It’s amazing how much we’ve missed Star Wars Battlefront. Oh yes, we can install it again, but we miss the joy of experiencing it for the first time, seeing the Star Wars universe up close in more detail than we could’ve possibly imagined. DICE got the feel of Star Wars exactly right, but after a month or so of play… the problems started to raise their heads. Far-too-good players, never being able to be a hero, lack of variety, only a couple of Walker Assaults, that damned sniper laser… Battlefront lost its charm quickly. Now we’ve at last had the chance to play Star Wars Battlefront 2, just before the beta hits, and we can see if DICE have fixed all the problems.
Guide to the Locations of Battlefront 2!The Evil Within 2 Hands-On Impressions!
Our multiplayer gameplay demo was set on the capital city of Theed on Naboo, and it was a Clone Wars Republic vs Separatists round, aka Clone Troopers vs Battle Droids. The style was Assault – Droids attacking, complete with AAT Battle Tanks, and Clones defending the palace. As the Separatists got to a certain point the Clone were forced to retreat into the palace, until it became a battle for control of the Throne Room. It was the same demo they showed at E3 played by “influencers”, except we were playing it! And it was pretty darn cool.
First a note on the setting: while I personally can’t stand The Phantom Menace, I do love the Clone Wars TV show and I’m overjoyed to see the Battlefront series return to it. The Classic Trilogy will always be the best, but for variety having the other parts of the Saga represented can only be a good thing. Most importantly though, as Pandemic’s 2005 Battlefront II proved, the Clone Wars works perfectly with this game. The setup, of two mass-produced armies fighting an endless war, just fits snugly into the Battlefront setup so I’m very happy to see it back.
That said, the one thing I wasn’t happy with was that I was playing on PS4. I had no idea of the controls, I’m astonished I got any kills, and I’m very glad I wasn’t capturing any gameplay (not very often I say that) since you guys would be humiliating me for the rest of my life.
I was put on the Republic side (yay), defending Theed Palace against the Droid forces of the sinister Separatists (boo). I tried out three classes, one of which I’ll save for a moment. I started with a basic Clone Trooper, or “Assault” class, who I regularly got slaughtered as until I gave up as him. His Card Powers were Thermal Detonator grenade, which I used a lot and I’m not sure I hit a single person with, Disruption, which disables weapons and vehicles temporarily if caught by it, and a new power for Battlefront 2 called Vanguard: Replenish. This last one equips the Trooper (or Droid, since the Separatist Assault class also has this power apparently) with a shotgun-like Scattergun that you can use for a limited time, and if you kill someone with it the timer gets reset.
After a few deaths and I’m pretty sure zero kills, I moved to the Heavy class of Trooper. For beginners (or, er, people using an unfamiliar control scheme) Heavy is probably the best way to have fun. I even preferred his Card Powers. Barrage was the weakest, firing grenades at an area, but once we ventured inside it became far more useful. Combat Shield creates a shield in one direction (no, not the crappy band that everyone’s already forgotten about) that allows you chance to regenerate some health – or, most likely, sets all enemies against you and allows your team chance to breath and do some damage.
Sentry was probably my favourite Card Power. It slows the Heavy Trooper’s movement, but it also gives you a powerful chaingun-like heavy blaster that just tears through opponents. I got 90% of my kills with this power alone, and once we’d reached the narrow corridors and areas of the Throne Room it was utterly lethal. A very for-everyone power, especially for use in enclosed spaces, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the first game. Might be a bit useless outdoors but I loved it.
Theed Palace was surprisingly vast, with a lot of side-corridors to go with the main atrium, where two large staircases snaked up the sides and basically created death for anyone around them. The top, however, was a circular area with pillars all around it that made ideal cover – or just things to hide behind. Often I was defending against attack from the front door and was shot from behind by a player who’d snuck around and was ducked behind one of these pillars. They got far too many kills that way.
It wasn’t until Darth Maul turned up that I started to worry about our victory chances. Seeing Maul with his double-lightsaber up close is terrifying, and the animation on him is superb. Lightsaber combat and movement was kind of loose in the first Battlefront, but Maul was an absolute whirlwind of light and death. Until I shot him, rather proudly.
Now, the big change to Battlefront 2 is how special ability Tokens work – in that they no longer really exist. Instead players get Battle Points as they rack up actions, such as kills, assists, or activating key equipment. These points can then be spent on the respawn screen on what were previously Tokens, such as Vehicles or – gulp – Heroes.
500 or 750 points would get me a Starfighter, which I’d fly around in for two seconds before either getting shot down or crashing. 1000 points would net me a ground vehicle, in this case for the Clones a little AT-RT one-man walker. 2000 would get me a new Trooper Class, in this case a Jumptrooper with Battlefront’s previously-essential Jumppack. For a colossal 5000 points you can play as a Hero. Droids had Darth Maul and Boba Fett, Clones had Han Solo and Rey.
For basically all the match I was watching my Points counter slowly count up to 5000, and I refused to spend any of it. Finally I made it, but – oh no! Someone was already playing as Rey! I wanted a lightsaber character dammit! Sigh. Alright, Han Solo it was. Han was cool, but he did play much like how he does in Battlefront 1. Powerful with an awesome blaster, mostly. His Shoulder Charge move is back, as is Sharpshooter where he fires a load of shots in quick succession. Detonite Charge is new, replacing the charge-up Lucky Shot, and it’s basically a sticky remote mine which is awesome.
I took out a few Droids, quipping all the way, and – we won! With me undefeated as Han Solo! Hooray!
Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be out November 17 on PC, Xbox One and PS4. The Standard Edition can be pre-ordered on Origin now for £54.99/$59.99. Pre-ordering will get you early access to the Multiplayer Beta so it starts on October 4 rather than the 7th, as well as an epic Lightsaber Mastery card for Yoda (Yoda’s playable?!) and The Last Jedi themed skins for Rey, Kylo Ren, and the Millennium Falcon.
Do you know what Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) reminded me most of? Star Wars Battlefront II (2005). The class choices screen at respawn in particular was identical to Pandemic’s last Battlefront, but the inclusion of the Clone Wars and Naboo really heightened that, since the last time I played massive multiplayer skirmishes as Droids and Clones in the streets of Theed was in 2005 - or, well, earlier this year via GOG and GameRanger. A lot of people were unhappy with the way DICE’s first Battlefront went, feeling that generally Pandemic’s last game offered more variety, action, and single-player fun.
While all the problems might be pushing it, DICE have seemingly indeed done their utmost to fix the problems people had with Battlefront, even going so far as to take inspiration from the 2005 game, and that’s very good news. There’s a sweet new Campaign which I haven’t played yet but I’m massively looking forward to. Tokens, which players previously hogged, are gone so anyone can play a Hero if they wish – and they’re good enough. The Theed map was epic and proves that DICE are on the right track, and the inclusion of the Clone Wars opens up the entire Star Wars universe as maps. I’m just astonished that there’s no Geonosis map.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 has a release date of November 17, and yes, we will be getting it. Will we quit a month later as cheaters and play-all-the-time no-fun exploiters take over? Hopefully not, but our short play time proves we’ll have fun while it lasts, since even when dying all the time we were loving it. There’s always the Heavy class, the Campaign of course! We can’t wait.
Are you planning on picking up Battlefront 2? Did you like the first game, or did you fall off after a month like we did? Are you just getting it for the campaign or will you dip into the multiplayer? Let us know in the comments!
Most Anticipated Feature
Not going to lie, it’s the Campaign. It looks epic.
About Chris J Capel
Chris joined us in 2011 and loves Star Wars, comics and bad videogame movies.