It’s no secret that the reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront in 2015 stirred up a bit of controversy. With no single-player mode, a meager list of maps, and some clear pandering to casual audiences, it was a massive disappointment for most fans. Electronic Arts has had its… issues with the gaming community in the past, and dumbing down a classic while adding day-1 DLC and a “Season Pass” did not endear themselves to consumers.
Based on the impressive sales of the Battlefront reboot—14 million copies in less than 6 months—a sequel was inevitable. And while it’s always a risk to get hyped up over an EA project, it looks like they might have properly addressed the issues this time. Take a look at the official preview for Battlefront II, releasing on November 17 of this year:
If there’s one thing the Battlefront reboot actually nailed, it was the aesthetic experience of Star Wars. Running on DICE’s Frostbite engine, the battles were a sight to behold, and it appears things haven’t changed here. What has changed, apparently, is nearly everything that consumers disliked about the previous entry.
For one, the game now actually provides modes and options for those who want to play offline or solo. A single-player campaign will follow new character Iden Versio, whose tale will serve as a link between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. Additionally, the arcade will allow one or two players to tackle missions and game modes locally, no online needed. This isn’t just a nice added bonus either—it’s a return to true form, as the original two Battlefront titles featured campaign modes.
Special attention has also been paid to the gameplay mechanics and variety. There are over a dozen new maps to fight through, including Yavin IV, Tatooine, and Episode VII‘s Starkiller Base. There are scores of new vehicles and an expanded roster of heroes, with fan favorites like Darth Maul and Kylo Ren joining the fight. Coupled with the newly-introduced class system and additional mid-level units, there figures to be enough breadth and depth for those who found the 2015 entry too streamlined.
An updated progression system makes using these new tools easy and fair. Unlike the last title, where cool vehicles and chances to play as one of the heroes were doled out at random, a new “Battle Points” system will reward capable play during matches with currency that can be used to upgrade your unit or unsheathe a lightsaber and go to town.
Finally—and most importantly—there’s a sensible approach to DLC for this new Battlefront. Small microtransactions will let impatient players fast-track their progression, but there’s allegedly nothing that can be purchased that can’t also be earned through gameplay. Even more critical, however, is that all DLC maps will be free.
“I think the main thing here is to keep the community together,” design director Niklas Fegraeus told GameSpot in June. “‘If you have this content you can play here, but if you have this content you can play here.’ And if you don’t share, you will be split up. What we wanted to do was have a journey that starts at the launch of the game.”
Battlefront II has a lot to live up to, and EA has a lot to prove to their consumers. However, like Empire Strikes Back is to A New Hope, this sequel will hopefully be better than the original.