How the Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster devs Nightdive Studios enhanced the classic FPS

Last year, it was revealed that the masters of remasters at Nightdive Studios have taken on the task of bringing the beloved 90s classic Star Wars: Dark Forces to modern audiences. The remaster is set to release February 28 on PS5 and PS4, nearly 30 years after the release of the original game from LucasArts in 1995.

Similar to Nightdive’s previous endeavors with titles like Quake II and Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered, Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster honors the strong foundation of the original while updating it for modern consoles through the studio’s proprietary KEX engine, allowing the game to run at up to 4K resolution at 120FPS on PlayStation 5.

With this, fans of the original as well as a whole new generation of gamers, will be able to experience Star Wars: Dark Forces and appreciate what made it such an essential title within LucasArts’ (now Lucasfilm Games) impressive catalog. Further honoring the work that went into its initial development, it’s been revealed that Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster will feature a special Vault jam-packed with never-before-seen content from the making of the 1995 original!

With improved spritework and remastered cutscenes, those looking to dig deeper into a truly unique story within the Star Wars galaxy will be able to enjoy a visually pleasing narrative experience as they join protagonist Kyle Katarn, a defector turned mercenary for hire working for the Rebel Alliance, in foiling the Galactic Empire and its secret Dark Troopers Project.

As much as we’d love to continue gushing over why this has been such an exciting project for Nightdive and must-play title for fans and newcomers alike, let’s dive deeper into the fascinating history and behind-the-scenes work of breathing new life into Star Wars: Dark Forces with Nightdive’s Project Lead and Producer, Max Waine.

Exploring The Vault

PlayStation Blog: What was the most exciting challenge you faced while working on Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster?

Max Waine: For me, it was bringing something new and worthwhile to existing fans of the game. Our way of tackling that was by bringing in The Vault. It was imperative that I find and present interesting snapshots of the development of the game. From there, it was a lot of coding to make it all work, conversion of various assets to be able to load in the remaster, and a great deal of text to write for the titles and descriptions; balancing being informative of what I did know from the development files without drifting into speculation proved exceptionally difficult.

When diving into the Remaster, what details about the original LucasArts spritework stood out to you from a historical development perspective?

From a development perspective, Dark Forces seemed to have a relatively typical way of approaching sprites for the time and genre. A combination of touched-up scanned models, hand-drawn sprites, and rendered 3D models (from 3D Studio) are ordinary fare. The software they used for spritework, DeluxePaint Animation, was also seemingly pretty standard. One interesting detail is that many of the human sprites seemed to be mostly hand-drawn but would use incredibly basic models to provide things like poses and such.

Design and assembly

What about the game’s cutscenes? Can you share insight into the work Nightdive has done to remaster these?

I integrated the new cutscenes into the game itself, with the help of Daniel Albano to allow for supporting different languages within the cutscenes. Outside of setting up the video player, I created a text-based format that could change the music in-sync with the video the same way the original did.

I’ll be paraphrasing Brendan McKinney here, who was our 3D maestro on the cutscenes. Beside Brendan, development was done with paintings of the new characters by Ben Chandler, ship models by Daniel Andersson, and guidance from Lucasfilm Games’ David Yee.

Due to the original cutscenes blending of different types of assets, the process of updating the cutscenes proved difficult. Initially the approach was to try to recreate the same cutscenes at a higher resolution, but this resulted in greater scrutiny being drawn to the differences in the disparate types of assets that could be provided in a cutscene.

The approach that was ultimately taken was to embrace the mixed medium spirit of the originals while still narrowing the divide so that, even at higher resolution, everything fit comfortably together.

This is where Ben Chandler came in, doing painted versions of characters like Crix Madine and Jabba, who were based on or fully taken from stills of the films respectively for their depiction in the original. Brendan recreated the environments in 3D, painting over them afterward to bring the composition nearer to Ben’s character work. The space sequences were approached with the intent to keep things simple, matching the feel of the original work.

Is there a weapon design unique to Dark Forces that you specifically like? What makes it interesting from a development POV?

It’s gotta be Kyle’s trusty sidearm, the Bryar pistol. The weapon just really looks the part. A lot of the weapons were rendered out from 3D models, and for some it can chafe against the technical limitations of the time, but the Bryar pistol just looks absolutely perfect as-is.

