Battlefront’s New Classic Collection Is a Chance to Return to the Deadliest Bridge in Star Wars History

Battlefront’s New Classic Collection Is a Chance to Return to the Deadliest Bridge in Star Wars History

What is the most brutal battlefront in Star Wars history—the sands of Geonosis? The harsh icewinds of Hoth? The teddy bear-infused terror of Endor’s forests? The dark nights of Umbara? The answer we’re looking for was delivered 20 years ago in one of the all-time classic Star Wars games: this bridge.

This week Lucasfilm and Aspyr confirmed that the 2004-2005 shooters Battlefront and Battlefront II—not to be confused with Battlefront (2015) and Battlefront II (2017), the reboot of the franchise by Battlefield developer DICE—will be released across PC and console as part of a new collection. It will combine both games into a package with 64-player online multiplayer, re-integrated platform exclusive DLC characters and maps, and expansions to its classic heroes vs. villain mode, Hero Assault, to work across multiple maps in both games. Like many of the developer’s past ports, it’s a way to bring some classic Star Wars gaming history to both a younger audience and keep versions of them alive and kicking on contemporary platforms. But for me in particular, and many other Battlefront diehards, it’s a return to the biggest meat grinder the galaxy far, far away had to offer.


STAR WARS™: Battlefront Classic Collection – Announce Trailer

I’m talking about Bespin: Platforms, one of two maps inspired by the gaseous world in the original Battlefront. While a lot of maps in both games were designed to highlight Battlefront’s core appear of mass scale—vast, open areas where legions of ground troopers and vehicles (speeders, tanks, starfighters) could all smash into each other as sides vied for control of various command points—both Bespin maps were defined by their use of more urban sprawl to funnel sides at each other. Platforms in particular was the most simple expression of this idea: a series of symmetrical, interconnected tibanna gas mining platforms, connected by a central platform spoking off two long, narrow bridges. Sure, you could hop in a starfighter and fly around Bespin’s famous clouds, but for the most part, this map was a war of attrition.

Each bridge on either side of the central platform had little cover, save for a few tiny columns along each side that could barely hide one or two soldiers from the inevitable barrage of blaster fire that would be coming from either end of the bridge—themselves on raised lips to give everything from shielded droidekas to dedicated snipers ample view of the killing field. If you were on foot and wanted to take over your opponents’ command points, you had to get over these bridges, so AI bots and players alike would sprint to get funneled up and down these metaphorical charnel houses, making ground inch by inch as victory was ultimately decided less by strategic map control, and more by wearing down the number of reinforcement tickets each side had, until there were literally no more bodies left to fling at this Straight Line of Hell.


star wars battlefront 1 gameplay s1 #5 pc bespin platforms

It’s perhaps the most any Star Wars game has been able to fulfil the odd Star Wars fantasy of “realistic” sci-fi warfare—Solo’s battle of Mimban sequence decades before that even existed. Brutal in a way that was oddly charming for a licensed video game with little in the way of graphic violence, Bespin: Platforms was Star Wars conflicted distilled to its purest form—grand yet simple, hilariously silly yet still somehow epically memorable. There’s a reason people still think about it as a quasi-form of video gaming PTSD, brought up to the fore again this week with the announcement of the Battlefront collection, despite the fact that it’s not exactly an iconic location from the movies, just a space inspired by one that inadvertently became a legend in its own regard. To those that knew the horrors and delights of trying to push your opponents back down those bridges at any costs, Bespin became as vital a battlefront in the Clone War and the Galactic Civil War as any of the infamous battles of the Star Wars saga.

When Battlefront Classic Collection releases in March, I can’t wait to find myself there again, crawling inch by inch through blaster fire, grenade blasts, and the inevitable bodies of my allies and enemies. Just, y’know, this time I’ll try to remember to watch those wrist rockets now that I’m slightly more experienced.

Need more entertainment? Pedestrian Television has launched on 9Now where you can watch iconic TV series like Just Shoot Me, cult classic movies like Fright Night, and homegrown content like Eternal Family. Watch all that and more for free, 24/7 on 9Now