way more than the beta. God’s sake, the Hoth level is exactly the same, but without the unphysical powerup tokens, and with battlefield variety due to classes. Why don’t we have classes in the new one ? The Battlefield series handled customizable classes nicely I find, especially in BF4, where there is a selection of cross-class weapons allowing you to use something else than a sniper rifle for the Recon.

      Unrelated to the games, even the latest trailer for The Force Awakens made me cringe. Such Disney, much Divergence, very cartoony.

  12. Gothnak says:

    This is a game about fan service, not about canon. Some people want to electrocute people as the Emperor, why not let them? In Star Wars, there wasn’t hundreds of Hoth battles being triggered every day, some of which the Rebels win.

    I had a right laugh on my Xbox playing it on Beta, any time where there is a multiplayer game, it won’t ever feel like a film as there will be teabagging, multi jumping and people doing stupid things.

    The question is, do you embrace it, or rail against it being a game that won’t ever exist.