Adding to this, what can you share about the Phase 02 Dark Trooper character model from a developer standpoint?

The Phase 02 Dark Trooper as a character seemed to go through a fair bit of iteration from initial conception to what ended up present in the final game. Renders of the character model definitely appear to be what is used in both the original cutscenes and as a basis for the spritework. I can’t be exactly certain how they animated pre-rendered cutscenes with the Dark Troopers though, as we don’t have a significant amount of the 3D-related assets.

Honoring the original Dark Forces

What’s the most impressive feat accomplished with this game based on the time it was created?

Dark Forces is greater than the sum of its parts, and while I will point out key impressive aspects of the game, I want to emphasize just how strong it is as a cohesive whole. There are two things that jump out at me the most for the time period: support for 3D environments that allow for room-over-room, which was something that the Doom engine was not capable of; seamless integration of fully 3D objects within the environment (like Kyle’s ship, X-Wings, Mouse Droids, etc.).

Lastly, what do you think Dark Forces did to move the budding FPS genre forward during its time?

At a time where FPSs were largely abstract in locales, Dark Forces pushed the tech forward enough to be able to successfully realize familiar and more realistic environments. In addition to that it was able to tell a cohesive story, complete with fully voice-acted cutscenes. The sum total of this is a game that really pushed forward just how immersive FPSs could be.

We want to thank Nightdive’s Max Waine for the blast from the past experience we’ve had learning about the work being put into Star War: Dark Forces Remaster, including how it features The Vault, which packs in a wealth of behind-the-scenes visual content from the development of the 1995 original!

Additional features fans can look forward to with Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster are visual improvements, including advanced 3D rendering with realistic lighting and atmospheric effects, and up to 4K at 120FPS on PlayStation 5. Not to mention action-packed, first-person ground combat with 10 weapons and 20 enemy types!

Can’t wait to play the Remaster? Keep an eye out for Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster later this month when it releases on PS5 and PS4 on February 28.

Foamstars new season Groovy Disco begins on March 8

Foamstars released on February 6 as a PlayStation Plus Monthly Game, and we’re elated that so many players have tried out the game. It’s not too late for PlayStation Plus members to add it to their library before March 4.

Foamstars new season Groovy Disco begins on March 8

In Foamstars, each season will last about 5 weeks, so we’d like to share details on the new season, Groovy Disco, which begins March 8.

New Foamstar – Coiff Guy

Groovy Disco features the new Foamstar, Coiff Guy. Coiff Guy can use a rocket launcher-style foam gun to take down enemies from a distance, while his skills include an up-close body slam inspired by his background as a pro wrestler.

Coiff Guy can be unlocked by progressing the Season Pass to Tier 31. He may also be unlocked immediately for users who purchase the Premium Pass.

New season Groovy Disco – Season Pass details

Earn XP via online matches, completing missions or clearing Challenges to progress through the Season Pass tiers and unlock new items. In the Groovy Disco Season Pass, on top of the new Foamstar Coiff Guy, Foam Gun skins for multiple characters and a Character skin for The Baristador are also available for free.

By purchasing the paid Premium Pass, you can unlock even more glorious rewards. Players will immediately unlock any rewards up to their Season Pass Tier at time of purchase.

New Solo Missions added

Missions 4 through 6 will be added to the current Foamstar Missions.

In Mission 6, Dark Ramzey will appear, offering a harder challenge compared to the previous bosses.

Please try to use what you’ve learned thus far to beat it!

Ranked Party – Compete for World Rankings

Compete solo in Ranked Party Lonestar or with a team in Ranked Party Tribe-Vibe. Both events will be available to play in Groovy Disco.

Ranks in Foamstars are categorized into seven tiers: Bronze Star, Silver Star, Gold Star, Platinum Star, Diamond Star, Superstar, and Party Legend. Once enough Rank Points (RP) have been attained, you will be able to partake in Rank Up Trials which if completed successfully, allow you to progress to the next Rank.

The Ranked Party Lonestar action kicks off starting March 11 PST (March 12 UTC), and Ranked Party Tribe-Vibe begins on April 4 PST (Aril 5 UTC).

Extreme Party – New limited-time events

Extreme Party will be held twice during Groovy Disco. In the first event – All Coiff Guy Party – every player will join the fun as Coiff Guy.The second event, Super Duel Party, will introduce intense 1-on-1 battles. Please see below for the schedule and join these events!

