In a blog post today, the folks at Playstation announced the official arrival of Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Emperor Palpatine as "Hero Characters" in [Star Wars: Battlefront](tag:2684021). While Luke Skywalker appears in his final outfit from Return of the Jedi, Leia will don her white outfit from the Hoth battle in Empire Strikes Back, and Han will sport his Bespin outfit from the same film.
The three new characters have all been rumored additions until now, and the blog went on to describe how each character will function in a battle situation.
Princess Leia: The Strategist
For the diligent player with great timing, Princess Leia's effective abilities can prove dangerous when used the right way. Writes Playstation:
It’s clear that Leia is a leader, so in Star Wars Battlefront she’s very much about support play, buffing team members, and holding positions. Furthermore, players spawning close to her will spawn as Alderaan Honor Guards. That said, she’s got a lot of offensive output as well.
They highlighted some of Leia's abilities, which all play off of her canonical personality and interactions. The first is a nod to the fact that, out of everyone, Leia never misses a shot—it's called Trooper Bane.
A hard-hitting, boosted blaster shot, Trooper Bane is designed to be fired in single bursts. Now, this packs a real punch if you hit your target. A stormtrooper will get killed in one blast by Trooper Bane, and against Villains it will both deal a lot of damage and temporarily stun them.
Leia's other abilities include a large-scale defense force field called "Enhanced Squad Shield", which blocks out some Force abilities while giving Leia the ability to attack as she has the shield up. Her final major ability, "Supply Drop", will drop a variety of power ups for ground troopers, or health boosts for other Hero characters.
Han Solo: The Lone Wolf
Han's abilities are for those of us who prefer to go it alone—and he has just enough to stand up to the might of Imperial Walkers, or worse. An easy character to fall into, Han's diverse set of skills basically turns him into an elevated version of the Rebel character play style.
Han's primary ability is called Rapid Fire, and it sounds like a doozy:
Active for a few seconds, this lets Han fire his Blaster as fast you can pull the trigger, without having to worry about overheating. Try this out when taking on compact groups and mow down those stormtroopers! Rapid Fire is also really good for when villains like Darth Vader approach. Use it at the right time and you’ll lay down a ton of damage.
When you're not fending off your homicidal future in-law, you can check out Han's next ability, Lucky Shot:
This is a “build up and release” power that hits really hard and is effective against vehicles. Lucky Shot works for infantry as well and is mighty enough to break Darth Vader’s block.
Seems like Han makes for a formidable foe against the man that ordered his carbonite freezing. But our favorite scoundrel has one more trick up his sleeve, called Shoulder Charge:
Remember the Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope scene where Han charges into a group of stormtroopers? Then you’ll know what to expect. Shoulder Charge is both an offensive and defensive move and can be used to quickly get into battles — but also out of them.
Emperor Palpatine: God-Mode
For anyone who thought that Darth Vader was daunting on the battle field: think again. Palpatine's madness turns on when he takes his place in the fight, but it was something of a challenge to get this character -- who so often is not seen fighting -- to become the challenge that he is in-game. Playstation said:
We wanted many different things with the Emperor. We wanted him to be very mobile, but also about deception and fooling people that he’s fragile and weak. As you’ve seen in the original Star Wars trilogy, Palpatine pretends to be a weak old man, when he in fact is extremely powerful. That two-faced side was something we wanted to convey in gameplay and the Emperor’s abilities.
With that in mind, the Emperor's set of abilities might take time to learn -- but they're worth it. Let's start with the one thing we've all seen him do, including those of you who refuse to watch the prequels: Force Lightning.
Palpatine’s main attack is the iconic Force Lightning, which does a lot of damage to troops within reach. The lightning also comes in the more powerful Chain Lightning form, which is an area of effect ability dealing damage to enemies around you in all directions.
An interesting short-range move for someone so usually guarded. But don't think that snipers will defeat him easily—he can move, and fast, with Force Dash:
When Palpatine activates Force Dash he’ll move extremely fast in his current direction, which can be a real nasty surprise for Rebel soldiers. We’ve seen some players get really startled when they have been aiming down the sights at Palpatine and suddenly see him right up close.
Much like Leia, Palpatine is a valuable addition to his side of the battle. Where Leia can use Support Drop, Palpatine can counter with Imperial Resources:
In contrast to these abilities, Palpatine is also the Empire team’s support Villain, capable of providing powerups for others and himself. Thanks to his command of the Empire, Palpatine can use the Imperial Resources ability to hand out power-ups to teammates and health boosts to other Villains.
In short, I am terrified to play against Palpatine. The idea of him springing up out of nowhere gives me flashbacks to the horrifying fight with IG-88 in Shadows of the Empire. Of course, when I say all this, I'm actually describing the hopeful scenario of having the bejeezus scared out of me by Palpatine himself. But that's fine—with Han, Leia, and Luke on my side, I have a good feeling about this.
Star Wars: Battlefront comes out on November 17th.