Star Wars Battlefront 2 was an early high point from E3 2017, with DICE taking to the stage during E3 2017’s EA Play presentation in order to outline their plans for the blockbuster sequel. While the first Battlefront game certainly had its admirers, it also had plenty of detractors and a significant amount of problems that prevented it from being the critically acclaimed Star Wars masterpiece many were hoping it would be. DICE has insisted that this will not be the case with its follow-up, with them having kept an ear open to those who didn’t enjoy the first game, and responding by making major improvements to the sequel.
With that being said, we’ve compiled a list of all new details showcased in Battlefront 2‘s E3 2017 presentation we loved, and the details we felt less thrilled about.
We Loved: An interesting single-player campaign
DICE made a point of saying that they had listened to the “constructive criticism” offered by players of their first Star Wars Battlefront game, with a dedicated single-player campaign being introduced in its sequel as a result. This campaign will place players in the boots of Imperial Inferno Squad commander Iden Versio, offering a unique perspective in which you can experience the conflict of the Star Wars films from the perspective of a baddie — only this baddie believes that the Rebels are the antagonists.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story having explored darker shades of the Rebellion that were glossed over in previous Star Wars films, it’ll be interesting to see how DICE tackles this narrative in a way, and if they’ll manage to make it believable that a soldier of an army previously led by Darth bloody Vader actually thinks she’s one of the good guys.
A demo of the campaign has been made available to play at E3, and rather than being a single-player version of the game’s multiplayer battles like the original Battlefront games, it instead offers unique gameplay and objectives that aren’t present in its online component. Stealthily crouch behind small Gonk droids in order to sneak past enemies; shoot control panels in order to trap Rebels in corridors; use special abilities unique to Iden such as sending out a hovering droid to electrocute your foes. It remains to be seen whether or not DICE will continue to dish out these cool affectations throughout Battlefront 2‘s campaign, but after the success of Battlefield 1‘s story, we hope that they’ll bring over some of that magic to Star Wars.
We Didn’t Love: Empty skies
One of the main complaints players had with the original Star Wars Battlefront was its aerial battles. For a game based upon the explosive battles of the Star Wars series, there was very little evidence of a war actually taking place in the stars, with dogfights relegated to a few ships zooming around in the skies above each map. Outside of the Walker Assault mode there was very little reason to hop into a TIE Fighter or an X-Wing, with the game’s skies routinely underpopulated and it being much easier to confront the enemy team with your boots planted firmly on the ground.
The Star Wars Battlefront 2 gameplay reveal didn’t suggest that much has changed in this regard. The land-to-space battles that players have been hoping for since the original Battlefront games are still nowhere to be seen, and while it appears that Battlefront 2‘s ships can cause more headaches for the enemy players sprinting beneath them this time around, it doesn’t appear that much has changed in terms of how the ships take on one another. The gameplay footage depicted a few N-1 Fighters chasing down enemies above Naboo, but it looked a lot less appealing than the war being waged on foot. Hopefully DICE gives pilots more of an incentive to take to the skies in the sequel.
We Loved: Character classes
The original Battlefront suffered from a significant amount of depth, but DICE has sought to change that by way of re-introducing character classes to the series, allowing for unique weaponry and abilities to improve and customize.
The four new classes include the Officer, a medic and support class, the Assault class, the mid-range soldiers, the Heavy, the heavy weapons class, and the Specialist sniper class. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and will help to provide the game with a lot more replay value than its predecessor.
We Didn’t Love: Lack of change to the fundamentals
Star Wars Battlefront 2 appears to be more of the same from DICE, and depending upon your thoughts on the first game that’s either a good or a bad thing. Rather than drastically changing the fundamentals of the game, DICE has instead made major improvements to them, and though many Star Wars fans will be over the moon with these changes we have yet to see anything from the early gameplay footage that has surprised us.
The weaponry feels meatier and more impactful, the unlock system has been given more depth and it looks gorgeous running at 1080p and 60fps, but if we had penned a list of features we thought were guaranteed to make it into Battlefront 2, these would have been right at the top. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but nothing about the Battlefront 2 gameplay reveal was jaw-dropping.
We Loved: Prequel content
We all know that the prequels didn’t live up to expectations, but George Lucas at least nailed their action sequences. This is why so many Star Wars fans wanted to see prequel content introduced in the original game, but DICE has instead decided to role it out especially for Star Wars Battlefront 2, and it looks great. Though the Separatist Droid Army is hardly as memorable an enemy force as the Empire, they do at least allow for a more varied range of character classes, and there’s nothing more satisfying than slicing up their robotic bodies with Rey’s lightsaber.
We hope that Battlefront 2 contains a healthy balance between prequel and original trilogy content — God knows we don’t want the prequel stuff to outweigh the content from actual good movies — but there’s still a lot for DICE to play with in Episode‘s I – III that could help the game blow its predecessor out of the water.