There’s no denying that Star Wars Battlefront is a great looking game. The scenery, the effects, the weapons, characters, and the iconic vehicles the help make the series look straight out of the movies, and DICE, the studio behind the highly-anticipated game, revealed one of their methods for bringing the movies to life in the game: using real props from the Star Wars movies.
Practical effects and visual effects were married in one of their methods, utilizing both reference shots from the movies and photogrammetry (multitudes of photos taken from dozens of angles) to turn props, vehicles, and major set pieces from the movies into assets for the game. They were brought “back to their original glory,” according to the Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, the senior producer behind Star Wars Battlefront.
According to Wired, the staff at DICE scanned in plenty of Star Wars film props and set pieces as well as costumes for Star Wars Battlefront, among them being Boba Fett’s Mandalorian Armor, Darth Vader’s helmet, and various models for the vehicles in the game.
Some of them haven’t aged so well or were a greater challenge than others to gather the references for; several of the models used for the fighters had yellowed plastic and Vader’s helmet was too shiny once actually photographed with studio lighting and white backdrops. Thankfully the artists at DICE were able to spruce up everything - Vader looks just as intimidating as ever without necessarily blinding you with reflected light and the fighters look fantastic flying against the in-game skies with a new coat of paint.
Though this is the first time that DICE has worked on a Star Wars game, they’re once again proving that they’re a dedicated team and a definitive big fish in the ocean of game developers. Getting the actual props from the movies shows only part of the dedication that the DICE team had when making Star Wars Battlefront look authentic.
The interactive tour on the EA Battlefront Website also shows off the team visiting various locations to recreate in-game and in-movie planets as faithfully as possible. Between the huge scale of the battles to the nearly exact details of assets in-game including vehicles, weapons, and the stunning character models of rank-and-file soldiers to the heroes of the beloved Star Wars franchise, Battlefront impresses visually.
That said, there are a few hang-ups with Star Wars Battlefront, like the lack/limitation of some at-launch content. Still, the chance to finally re-live some moments from the original Star Wars movie trilogy in such a massive scale does help take the sting out of it. It’s definitely a shiny, amazing-looking game with plenty of care taken for any Star Wars fan to immediately recognize sets, props and characters and get nostalgia-bombed - even with a few shortcomings on the in-game content front.
Star Wars Battlefront is now available for PC via Origin, the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One.