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Star Wars Battlefront II preview and first impressions

Includes our thoughts after a couple of hours with the beta on PS4.

© EA

Back in 2004, the first Star Wars: Battlefront game arrived on Xbox, PS2 and PC. This was followed in 2005 by a sequel, Star Wars: Battlefront II. A third game was eventually cancelled and we didn’t see a new game until the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront arrived on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2015.

Later this month, Star Wars Battlefront II arrives on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The sequel to the 2015 game is once again developed by EA DICE (Battlefield series), using their Frostbite 3 engine, and published by Electronic Arts.

The 2015 release of Star Wars Battlefront was praised for capturing the feel of Star Wars. However fans were disappointed at the lack of depth due to it being designed with casual gamers in mind. Another issue for some was the omission of a single-player campaign to focus on multiplayer.

With Star Wars Battlefront II, EA have been listening hard to the community and it really shows. The new game features content spanning all three eras of the Star Wars films. The online multiplayer returns with far more depth than before. There’s also a full singleplayer story campaign.

Singleplayer campaign

Players of the first game complained that there was no singleplayer campaign. EA have listened and delivered a full story mode set after the events of Return of the Jedi.

Players step into the boots of protagonist Commander Iden Versio. She leads Inferno Squad, the Empire’s special ops team who are tasked with the missions that no one else can do. Their mission is to take the fight back to the Rebels to help save the Empire.

Watch the Star Wars Battlefront II single player trailer below:

 

Their mission begins after Emperor Palpatine’s Death Star was destroyed by the Rebels. Inferno Squad see the superweapon explode in the sky above Endor and their quest begins.

Inferno Squad travel together aboard the starship Corvus. It allows them to get around the galaxy to carry out their missions.

Multiplayer

In Star Wars Battlefront II, players can take control of some of their favourite characters, pilot a variety of iconic vehicles and visit many of the worlds seen in the films.

Classes

© EA


This time around the game has introduced classes to the multiplayer to add more depth. There are four to choose from:

  • Assault
  • Heavy
  • Officer
  • Specialist

Game Modes

© EA


These are the different multiplayer modes:

  • Arcade – Single player vs. AI (split-screen on consoles)
  • Blast – Classic team deathmatch in 10v10 matches.
  • Galactic Assault – The main event that pits teams of 20v20.
  • Heroes vs. Villains – Act out your dream battles in this 4v4 mode.
  • Starfighter Assault – X-wing’s vs Tie fighters and other starfighters in epic space battles.
  • Strike – 8v8 objective based scenarios.

Heroes

© EA


Hero characters confirmed to be in the game are:

  • Boba Fett
  • Bossk
  • Chewbacca
  • Darth Maul
  • Darth Vader
  • Emperor Palpatine
  • Han Solo
  • Iden Versio
  • Kylo Ren
  • Luke Skywalker
  • Rey
  • Yoda

Finn and Captain Phasma are two heroes expected to be added as DLC on December 13th.

Locations

© EA


These are the locations that have been confirmed for the game:

  • Death Star II
  • Endor
  • Hoth
  • Jakku
  • Kamino
  • Kashyyyk
  • Naboo
  • Starkiller Base
  • Takodana
  • Tatooine
  • Yavin 4

A map set on the planet Crait is expected to be added later as DLC.

Hero Vehicles

© EA


These are the hero vehicles confirmed for the game that players will be able to pilot:

  • Slave I – The ship used by bounty hunter Boba Fett.
  • Scimitar – The ship used by Darth Maul.
  • Millennium Falcon – The ship used by Han Solo which he described as the fastest piece of junk in the galaxy.
  • T-70 X-wing – The ship used by Poe Dameron.

Starfighters

© EA


These are the starfighters that players will be able to pilot in the Starfighter Assault mode.

  • T-65B X-wing
  • RZ-1 A-wing
  • BTL-A4 Y-wing
  • TIE/LN
  • TIE Interceptor
  • TIE Bomber

Other Vehicles

© EA


These are the other vehicles confirmed to appear in the game:

  • AAT
  • AT-RT
  • Vulture Droid
  • N-1 Starfighter
  • V-wing
  • MTT

DLC

Star Wars Battlefront offered a season pass to allow players to add more content but the game suffered. This was because players who didn’t have the pass couldn’t play the new content. The player base was left fragmented and this hurt the game.

For Star Wars Battlefront II, EA have said that there will be no season pass. The DLC for the game will be released at regular intervals and will be free for all players. This is great news and should ensure a healthier and happier community.

Loot crates and microtransactions

Does anyone actually like loot crates and microtransactions? I certainly don’t but more and more games seem to use them. There were some concerns after the Star Wars Battlefront II beta about how the game had implemented them. EA have listened to the feedback and updated the way these will work in the final game.

The changes seem to go some way to address the concerns of players. However, players in Early Access are already reporting that dropping large sums of money on loot crates can give big advantages. This is worrying and hopefully something that will be addressed further.

Players can earn credits through play or purchase crystals for real cash with bundles ranging from £4-£80.

Watch the Star Wars Battlefront II launch trailer below:

 

Beta Impressions

The Star Wars Battlefront II beta took place in early October 2017 and included four different modes for players to sample.

Galactic Assault

In this large scale 20 vs. 20 mode, players could defend Naboo in the capital city of Theed as a one of four distinct trooper classes, or join the ranks of the Separatists and storm the royal palace. Players had access to ground and air vehicles, team-play and heroes from all three eras.

No matter which side you play on this mode was incredibly fun. I loved the way you spawn in squads and are rewarded for sticking together. There’s a real sense of teamwork on both sides as you attack or defend.

Things get really interesting once you have enough points to pick a hero. My favourite moment was annihilating the rebels as Darth Maul and Boba Fett. However, I found the starfighters in this mode tricky to master.

Starfighter Assault

In this 24-player mode on Fondor, players could race to destroy a Star Destroyer as part of the Rebel Alliance or rally as the Galactic empire to defend. This dogfighting space gameplay experience comprised of three stages, a variety of starfighter and hero ships, and ship customization.

The space combat has improved massively since the first game and this was one of my favourite modes. All the various starfighters are fun to control but nothing beats piloting an X-Wing or the Millennium Falcon.

Strike

Players could join a team of First Order troopers or Resistance fighters in 8 vs. 8 battles around Maz Kanada’s castle on the lush green planet of Takodana. Players had to rely on unique skills of the different classes and work together to bring forth victory.

Arcade

Players could engage in solo or split screen co-op (console only) in Onslaught, choosing to either take on waves of enemies as Darth Maul, or repress enemy fire in Team Battle in Naboo’s capital city, Theed.

Arcade is a great way to learn the game without the added pressure of real players as your opponents.

Watch the official Star Wars Battlefront II trailer, introduced by John Boyega (Finn, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), below:

 

EF hope to bring you a full review of Star Wars Battlefront II after the game launches on November 17th. Check out the official Star Wars Battlefront II website for more information on the game.

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