Star Wars Battlefront's on-rails AT-AT is a good thing so get used to it

You know what it's like: you've rushed into one of Battlefield's helicopters the second you spawn but you're not in the pilot's seat. It takes off. Sideways. And wobbles uncertainly towards the action, never actually facing forwards but somehow winning on averages.

You've got a bad feeling about this.

Now replace 'helicopter' with 'AT-AT', one of Star Wars Battlefront's iconic metal battle-cows and imagine the fun you could have with a dick pilot or someone who's 'just working out the buttons'. I mention all this because there's an ongoing spat right now, since DICE producer Jesper Nielsen posted on Reddit (as TheBikingViking) to confirm that Battlefront's AT-AT's would be on rails:

A lot of people are seriously unhappy that they won't be able to drive AT-AT's. Like, really unhappy that they won't have direct control over each plodding foot as it ponderously stomps across the map at the sort of speeds that a lightly concussed, post-crash, Luke Skywalker was able to keep pace with in deep snow.

Image credit:Vaturius

Think about it: if you could drive the AT-ATs, it would be slow and boring and if you screwed it all up it would be the most humiliating three-point turn in the history of galactic warfare:

Image credit:Penny Arcade.

On rails? I am fine with that. The Walker Assault mode for example, a 40-player thing that sees the rebels trying to fend off one of the Empire's walkers, relies on the thing doing what it's told. Imagine the hilarity of watching an AT-AT slowly grind up against a mountain in the far distance; as the clock ticks down and unidentifiably distorted music crackles through the headset, interspersed with giggling. Aren't you a little... fucking stupid to be a Stormtrooper? If I can't even trust some random on a bike in Battlefield Hardline, what the hell's going to happen in a skyscraper-sized robo-horse with lasers for a face?

All the people so unhappy with the idea of not being able to drive a slow walking giant can't have really thought it through. Get past the nightmare logistics of trying to control the thing and there's the size of it. The thing needs to be huge, so it's effectively a piece of moving scenery, not a vehicle. This isn't something you hop into so you can nip across the map. It's a piece of the map.

Get all our Star Wars battlefront details and info here.

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.