One of the highlights of EA’s Madden/FIFA-heavy presser was an extended look at Star Wars Battlefront II. We got to see snippets of campaign footage, which you can check out below:
There are wookies, Darth Maul, Rey, Kylo Ren, Yoda, some of the droids you were looking for, as well as more lasery explosions than you can poke a light saber at. Magnificent. This is definitely a proactive response to fans’ complaints about the lack of a single-player campaign in the first game, which is really a no-brainer considering the rich Star Wars universe from which to draw inspiration for interesting stories.
Much of the focus was on multiplayer during the reveal, and it has the same glorious look of the first game, but with some very important tweaks. Firstly there are classes, with class-specific weapons and abilities and separate progression systems likely to add some depth to what was quite a shallow affair in the first game. Also, gone is the awful power pick-up system from the original, which is now replaced with a far more sensible Battle Point system. Here, earning kills or playing the objective earns you points, which you can then trade for powerful abilities, hero characters and vehicles. It’s redolent of the scorestreaks from recent Call of Duty games, but they don’t reset on death and so can be saved up without fear you’ll lose them when someone decapitates you with a light saber. The more exotic and powerful abilities cost more points, and if done right will mean there could be an interesting meta in which some players save up their Battle Points for bigger and better abilities for when a match game comes down to the crunch. It also ensures that actual skill is rewarded, rather than simply picking up a token that you didn’t earn like in the first game.
Another aspect in which EA appear to have heard the masses is map diversity and numbers. The original game had an appalling amount of maps on release, and while they were incredibly beautiful to look at, the paltry amount of locations was sub-par by any yardstick for a shooter. So far, maps from Naboo, Kamino. Starkiller Base and Kashyk (wookies!) have been announced, but locations will be drawn from all eras of Star Wars’ lengthy history, so expect the final list to be much longer.
Finally, EA have announced that all post-launch content will be free, which is simply amazing considering EA’s less than stellar background in this regard. You can be sure they’ll try and make an extra buck somewhere (hopefully not any pay-to-win shenanigans), but offering new maps and heroes for free is a welcome gesture.
Will Battlefront II make up for the mistakes of the first title that earned it such a middling response? All indications seem to be in the affirmative thus far. We’ll update you as any new details come to light.