The humongous wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer features heavily in the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The crash site is on the desert planet, Jakku, where the Empire makes its final stand against the Rebellion roughly a year after losing to the Rebels on Endor. The site and the imagery are significant -- representing the very place where the Empire effectively dies (and perhaps where the First Order is born).
Yet, while the Star Destroyer looms large in the trailers, with Rey rappelling though its ruined insides, the battle that felled the massive ship likely won't appear on screen in The Force Awakens (happening some 29 years before the film's events begin). It will, however, be available for players to experience in the first DLC for Star Wars Battlefront - Battle of Jakku.
As with everything Star Wars these days, the hype surrounding EA's Star Wars Battlefront was huge. And while the game is by no means a failure, Star Wars Battlefront has received criticism for its lack of content on launch, while at the same time aggressively pushing its season pass -- an additional $50 purchase (on top of an already $60 game) that includes all forthcoming DLCs.
The Battle of Jakku DLC, however, is free to all Battlefront players -- and it's available a full week earlier to those who pre-ordered the game. Not only is the Battle of Jakku a new map that puts players in the heart of the chaotic, climactic face off, but Jakku will also feature a new game mode. Called Turning Point, the 40-player mode pits players against each other as the Rebellion vies for control of Imperial holdouts on the surface of Jakku. With each checkpoint taken, time is added to the counter, and as debris falls from the sky -- including that massive Star Destroyer, which crashes during the round -- the Rebels must fight their way to the Empire's base, where the final standoff occurs.
Much like Walker Assault, another of Star Wars Battlefront's 40-players modes, Turning Point will feature vehicles in addition to regular infantry. Players can take control of either AT-ST or airspeeders, with the former playing a defensive role, holding back the surge of Rebels, while the latter offers air support, barraging enemy troops with heavy blaster fire.
Turning Point has a few quirks as well, like the fact that once Rebels begin claiming a checkpoint, it cannot be reclaimed by the Empire. This forces players to make a choice: either defend the weakened checkpoint or put all their support in defending their remaining checkpoints -- which could also be at varying degrees of ownership.
Only time will tell if The Battle of Jakku is enough to appease players disappointed with what Battlefront offered right out off the box. It does immediately answer the complaint about content, offering new maps and a game mode less than a month after release. Plus, it's free, and people generally tend to like free.
EA is offering a first look at Star Wars Battlefront - Battle of Jakku on November 30th, streaming gameplay live from London on Twitch. Players in the UK can even enter for the chance to join in on the 40-player match.
Star Wars: Battlefront is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Battle of Jakku releases December 1st for those who pre-ordered, and on December 8th for everyone else.