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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Preview: A New Hope

/ Jul 13th, 2017 No Comments

Star Wars Battlefront 2

When EA announced it was rebooting the beloved Star Wars Battlefront franchise, there was unsurprisingly a lot of excitement. The potential of a modern multiplayer shooter set in the expansive Star Wars universe seemed boundless. However, 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront didn’t live up to the hype.

The lack of depth in Battlefront was strikingly apparent; the game had no single-player mode and its systems in multiplayer were basic. Now, developer EA Dice has a second chance at the Battlefront franchise, and it is building on its solid foundation. Based on what was shown at the EA Play event just before E3 2017, Star Wars Battlefront 2 represents a significant step forward for the franchise.

Han Solo

Battlefront 2’s most exciting new feature is a single-player campaign with a unique story. Players take on the role of Iden Versio, an elite special forces officer for the Imperial, after the death of the Emperor. That’s right, you will not be playing as a heroic member of the Rebel Alliance. Instead, you will experience the game from a new perspective, the perspective of the “bad guy.”

The campaign, which will be considered Star Wars canon, takes place immediately following the events of Return of the Jedi. Versio and her special forces group, Inferno Squad, witness the explosion of the Death Star II and seek to get revenge for the destruction caused by the Rebels.

Despite this renewed focus on a solo experience that will span 30 years, EA did not reveal that much detail about the Battlefront 2’s narrative. Gameplay revealed a game that certainly feels like Battlefront, but with updated visuals and tighter controls. There is certainly an epic scale to missions, and Versio’s flying drone companion seems to fun to use. Battlefront 2 appears to improve upon the gameplay of its predecessor, but its plot will be equally as important.

Taking on the role of a member of the Imperial forces will bring up conflicting feelings for many Star Wars fans, so it is imperative that players develop an empathic relationship with Versio. What we saw during EA Play is a good start, but we will need to see more than just a string of inconsequential missions from Battlefront 2’s campaign. For now, at least it will have one.

No Battle-frontin’

Battlefront 2 cleans up the ill-conceived multiplayer of the 2015 original. While gameplay was good enough, multiplayer systems were nowhere near its first-person shooter counterparts. To solve this, Battlefront 2 will introduce a class system featuring four different types of characters.

Players can choose between specialist (a sniper class), heavy trooper (a slower soldier who has tons of firepower), officer (who offers support and healing) and the more generic assault trooper classes. Each fighter will be customizable, so your loadout may differ from others in the same class. This provides a lot more incentive to keep playing, something the original game did not.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Multiplayer systems in Star Wars Battlefront 2 make sense.

Rather than finding a token on the map to spawn one of Star Wars’ well-known heroes, in Battlefront 2, iconic characters come from earning battle points throughout matches. Battle points can be used to unleash legends from the Star Wars universe. The efficiency of characters like Darth Maul and Rey makes them extremely satisfying to use in combat, and it is especially intense when each team has one of these powerful characters spawned and they go up against each other.

Since battles take place across the Star Wars universe and timeline, it is intriguing to see these dream matches take place. Rey wielding a lightsaber in battle against Han Solo in his prime could never happen in the film franchise, so it’s enjoyable to watch these matchups play out in the virtual Star Wars world. It’s like matching up the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors against the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls in NBA 2K.

Star Wars Celebration

EA has a significant investment in the Star Wars universe. The company has committed to making many different types of Star Wars games. That is why it is so important for Battlefront 2 to be meet and exceed high expectations. If it fails, it could greatly impact interest in future Star Wars games.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 earns Best of E3 2017 honors.

Developers at EA Dice are doing everything they can to make sure Battlefront 2 satisfies Star Wars fans. Not only does the sequel add a single-player experience, that campaign is a unique story from a completely new perspective. Multiplayer also underwent solid improvements that bring it up to par with current generation shooters. That is why Star Wars Battlefront 2 is one of our picks for best of E3 2017.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is set to release Nov. 17 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
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