The All Coiff Guy Party kicks off on March 22 PST (March 23 UTC), and the Super Duel Party begins on March 30 PST (March 31 UTC).

All PlayStation Plus members can redeem, download, and play Foamstars at no extra cost until March 4 on both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

Share of the Week: Best Friends

Last week, we asked you to shine a light on gaming best friends using #PSshare #PSBlog. Here are this week’s highlights:

KenKenVega1 shares Ratchet & Clank from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

K_Alien121 shares Clive and Gav sharing a drink in Final Fantasy XVI

jdbolzan shares Boozer and Deacon in Days Gone

Lny_Trpr_EE7 shares the titular Stray and robot friend B-12

scottoka1 shares the Persona 3 Reload protagonist and companions

HomuraChihiro shares the Hunter and their eagle companion in The Pathless

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week?

THEME:  Comfort
SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on February 28, 2024

Next week’s theme is all about games that bring you comfort. Share a moment from your go-to comfort game using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Coming soon to PS VR2 – Zombie Army VR, Little Cities: Bigger!, Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate, The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood, and more

PlayStation VR2 launched one year ago, backed by a 40+ game launch window lineup which included all-new experiences like Horizon Call of the Mountain and Pavlov, as well as PS VR2-compatible titles such as Gran Turismo 7 and Resident Evil Village. Over the next 12 months, our experiences were expanded further: intense first-person adventures such as Synapse, Red Matter and Resident Evil 4 VR Mode; puzzlers like Humanity and 7th Guest VR; action rhythm add-ons for the likes of Beat Saber, Synth Riders and Drums Rock; multiplayer fun in the form of Among Us VR, Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, C-Smash VRS and more. 

Now, following on from recent reveals of Metro Awakening and Legendary Tales by way of last month’s State of Play, we’re highlighting a number of games in today’s PS Blog post. New announcements, release date reveals, DLC debuts and a game launch: find them below, all introduced by the creators behind the games. There’s so much to look forward to.  

Also, we’re pleased to share that we are currently testing the ability for PS VR2 players to access additional games on PC to offer even more game variety in addition to the PS VR2 titles available through PS5. We hope to make this support available in 2024, so stay tuned for more updates.

Without further ado….

The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood | Out today

“The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood is an action-adventure spellcasting game where you become a powerful Wizard, and thanks to the power of Playstation VR2, you can cast a variety of spells with your very own hands. As developers, we’ve meticulously crafted an immersive world where players wield the power of magic through intuitive gesture-based spellcasting, a staple mechanic of The Wizards franchise. With the full might of PS5’s hardware at our disposal, players can expect breathtaking visuals and seamless gameplay while traveling through the realm of Meliora in single-player and 3-player co-op experience. And we’re happy to announce you won’t have long to wait to play: the game launches on PlayStation Store today!”

– Pawel Nitta, Head of Marketing, Carbon Studio VR

Coming soon to PS VR2 – Zombie Army VR, Little Cities: Bigger!, Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate, The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood, and more

Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate | Out June 27 

“Calling all time travelers! Mighty Eyes is excited to unveil exclusive gameplay content (and confirm the release date) in this latest reveal of Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate, which you can watch in the trailer above. Under fire in World War 2 we see the player harness their trusty watch companion’s time-traveling abilities to gather an eclectic arsenal of weapons, only to return moments later to gain the upper hand! Playing as Asher Neumann, players can seamlessly time travel at will, exploring immersive worlds and experiencing exhilarating action while solving mind bending puzzles and wielding their time-traveling powers to reshape the course of history. We’re also thrilled to share other, exciting news, so make sure to stay to the end of the video. Did someone say sea shanty?!”

