I still remember playing the original Star Wars: Battlefront on my PS2 back in the day. Back then we expected a lot less from video games and we’re astonished to see Star Wars come to life so well. To say the least, playing the new Star Wars Battlefront II Beta makes me feel old and nostalgic. It is this nostalgia that gives me so much natural bias towards the rebooted series, now controlled by gaming EA Dice (Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge). I played 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront and was soon overcome with the same frustration my grandmother feels when I explain why a computer is better than a typewriter. I just preferred the simpler original Battlefront games over the reboot. I felt it was unbalanced, thin on content, and lacking all the things that made the originals so great. I admit this all to you, so you know where I’m coming from when I say EA Dice has actually delivered us the Star Wars game we never really knew we needed.
The maps in Star Wars Battlefront II Beta themselves are beautiful works of asymmetrical level design that create tactically interesting choke points. The Beta includes the galactic assault map Naboo, and the strike map Takodana, both of which contain numerous interactive objects, flanking routes, and unique cover. The graphics are extraordinary but the subtle thing about these maps is the contrast in color; Naboo captures all the shine and polish of the prequels while subsequently the fight over Maz’s castle gets the bleak earthiness of the original trilogy and newer films just right.
When you spawn into one of these inspired maps you select one of the four returning classes which include assault, heavy, officer, and specialist. These classes equip you with vastly different blasters and unique equipment. The new class system is actually unbalanced in a good way, forcing teamwork and mutual cooperation. This emphasis on teamwork is assisted by the delayed squad respawn, which successfully prevents the running in and dying situation that so often plagues those inexperienced with team based shooters.
Star Wars Battlefront II is much more streamlined and balanced than its predecessor and demands applause for EA Dice for reworking the aspects and mechanics that the players were frustrated with. One of the most pivotal changes is that special classes, heros, and vehicles are no longer random but are now on a per game battle points system that (lucky for me) doesn’t start over every time you die. While this does cause frustration in the beginning while you are still getting used to the mechanics of the game, the effects of it are game changing. The better you are doing, the more battle points you obtain which means you will be able to play as these characters more often, ultimately tipping the scales of the battle in your team’s favor.
While some may disparage the continued use of cards to further customize and equip your character, they do provide a necessary diversity to the character builds. The gun play in Star Wars Battlefront II carries much more weight than the previous installment and with such a high learning curve, each successful encounter is much more satisfying. Dispute all of these changes, the area the game really excels is with its starfighter assault. Never has a game made me go full fanboy more than when I changed the view to inside the cockpit of my X-Wing. The flight mechanics take some getting used to, but when you master the controls, it is certainly a thrilling experience.
At this time, the only content available in the campaign is a trailer, but what we can expect is a combination of both land and space battles as we follow an Imperial soldier: Inferno Squad’s Iden Versio, in a canonical story set right after the events of Return Of The Jedi. The full campaign will be available launch on November 17th 2017 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Check back with Electricbento.com for more news and a review of Star Wars Battlefront II.