Star Wars Battlefront II Preview — It Has the High Ground
Staff writers Logan and Tomas were recently able to sit down and play over an hour of the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II before then sharing their thoughts with each other.
Logan: Hey Tomas. How was your day?
Tomas: Good, how about yours? Nice weather we are having. It’s the perfect time to play Star Wars Battlefront II at EA Play.
L: Agreed. So you and I are some of the biggest fans of the Battlefront series at DualShockers and we both got to play about an hour of the new Battlefront II today. How’re you feeling about it so far?
T: I’m loving it. It fixes many of the problems I had with 2015’s Battlefront. Character classes have returned, aerial and space combat are much more prevalent, and the game looks and sounds spectacular.
L: Yeah, somehow it looks markedly better than the 2015 Battlefront which I didn’t really think was possible. I knew it would be prettier, but not by this much. The audio sounds fantastic as well. It’s so nice to hear the droids shout, “Roger, roger!” on the battlefield. Say what you want about them as movies, but I’m really glad the prequels are in this game. Seriously though, you said it first: classes. Those are totally going to change how Battlefront II is played compared to the previous game. It feels a bit more similar to Battlefield now, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. 2015’s Battlefront was a bit too arcadey at times and I like that certain characters will now be able to specialize in certain areas a bit more. It adds some much needed depth to the sequel.
T: Yes, I do feel like Battlefront was a bit limited in its scope, so I am glad to see all of the new features that the developers are bringing into this entry. I felt more comfortable trying out all of the different classes in my time with Star Wars Battlefront II than I ever really did with Battlefront’s card system. Each class still has a bit of customization to them, as you can change their weapons and special abilities, but all in all it is much more streamlined and fun to jump into. The addition of special unlockable classes and heroes also keeps matches fresh and constantly changing.
L: I’m totally digging the in-match unlockable system. It provides a ton more depth than the token system from the previous game ever did. It also serves as a way to reward those who are actually doing well in a match, rather than rewarding those who camp near the token spawn points. I think the best thing about this new system is that you have to be really decisive with what you spend your points on. If you get a quick number of points early on, you choose to play as something like a jetpack trooper or super battle droid. If you do that though, you sacrifice the points you would need to to save up and play as a hero character like Rey, Boba Fett, Han Solo, or Darth Maul. That said, choosing that super battle droid class or any of the other lower tier upgrades early on could give you that extra boost to help you earn those points back quickly anyway. There’s a nice give-and-take that I really enjoyed in my small amount of time with it.
T: All of the classes and heroes felt very distinct and played differently enough from each other. I preferred the heavy class, as its minigun mows through enemies and the shield provides a great defensive option in tight situations. Piloting the spaceships and different vehicles felt good and a lot more fleshed out than in 2015’s Battlefront. These sections also mesh well with all of the other styles of gameplay, which makes vehicles seem like a much more necessary component of combat than they were before.
L: The vehicles do feel a little bit more like they’re part of the battle this time compared to the last game. That said, I still feel like that element of the game is kind of its own world that is distanced from everything else. The ships never really had an affect on me while I was battling on the ground. I can’t even remember a ship strafing by at any point to try and shoot me. Again though, we did only play for an hour so that may not be indicative of how future matches will work. I wanted to know how you felt about the new game mode we played, Assault on Theed. It felt like a mix between Walker Assault and Supremacy to me. It was a fun game mode, but if I’m being honest I didn’t really care for the map. It was a bit too linear for my taste.
T: The map was linear, but that also kept the action bottlenecked and focused. I was constantly getting in firefights. I had a lot of fun with Assault on Theed, but I can’t wait to see what other multiplayer modes the game has in store.
L: Same here. Assault on Theed is a good start to new game modes and I hope we see more soon. I also haven’t mentioned it specifically yet, but it was really fun to play as Rey. New heroes are always a joy to try out for the first time. All in all though, I think the multiplayer this time around is going to have a lot more staying power. I can see myself coming back to this game for months, and that’s coming from someone who played the 2015 Battlefront for somewhere around 80 hours.
T: As someone who dropped the 2015 Battlefront shortly after release due to a lack of content, I am confidant that Star Wars Battlefront II will hold my interest for much longer because of what seems like many new maps, modes, and characters to play as.
L: While we didn’t preview it today, I did want to know what you think about the game’s campaign and when we’ll hear more about that. EA was surprisingly silent about it today. Think we hear more about it before E3 ends?
T: I certainly hope so. I think there is a chance we may see it again in Sony’s Conference, but even if we don’t, I’ll still be interested in learning more about the game’s story, as it explores a time period that has not really covered since the Star Wars canon was reset after the Disney acquisition. A campaign was sorely missing from the first game, so I am eager to see whatever they have in store for us.
L: I agree with everything you said. I also have this feeling that we’re going to hear more about Iden Versio and the rest of Inferno Squad at Sony’s conference. EA splashed the PlayStation logo on screen a lot today before showing new trailers and footage of Battlefront II. It would make a lot of sense to focus on the multiplayer today and the campaign on Monday.
T: I guess we will have to wait until then to find out.
L: That we will.