– Sam Ramlu (she/her), Executive Producer at Mighty Eyes

Coming soon to PS VR2 – Zombie Army VR, Little Cities: Bigger!, Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate, The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood, and more

Little Cities: Bigger! | Out March 12

“We’re delighted to bring endless cozy creativity to PlayStation VR2! Little Cities: Bigger! unites our signature diorama city building with over 18 months of dreamy update content – our most substantial slice of relaxing island crafting ever. It’s been a blast playing with the power of PlayStation VR2 to get the game in tip-top condition. You’ll feel everything from the satisfying ‘whomp’ of a well-placed mountain to the brush-stroke sensation of island sculpting with Sense controller haptics. And thanks to headset feedback, experience world-rumbling volcanic eruptions while tiny helicopters rush to the rescue! We cannot wait to see what you create…”

– Kelly Howard, Co-Founder, Purple Yonder

Coming soon to PS VR2 – Zombie Army VR, Little Cities: Bigger!, Wanderer: The Fragments of Fate, The Wizards – Dark Times: Brotherhood, and more

Zombie Army VR | Out 2024

“Bringing the much-loved Zombie Army franchise to VR for the first time, Zombie Army VR lets you experience the fear, thrill and spine-chilling tension of the zombie apocalypse through the immersion of your PS VR2 headset.

Complete with online 2 player co-op, the thrilling campaign sees you reprise the role of a Deadhunter as they fight their way across war torn Europe doing battle with the zombie hordes. Choose your weapon from an authentic World War 2 arsenal including sniper rifles, submachine guns, pistols, and explosives as you lay waste to the undead and free Europe.”

– Steven Archer – Executive Producer, Rebellion

Arizona Sunshine 2 free update | Out today

“The goodest boy ever just got a free, furry upgrade: Meet Corgi, your new fearless companion Buddy, who’s available in-game later today! Dive back into Arizona Sunshine 2 and face off the toughest Freddies by choosing the Corgi as your preferred four-legged sidekick through the newly added Cosmetics Screen. And that’s not all – get ready for more multiplayer mayhem with three new Horde mode maps, dropping one each month from March to May, allowing up to four players to battle waves of zombies together. It’s gritty, it’s intense, and it’s also free of charge.”

– Giulia Covre – Global PR Manager, Vertigo Games

Soul Covenant | Out 2024

“Today we’re happy to reveal new details and screenshots for our upcoming narrative action JRPG Soul Covenant that showcase one of its core mechanics: turning fallen comrades into weapons! In a near-future Japan that sees humanity fight for survival against a mech regime, you’re tasked to take on hordes of encroaching enemies and colossal, powerful foes in tense, melee-based combat. You’re not alone though. You’re but one of a four-strong troop, joined by three other avatars (in the form of NPCs or controlled by other players). If a comrade falls, they can still contribute to the battle, as their remains transform into a weapon that can be equipped, giving you access to axes, dual swords, chainsaws and more. Acquired weapons can be strengthened further through items dropped by downed enemies. With each one offering two different forms, you have a growing number of versatile combat styles with different reaches and power sets to try out. It’s why in the world of Soul Covenant, troops share the very specific phrase before heading into the battlefield: ‘I’ll make sure to pick up your bones’.”

– Koh Okamura, Producer, Thirdverse

More on PlayStation VR2

  • Discover more about PS VR2 and its range of experiences here
  • New to PS VR2 and want to sample some of its games? There’s a selection of demos available now on PlayStation Store. 
  • Find out about the tech behind PS VR2 and how it was created in this PS Blog article.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 update adds New Game Plus and new suits on March 7

We cannot explain to you how grateful we have been for everyone who has picked up Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 over the holiday season. Everyone here at Insomniac Games is proud of the game, and we’re very excited to share details with you about the major title update that will hit your PS5 console on March 7

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 version 1.002 will bring New Game+ to the game. We know many of you have been eager to replay the game on a harder difficulty, with all your suits and abilities carrying over. Or perhaps you want to just replay a favorite mission or two – you can do that, too! And there’s more to unlock – with Ultimate Levels, Golden Gadget styles, and more!

Speaking of styles: we’ve added suit styles for several of Peter’s symbiote story suits in the game, allowing you to further customize your look if you play and unlock them via New Game+ Ultimate Levels. And yes, you’ll be able to set which color your symbiote abilities are as well. But we couldn’t just stop at new styles – we know how much you all love when we add suits with no additional cost to the game. You’re in luck – we’ve brought Marvel’s Hellfire Gala suits to the game for both Peter and Miles. Peter sports the design created by Russell Dauterman, and Miles gets his iconic look from Bernard Chang’s gorgeous Hellfire Gala variant cover for Miles Morales: Spider-Man #8.

And you’ll want to show those looks off as much as possible with our updates to Photo Mode – including action figure mode and stickers. You’ll also be able to change the time of day once you complete the story, allowing you to get all those cool Photo Mode shots with just the right lighting. Make sure you share them with us on social by using the #InsomGamesCommunity hashtag!

