When leaked footage of Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 hit YouTube yesterday, a wheezing collective sigh was heard across the planet from fans of LucasArt’s cash cow franchise.  The footage features seamless surface-to-orbit ship battles, rock slinging Ewoks, and a playable elderly Ben Kenobi, and looks much better than its predecessors:



Savvy readers will have noted that Free Radical, the developers of Haze, Second Sight, and the TimeSplitters series, are on the chopping block after all of its employees were fired.  So what does this mean for their Battlefront 3 project? 

Unfortunately, it looks like some of the tech featured in the footage will be going down with the Free Radical ship.  SPOnG reports that while the planet-to-orbit environment tech would have allowed for “complete freedom,” it will die with Free Radical.  The new developer, rumored to be Battlefront: Renegade Squadron‘s Rebellion Developments, will instead use cutscenes for the transitions.

We’re now years into a generation where games like Saint’s Row and GTA IV have provided seamless transitions between complex environments.  Is this still considered a technical miracle, or is this a sign that Battlefront 3’s new developer is rushing the product out the door?