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It’s a great time to be a fan of Star Wars. Movies every year, apparently (so far), novels fleshing out the gaps and characters, like Director Krennic. Part of that SW onslaught are video games. 2015’s SW: Battlefront wasn’t the greatest, but it served as a way for the seasoned developer DICE to get feedback and put it to good use in the sequel. Which is what we are taking a look at here.
Let’s see what additions and improvements await us this November in Star Wars Battlefront II.
Now with more story
This is no secret that the previous Battlefront lacked any kind of narrative content of any coherence and weight. It was a point raised throughout many reviews and in general feedback. Listening to fans, DICE and Motive decided to put in the effort and funds and up and done a singleplayer campaign. How cool is that? Probably very cool, with good reason.
The main characters of SW:BF2 story are members of Inferno Squad, an imperial black ops unit, led by Iden Versio. Just before the second Death Star turned into fireworks, she received a special order from Emperor Palpatine, the nature of which remains unknown so far, for obvious reasons.
The story is said to flesh out the thirty years separating the original trilogy and The Force Awakens.
It’s going to be an epic, cinematic experience, with full motion capture and dubbing from some seasoned actors, like Paul Blackthorne (24, Arrow).
Let us all hope Iden or her team won’t defect from the Empire. Seeing the perspective of loyal Imperial operatives is a very interesting prospect, especially when presumably rid of overblown villainy of the Sith (and Ren) from the movies. Since the story is penned by the same men who wrote Spec Ops: the Line, Walt Williams, we can expect something truly memorable.
Multiplayer with class
In Battlefront 2 there will be four distinct classes for you to play as, each with clearly defined role through their available arsenal and special abilities. There will be some reasonable space for class customisation, too, with ability cards letting you mix things up with your loadout.
For a regular grunt work, there will be the Assault Trooper. They are your default short-to-mid range offense soldier, equipped with automatic rifle. They will also have access to a heavy-duty close range weapon, thermal detonators, and more abilities making them a perfect class for pushing the frontlines.
Then there will be Heavy Troopers, with their powerful rifles, deployable energy shields, and a special ability allowing them to deploy a heavy repeating blaster to mow down any leftover enemies Assaults didn’t eliminate. They also moonlight as a tank class, in addition to their heavy damage dealing abilities.
Specialists, on the other hand, are going to fill the sniper and scout roles. They’ll have various traps at their disposal to harass enemies, use long-range rifles, and be stealthy little rascals in general, complete with improved melee damage.
FInally there will be the Officer class, which will excel at buffing other soldiers on the battlefield with defensive or offensive auras. One of the their abilities will involve boosting nearby soldiers’ hit points and speeding up their regeneration. Oh, and they’ll have a deployable turret.
Earn being a hero
In the previous game becoming a hero unit required little more than finding a token on the map. It’s been reworked too, to limit randomness and reward good teamplay.
Now it’s going to work on points you score during the match. Play the objective, you get points, revive a teammate, you get points, draw damage as a Heavy, you get points. On respawn screen you’ll be able to spend these points to pop into the world as a special unit, be it a vehicle or heroes like Luke Skywalker, Ben Skywalker AKA Kylo Ren, or Boba Fett. When in space combat, it will let you swap your ratchety old X-wing for Millenium Falcon, or a TIE Fighter for Slave-1.
Time will tell how well it’s going to work on the larger scale, but it seems that it will encourage players to play with the team, instead of running wild, so that’s always a plus.
Overall it seems that Battlefront II is determined to atone for figurative sins of the father. Singleplayer campaign, revamped multiplayer, clearly defined and suitaly unique classes, it is all going to be good fun. And with the photogrammetric graphics coming over from the previous game is a very welcome plus, since it’s going to give us incredibly impressive visuals.
Star Wars Battlefront II launches on November 17 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Which side will you choose?