This update also contains some major updates for Accessibility. We’ve added Audio Descriptions** and Screen Reader** to the game. We know that these features were highly anticipated, and we’re thankful to the community for giving us a little extra time to ensure they were polished and ready to be released. We also have additional features like Cinematic Captions and High Contrast Outlines, among several new features added to this update.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 update adds New Game Plus and new suits on March 7

We’re also excited to announce two new suits for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 that Insomniac Games, Marvel Games, and Gameheads have partnered to create. Early access to the Fly N’ Fresh suits will be available for $4.99. Starting March 7,2024 and continuing through April 5, 2024, PlayStation will donate $4.99 (100% of the purchase price) of each Fly N’ Fresh Suit Pack in the United States to Gameheads, up to $1 million*. We appreciate your help in supporting Gameheads’ mission of empowering low-income youth and youth of color to thrive in the video games industry. Don’t worry, we don’t plan to start charging for suits in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2; the Fly N’ Fresh Suit Pack will be available for at no additional cost to all players at a later date.

Fly N’ Fresh Suit Pack includes;

  • Fly Suit for Peter
  • Fresh Suit for Miles
  • 10 photo mode stickers
  • 2 photo mode frames

Working with Gameheads as part of our efforts to increase representation in the videogame industry is an important cause to us. Insomniac Games President Ted Price shares more in this video:

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 update adds New Game Plus and new suits on March 7

To talk more about our collaboration with Gameheads, I sat down with Malia Atta, Insomniac’s Manager of Culture and Belonging, Damon Packwood, Director of Gameheads, and Eric Monacelli, Senior Director, Product and Franchise Development at Marvel Games for more insight.

What is Gameheads?

Damon Packwood: “We develop diverse talent and bold new voices in gaming, train students for the tech ecosystem and prepare them for college, career and civic life. We serve low-income students, and underrepresented students (ages 15-25) in 15 different states with expansions to Honolulu and Atlanta.  

What is the origin of the Gameheads and Insomniac partnership?

Malia Atta: “Gameheads has been a partner of SIE for many years; however, the partnership with Insomniac Games began when we brought on three apprentices in our Core Technology, People Experience, and Design departments. Each apprentice made meaningful contributions to the game, and we saw an awesome opportunity to support and elevate the Gameheads Mission by asking their artists to design suits for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.”

That sounds really great – what’s the goal?

Malia Atta: “The partnership benefits both Insomniac and Gameheads by providing our teams with opportunity to mentor, coach, and develop emerging talent who then infuse fresh ideas and energy into our games and culture. This partnership also makes way for more people from different backgrounds to gain access to the industry.

From a bigger picture, Insomniac Games is focused on creating a supportive, vibrant, and diverse environment that reflects our players and communities. We are currently focused on uplifting and amplifying the voices of our devs and allowing them to bring their unique voices and gifts to how we make games.”

Eric Monacelli: “Our creative collaboration with Insomniac values fostering a world of belonging via our characters in our video games. The Gameheads initiative is a real-world manifestation of this. Marvel has always been about reflecting the world outside one’s world authentically, especially in ways that make creative endeavors and Marvel storytelling more accessible, diverse, and inclusive.”

What was the process like collaborating and iterating on the suit designs?

Damon Packwood:  “We had a great time working with (Insomniac artists) Bobby Hernandez, Johnson Truong and Davison Carvalho. We had six of our students creating iterations for the suit and stickers over the summer. The process was pretty professional. Our students went through 1-2 week sprints, showcased their artwork to the Insomniac team, got feedback and after a few weeks we settled on a concept. Once the concept was approved, each of the students picked a different aspect of the suit (shoes, texture, mask, web shooters) and we finalized the suit and the stickers in August.”  

Tell us more about the final Fly N’ Fresh designs:

Damon Packwood: “The inspiration for Miles Morales’ Fresh Suit design was a 90’s b-boy. Peter Parker’s Fly Suit design was inspired by 90s television’. Marisa Diaz, who designed the suits, was just having fun. We never expected Insomniac to like it but it was definitely fun to design. Our designers had fun being silly and the older folks, me and the Insomniac crew, had fun reminiscing on our 90’s fashion choices.” 

