Do you love Star Wars? Then you've picked an ideal time to be alive, as this December's release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens promises to awaken the long-running sci-fi franchise in a way we haven't seen in years.
Games are a part of the impending media barrage, and in addition to an array of mobile titles, Electronic Arts is reviving Star Wars Battlefront for a new generation of consoles and gaming PCs. Ever wanted to take part in epic, 40-player, Star Wars shootouts? You'll be able to - in about a month, actually.
Star Wars Battlefront doesn't hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC until 17 November, but EA will kick off an open multiplayer beta on all three platforms in early October. It will include the Walker Assault on Hoth mission that's been so often spotlighted in trailers and gameplay footage (below), with the opportunity to play as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker amidst the large-scale mayhem.
The beta will also feature a survival mission on Tatooine, with the co-op action designed for just two players, along with a new mode called Drop Zone. What's Drop Zone? We don't know yet - but EA says it'll share more details about that offering in the coming weeks.
Why offer an open multiplayer beta test for a game of this scale without requiring a pre-order for access? Well, running a beta allows the developers to make late gameplay and server tweaks - but we suspect it's just as much about getting the technical side right as it is convincing players that this game could live up to expectations - particularly after DICE's bungled Battlefield 4 launch. Based on what we've seen and played so far, though, we're already believers.