‘Star Wars Battlefront’ Loses ADS, Squads, and Classes

By May 8, 2015

One of the biggest announcements to come out of Disney’s administration of the Star Wars franchise was their change in the strategy of the franchise’s video game output. Enlisting Electronic Arts and dissolving LucasArts, the first major console video game to be released will be Star Wars Battlefront — a revival of the popular first-person shooter franchise established in 2004, with the new version being developed by famed Battlefield developers DICE. It looks, though, that DICE is aiming for a different type of shooter that will abandon tropes of the previous Battlefront games, as well as one of the most common first-person shooter game mechanics.

In an interview with the Official Xbox Magazine (via GamesRadar), DICE Executive Producer Patrick Bach made clear that the new Battlefront is aiming to be a fundamentally different experience than you’ll find in most FPS games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, and will also differ pretty significantly from the Battlefront games of the mid 2000’s developed by Pandemic Studios. One of those major differences? “There are no ironsights in Star Wars, on the ordinary blasters,” he said. “You have scopes on some rifles, but there are no ironsights.”

An example of "aiming down the sights," or "ADS," from 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

An example of “aiming down the sights,” or “ADS,” from 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

He’s referring to a mechanic largely known as “aiming down the sights,” or “ADS” for short. Although not innovated by Call of Duty, ADS has become the predominant method of ensuring accuracy in a fast-paced multiplayer first-person shooter, and the concept of using ADS in fast-paced, quick game matches seemed to catch on considerably with the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. Since then, ADS has been employed in many of the most popular iterations of the FPS genre, including BattlefieldDestinyTitanfallKillzone, and a lot more. One of the last remaining “hold outs” for the traditional ADS mechanic is the Halo series, which will be using it in limited form for the first time on weapons other than sniper rifles in the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians.

Additionally, the game will also not feature squads or classes, instead creating a new mechanic for respawning after a death next to a fellow player with a new “partners” system. The lack of classes means that players are completely free to create their own loadouts of weapons ans accessories, which will be a first for the Battlefront series.

Delving a little more specifically into the absence of ADS and the changes to the mechanics in Battlefront, Bach said,

We’re not taking into account what we’ve done before, because I think that would be disrespectful to the fans, and to what we’re trying to achieve here. A lot of the things you saw in the game have nothing to do with anything we’ve done before. Some features of course resemble [our other shooters], because we want to make the best possible shooter, but in general we’ve tried to do something completely unique.

Star Wars Battlefront will be released for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on November 17th in the US. For more on the game as it takes shape, keep it locked on GeekNation, and check out the first trailer if you’ve yet to do so!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.