‘Flying is hard in games, and people struggle with it.’
Unlike the older Star Wars: Battlefront games, the new one, which just launched, lacks any kind of dedicated dogfighting mode. Instead, there is a dedicated dogfighting mode, where up to 20 human players are mixed with AI opponents- a poor replacement for the older games’ X Wing vs TIE Fighter modes, really.
According to DICE, this omission of a classic and beloved mode is because DICE views Battlefront as an infantry game at the core. In an interview with Metro GameCentral, DICE Senior Producer Sigurlína Ingvarsdottir justified the omission of the space fighting mode, and explained that the new dogfighting mode actually seems to be fairly popular.
“At the core, we’re an infantry game. The biggest part of our experience is infantry and being DICE we have been doing vehicles for a long time. And I think we do it really, really well. But we know people struggle with flying. We know there’s lots of people that like flying in Battlefield but there’s also a lot of people that don’t. And so it becomes a bit polarizing, and the ambition here is to have that experience available for players and make it easy for them. And what we’ve seen is that it has worked out quite well. It’s often times mentioned as people’s favourite mode. And then I get the questions, ‘So what about a pilot career path or putting perks into it or are you going to do more with it…?’ And I get very happy when I get asked these questions because I think that it seems like we’ve captured something people enjoy.
“In general, with gamers, it’s become quite popular. It’s the mode that most people tell us that they’re surprised about how fun it is and how easy it is fly the starfighters. Because we know that flying is often so hard in games and people struggle with it.”
I guess from DICE’s perspective, this made sense, but the thing with franchises as popular as Battlefront is, they stop being about what the developers think they are or want them to be, and become more about what the fans want from those games- in that case, DICE would have been better served catering to player expectations. As it stands right now, Battlefront is a gorgeous, but ultimately neutered, game.