For many around the world, Star Wars is their cultural phenomenon. A new world enhanced by the pure imagination of one's vision full of adventure and characters. However, this is a galaxy far, far away that no one can come closer to touching more than by playing a Star Wars video game.
For many, the video game people look to play when wanting to enter the “Star Wars” world, is the 2005 “Star Wars Battlefront II”. However, with the game rapidly approaching its 14th birthday, it is beginning to show its age visually, making it difficult for some to get properly immersed into its universe. A mod developer who goes by the internet handle HarrisonFog has been working hard to give the aging game a modern coat of paint, and his work speaks for itself.
To say the least, HarrisonFog’s work on this mod is by far one of the most impressive graphical modifications ever done to a game in this field. Harrison has split his remastered mod into three sections. A player model remastered mod, which he dubs the Improved Sides Mod, has re-made almost every character model in the game to look brand new, and gives the visual appearance of all character models a massive makeover. Work on models such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are among the most impressive. His second section of the mod is Rezzed Maps, where he is almost finished editing his newest map, Polis Massa. The goal of this section of the project is to give every original map in the game a brand-new look and style to them. He is almost finished with this section of the mod, and hopes to finish all of them by the end of this year.
“I want to make the maps look like they did in the movies, that's my main inspiration. I work on every little detail and if possible I try to add even more. The only condition is that I must work taking Star Wars aesthetics in consideration. Simply put, what I edit or create has to make sense if we saw it in one of the films. That's what I try to do.”
Harrison has also mentioned that his favorite project so far has been the map Felucia, after he remodeled the original, which did not resemble to films
“The original map was very different from the movies so I had to work especially hard to modify it, like creating new pollen and mist FX for the map without losing online compatibility. I was also able to create some creatures and different plants and foliage to make it look more real. I always enjoy creating things, and I used plankton or other microscopic lifeforms as reference, which are very interesting and match the planet's look. I had to do some research for that map. It was a challenge, but a fun one.”
The third section, a graphics reshade mod allows every part of the entire game to have a new and more polished look. With this graphics mod, the entire game looks to be made in the mid to late 2010’s, rather than 2005.
HarrisonFog pushes the new Star Wars gaming agenda out of the way, a feeling Star Wars gamers have not felt for some time now.
“I played the first Battlefront and BF2 on PS2 and later on PC,” HarrisonFog said. “I always thought the games were amazing and ahead of their time, and I kept playing them for years. When I played the new series I just couldn't stop thinking "Instead of this they should have the old games remastered. They were the opposite of the originals, the opposite of revolutionary. So after playing BF2 with mods I started modding and working on the original content. After seeing people's good reactions I just kept going.”
HarrisonFog continues to work on all three sections of his mod, with the new Polis Massa map coming soon and his other sections reaching completion, it is truly amazing that this creator has taken Star Wars gaming back to th galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars Battlefront II (2005) can be purchased on PC on Steam, and HarrisonFog’s mods can all be found at Moddb.com. There is also a discord server and youtube channel for the community, called Battlefront Remaster