Update September, 2015: The Battlefront Beta will include gameplay content described in this article.
Continuing our odyssey through the game modes of Star Wars™ Battlefront™, our next stop is an action-filled, tactical mode where you’ll need to keep an eye on the sky. Let’s talk about Drop Zone.
Similar to “King of the Hill”-style experiences, the objective in Drop Zone centers on drop pods falling through the atmosphere onto the planet surfaces. In tight 8-versus-8 matches, Rebel and Empire teams fight to capture and control these pods.
When you locate a drop pod’s landing site, make your way to it and trigger the short claim process. Your team will win if it captures five pods, or control the majority of them after the 10-minute match is up. If a pod is constantly changing possession with no team able to defend it long enough to claim it, another pod will be sent down to break the stalemate. Then, there would be two pods that the teams have to gain control over.
Drop Zone is all about action and quick thinking, forcing Rebels and Imperial troops to always be on their feet. Though captured pods need to be defended, static players standing in a cluster too close to their pod always run the risk of being hit by explosives or a well-placed Orbital Strike.
“This goes hand in hand with our design philosophy behind many of the game modes in Star Wars Battlefront,” Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall explains. “We’re promoting the idea of a fast, action-packed game where you need to be mobile and think on your feet. Camping doesn't really pay off.”
Apart from playing the objective and bringing your team to victory, claiming pods comes with another perk: they contain Power Pickups. Once successfully claimed, the pod will start to open. This will take a moment, but staying around to get your hands on the contents can definitely be worth the risk. The choice is yours, though; when your claimed pod is opening up, another one will hit the surface elsewhere and going for that one could be the smarter move.
Apart from making these decisions, there are other ways to master Drop Zone. For instance, using the Droids™ and Turrets in your arsenal can be an excellent strategic move. Since it’s somewhat hard to predict which areas you’ll be defending, makeshift defenses like these are great to deploy. Throw down a turret and give your partner a shout that you've got this section covered, or deploy a Viper Droid that outlines where enemies are coming from.
Whether you’ll be playing Drop Zone on Tatooine, Hoth, Sullust, or Endor, a ton of work has been put in to map design from a gameplay perspective, fine-tuning key locations in order to make the matches as entertaining and interesting as possible.
“Playing Drop Zone on the Swamp Crash Site on Endor is a personal favorite. The map has a couple of nice choke points but is overall very free-flowing and hectic, as enemies can attack from anywhere on that level,” says Brännvall. “The fight takes place around a crashed GR-75 transport ship with containers from the craft strewn across the landscape, and there’s one section with a waterfall overlooked by an Ewok village, where you have to jump down into the pool below in order to claim the pod, hoping no one’s hiding in the trees above waiting to pick you off.”
We hope you’ll enjoy exploring all these ins and outs of Drop Zone - and of course all the other game modes - when Star Wars Battlefront lands November 17th. Keep an eye on the sky.