That’s all for now! Thanks to everyone for all of your support, and we can’t wait to see you swinging back through Marvel’s New York in your Hellfire Gala and Fly N’ Fresh suits while checking out New Game+!

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is available now, only on the PS5 console.

*PlayStation will donate $4.99 per pack sold in the United States from March 7, 2024  through April 5, 2024  to Gameheads up to $1 million via its fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives. This purchase is not tax deductible. Community Initiatives is tax exempt.   Gameheads is not tax exempt.

**Only available in English, Spanish (LATAM), Spanish (Spain), Italian, German, French and Japanese

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection PS4 & PS5 features reveal

Aspyr is proud to announce, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the beloved Star Wars Battlefront series, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 will soon be able to play the classic Star Wars Battlefront games online and offline in a complete collection.

On March 14, PlayStation players can get back online and fight in iconic battles from across the Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection PS4 & PS5 features reveal

Classic Games, Bonus Content, And much more

What’s included? Let’s take a look:

Star Wars Battlefront (Classic)

  • Includes Bonus Map: Jabba’s Palace

Star Wars Battlefront II

  • Includes Bonus Maps: Bespin: Cloud City, Rhen Var: Harbor, Rhen Var: Citadel, and Yavin 4: Arena 
  • Includes Bonus Heroes: Asajj Ventress & Kit Fisto

Bonus content!? That’s right. Classic bonus content has been restored, included, and is premiering for the first time on PlayStation.

We welcome Jedi General from the Clone Wars and member of the Jedi High Council, Kit Fisto as a playable hero. Kit’s special abilities are Saber Throw and Force Orb, making him a fierce contender in Hero Assault for hybrid ranged/melee players.

Villains fans, don’t feel left out. We’ve also brought the Linksaber wielding Sith assassin, Asajj Ventress. Asajj’s special abilities are Star Blades and Force push, making her a great choice for close-ranged encounters and quick escapes.

With all original maps and the new bonus maps, we are packed with fan-favorite planets from across the Star Wars universe.

Battlefront Classic: 17 total maps
Battlefront II: 22 ground maps, 6 space maps, and 9 more space maps exclusive to the single-player campaign and galactic conquest

(Up to) 64 Player Online Multiplayer is Back

We’re excited to announce that cross-gen multiplayer is supported, so whether you’re playing on PlayStation 4 or PlaySation 5, get ready to jump in.

Conquest: Capture control points and deplete the enemy resources

Capture the Flag (CTF): Play with 1 or 2 flags, on the ground or in space

Hunt: Clear the battlefield as soldiers or defend your planet as native species (yes, you can play as an Ewok)

Assault (Space): Pilot legendary starships: TIE fighters, X-wings, and more in space and air dogfights

Hero Assault: Originally only available on Tatooine, hero assault pits heroes against villains in an arena battle for the highest score. We’ve expanded Hero Assault to be playable on all ground maps, which means you can face off on the Death Star, Kamino, Naboo, and many more locations.

Looking for an Offline Solo Experience?

XL mode premiers on PlayStation 

Storm the sandy beaches of Kashyyyk, survive the dusty dunes of Geonosis, or relive the iconic Hoth battle, complete with AT-ATs, snipers, mounted guns, snowspeeders, and tow cables.

The return of Galactic Conquest

Craft your own Star Wars story in Galactic Conquest. Devise your strategy, recruit your troops, and execute your tactical vision for conquering the galaxy. Will Luke Skywalker kneel to the might of the Empire? Will Mace Windu defeat Lord Sidius? The galaxy’s fate is in your hands.

And the classic single-player campaigns

Relive iconic battles from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,  Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in Star Wars Battlefront I’s campaign mode, where you’ll be at the center of the galaxy-shaping events. 


Join the elite 501st Legion of Stormtroopers and experience the rise of Darth Vader in Star Wars Battlefront II’s campaign mode. 

A few final details

Offline 2-Player splitscreen is included. Cozy up on the couch because 2-player splitscreen is included. And it feels like an offline blast from the past.

Trophies are included! A personal favorite is Execute Order 66: Defeat a Jedi hero by knocking them off the map in Battlefront II

Thank You for 20 Years! We hope you enjoy reliving iconic battles from across the Star Wars galaxy. We’ll see you online March 14.


Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot — First look at Goku’s Next Journey DLC gameplay

Gear up for your first look into the gameplay of the sixth DLC of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, officially named Goku’s Next Journey. The DLC retraces the steps of the last episode of Dragon Ball Z, which takes place ten years after the victory of the Saiyan warriors over Kid Buu at the hands of Goku and Vegeta. In this episode, the Martial Arts World Tournament is the main event, gathering all the earth’s warriors together.

While playing this DLC, you can encounter familiar characters who have aged and moved on in their lives, as well as Pan, Goku’s granddaughter. As usual with Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot DLCs, you will experience first-hand the events and battles shown in the series, but also have access to original dialogues, storylines, and more.

Together with the main events of the DLC, you will have access to new sub-quests that will have new, unique rewards. Today, we will give you a sneak peek at one of these Side Quests: A Day in the Krillin household.

The quest revolves around recovering the lost necklace of 18, now Krillin’s wife, after their daughter Marron returns from a shopping spree. True to the tradition of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, this quest allows you to peek into the daily lives of the characters living in the Dragon Ball world.

As they search for the necklace, Goku and Krillin discover that it has simply fallen while 18 was returning to Krillin but has been found and taken by two suspicious men. Once confronted, they will use a capsule to summon a squad of Skull Robos, attacking Goku as Krillin chases after the men.

Once defeated, the quest will be complete, and the rewards will be given.

While you will not face any major super-villain or world-ending threat like Majin Buu, but who knows, maybe even harder challenges will await you after the World Tournament?


The end of the quest and what makes it unique is that the epilogue allows you to see deeper into the characters’ feelings, which is a point of view that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has at its heart. On this occasion, Android 18 describes her feelings for Krillin, and we can see how much she truly cares about him.

By recovering a necklace, you can discover the hidden feelings and relationships between the characters of the world of Dragon Ball that only a game like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot can have the space to express fully.

Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 479: Abubakar Salim Talks Tales of Kenzera: Zau

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Howdy! This week Abubakar Salim of Surgent Studios stops by to discuss the upcoming platformer Tales of Kenzera: Zau. Plus the team talks Helldivers 2 and Tekken 8.

Stuff We Talked About

  • Pacific Drive – PS5, PS4
  • Foamstars Foam Technology Deep-Dive Blog
  • Ultros Developer Interview Blog
  • MLB 24 Negro Leagues Season 2
  • PlayStation Plus Game Catalog for February – Need for Speed Unbound, The Outer Worlds, Tales of Arise, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and more
  • Pacific Drive Dev Interview Blog
  • Tales of Kenzera: ZAU Dev Profile Blog
  • Interview w/ Abubakar Salim (begins at 08:55)
  • Helldivers 2 – PS5
  • Tekken 8 – PS5

The Cast

Sid Shuman – Senior Director of Content Communications, SIE

Brett Elston – Manager, Content Communications, SIE

Thanks to Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music.

[Editor’s note: PSN game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.]

Share of the Week: Romantic

Last week, we asked you share romantic moments from a game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog. Here are this week’s highlights:

bluegreenherb shares Tifa and Aerith each holding one of Cloud’s arms in Final Fantasy VII Remake

Amianan_NiRaGuB shares Astarion lovingly gazing up at the player character who romanced him in Baldur’s Gate 3

DEX_exiled shares Zo and Varl from Horizon Forbidden West sharing a sweet kiss


JarrinWasHere shares Garrus pulling Shepard into a dramatic dip in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

K_Alien121 shares Dion and Terence holding each other close in Final Fantasy XVI

Lny_Trpr_EE7 shares Catwoman and Batman sharing a moment in Batman Arkham Knight

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week?

THEME:  Best Friends
SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on February 21, 2024

Next week, we’re shining a light on gaming besties. Share a pair of gaming best friends or close companions from the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Dev interview: How Pacific Drive tunes up the survival genre with a station wagon

We’ve all wondered why no one gets in a car and drives away from the terror in scary movies and games. Pacific Drive by Ironwood Studios lets us live out that scenario. This upcoming first-person survival adventure drives a customizable station wagon into the genre.

Ahead of the February 22 launch date, we spoke with the game’s director, Alexander Dracott, about the inspiration behind this genre-twisting game and its development journey.

PlayStation Blog: What was the inspiration behind Pacific Drive?

