Game overview: Star Wars Battlefront II

Sun, 2017/10/01
Ethan Castro

With “Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi” due for release in theaters on December 15, 2017, many fans of the series are looking to relive the myriad battles that have taken place in that far, far away galaxy (a long time ago). From Disney parks to LEGO sets, “Star Wars” is no stranger to promotional co-branding. Among these many marketing outlets, the upcoming video game “Star Wars Battlefront II” promises to return to the roots of the “Battlefront” series by featuring all three eras of the series (the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the ongoing sequel trilogy), a return to class-based multiplayer combat, a full-fledged single-player campaign, and a promise of “a ‘Star Wars’ experience like none other,” as was stated in the game’s “This is Star Wars Battlefront 2 official trailer published by its developer, Electronic Arts Star Wars (EA Star Wars). The game’s predecessor, simply titled “Star Wars Battlefront,” (released in 2015), received many criticisms for its lack of content and deep progression. From the details released thus far, “Star Wars Battlefront II” is building upon these criticisms and will present a much more complete package upon its release on November 17, 2017.

            In comparison to the first “Battlefront” game, “Star Wars Battlefront II” will feature 18 total locations (as opposed to the first’s game’s four), 14 playable hero characters (as opposed to the first game’s six), and 39 usable vehicles (as opposed to the first game’s 11). Iconic areas from all three trilogies, including the planets Kamino, Hoth, and Jakku, the Death Star II, Starkiller Base, and many more are available for battling in both multiplayer and single-player experiences.

A variety of additions have been made to the game’s multiplayer experience in order to add higher levels of depth and progression. For example, in multiplayer, players can choose to play as one of four classes: assault (first strike troopers excelling at close-range, anti-personnel combat), heavy (offensive and defensive juggernauts that lay down heavy suppressing fire), specialist (snipers and trap-setters with a wide arsenal of tricks and intelligence-gathering capabilities), and officer (the team’s lynchpins capable of applying powerful team buffs and other upgrades to the other three classes). With this class structure, the game’s multiplayer will have an extra layer of complexity that will add additional playability value. An added layer of depth also comes from the overhauled Battle Points system in which points earned during a match can be used to spawn in as special, faction-specific classes such as B2 Super Battle Droids, Wookiee warriors, or First Order flame troopers, vehicles such as the iconic X-Wing, and hero/villain characters such as Yoda, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, and Rey. Each of these unique classes, vehicles, and characters all have their own special abilities and weapons that all require their own practice and customization. The game’s robust Star Card system allows each facet of the game to be customized to the player’s liking, in addition to customizing the weapons and abilities of the four base classes. With five different game modes that take place both on the ground and in space, with all three eras represented and both online and split-screen capabilities, this game’s multiplayer is certainly shaping up be a much more robust and complete experience in comparison to the 2015 iteration.

However, this game’s improvements from the earlier title are not limited to its multiplayer experience. The game also featured a full-length single-player story campaign that tells the untold story of Commander Iden Versio, an elite soldier of the Galactic Empire’s Inferno Squad, as she continues her war against the Empire’s enemies in between the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi” and “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.” This fully-canon story experience is promised to take place across a wide array of familiar “Star Wars” locations and feature many new and returning characters for the universe’s rich lore.

The final note to be made about “Star Wars Battlefront II” is EA Star Wars’ commitment to the game full life cycle. In usual fashion with large-scale multiplayer games such as this, the developers intend to regularly release technical support fixes and content updates to keep the experience fresh and balanced. The strategic decision to release all post-launch downloadable content for free means that the game’s player base will not become divided between those who have paid for such content and those who have not.

Although the game will not be released until November 17 of this year, EA Star Wars seems to be very strongly dedicated to building off the criticisms of their prior “Star Wars” game by releasing a much more expansive and rich (in terms of storyline lore and gameplay content) experience that will surely cater to all fans of the saga. However, all of these advertisements and promises mean nothing if the final project does not deliver on expectations. As was said by Master Yoda himself, “do or do not. There is no try.” And in the eyes of gamers, the game will either live up to these high expectations, or it will generate further cries of disappointment, like its predecessor before it.