Alexander Dracott: The initial idea goes back to some of my hobbies and growing up driving station wagons to go camping and out into the woods of the Pacific Northwest. The seed came from the things I saw driving alone in the woods, fog, and rain, seeing things like mining towns that haven’t seen the light of day. The game started as simple test car in the woods, and as we started inserting more mechanics, we decided you should be able to turn the car off and on. It should have gas like you should have to refuel your car. It became apparent that there’s this overlap between the maintenance of a car you would expect and the item juggling you want from a survival game. What we ended up doing is taking the pressure that is always on the player in a lot of survival games and pushed it onto the car, and it clicked. You’re forming this relationship with this car that becomes your protector.

Where did the idea of the Olympic Exclusion Zone come from, and how does it contribute to the game’s mechanics?

I’ve always been a big fan of zoned stories and players being isolated, but in a space filled with interesting mechanics. For example, a lot of the enemy anomalies aren’t zombies that you just shoot. They’re more interesting and unique, and discovering what they are is part of the experience. The idea behind the Exclusion Zone, something that the government has walled off, instantly clicked because it gave us the freedom to both tell an interesting story and build this world while also filling it with things like those anomalies that people are going to have to learn and discover through the game’s mechanics.

Why did the team decide on this smaller-scale gameplay loop versus a free-roam open-world title?

Initially, we were considering something that was a little bit more like a traditional survival game on a relatively large map. Our maps are big because you have a car and go quick. We found that while all of our survival mechanics were working, we wanted those rest stops. We wanted those breaks like looting and fixing up your car. With that came the birth of the garage as a permanent place that you could go to and fix up your car, take the time, and engage with the different systems that are in the game. That cemented into this idea of, “Okay, I’ve got my garage, but now I can go out and take these trips to other parts of the game world.”

Was it difficult to build so many mechanics around a car?

Pacific Drive is a big game full of systems that interact with each other, so there’s a general complexity behind it that’s always going to be hard to manage. On one hand, you want to be figuring things out, but on the other, these systems all need to be built up on their own. You don’t get a good picture until many are present and exchanging with themselves individually. And with car physics, unlike a lot of other car games where a lot of the focus on those titles is, “let’s take one engine that we’re building our game in and have 300 cars that feel distinct and unique.” For us, it’s the opposite. We’re going to have one car, but that car has to be able to get customized in different ways as players express themselves. How does the car still feel like the car between two players that have built it out completely differently? We build dedicated tools around that and figure out the right way to do it.

Are there any additions that didn’t quite make it into the final version of Pacific Drive you wish could make it in?

It’s a bit of a cop-out answer, but the answer is always just “more.” Whatever number of items that we were going to have, we pulled it back to a more reasonable number. That’s the case across our game, which is still absolutely packed with different items. Because there are tools you can use, resources you can grab, things you can interact with throughout the world, special things to bring back to your garage, and tons of car parts because so much of the car is customizable. We were always planning more of those, but we ended up pulling back to a reasonable number.

What’s your favorite feature in Pacific Drive?

As the guy helping to form the original idea, I’m biased by the atmosphere. The moments where the gameplay complements the atmosphere are absolutely incredible—those moments where this world absorbs me due to weather, visuals, and general vibe. What we were aiming for is a very unique field for the zone and its isolated beauty. You’re alone out there, but you still have those elements of gameplay that are present. You might see a dreary building in the fog and think, “Yeah, it’s a cool piece of set dressing, but maybe there’s stuff over there. See if there’s anything I can grab for my car.” Those moments stand out strongly for me.

What unique PlayStation 5 features can players expect from Pacific Drive?

The big one is the DualSense controller, for sure. We had something special once we started tuning the haptics, especially for the [adaptive] triggers, and how they interacted with the suspension, and what the car is doing. We figured out a very clever way to translate the change of the change of the suspension differences that the car is handling as it drives along and map that out into our rumble. You might drive over a bump and feel like the controller reacts appropriately. If something pops the wheel off your car, it will drop, and you’ll feel it drop. We also added noise into the simulation to help make it feel correct when driving on off-road surfaces. We’re really pleased with how the game feels on this controller.

Pacific Drive takes everything about the survival genre and throws a car into the mix, with tons of relevant atmosphere, obstacles, and pleasantries. When the game launches on February 22, 2024, you can tune up your car and hit the lonely roads.