The only thing Star Wars fans have been looking forward to more than the upcoming Last Jedi film installment is EA’s latest iteration of the Battlefront series. Now, with Star Wars Battlefront II’s launch just around the corner the veil is being lifted and we got a chance to go hands-on with everything multiplayer and see what we can expect from the full version of the game.
Through most modes you’ll be able to play as one of four classes all with their own perks and abilities. As you play however you’ll be able to augment their loadouts or give them buffs with battlecards you collect either through loot boxes or purchasing them with in-game currency. You’ll start out with just one slot on each class for battlecards, but more slots unlock as you collect more cards for that specific character. You’ll also now be able to unlock cards for vehicles and heroes this time around.
The main classes are pretty straightforward: Assault is your standard boots on the ground soldier with a blaster and a special short range gun. Heavy class is all about bringing the big guns to the battlefield and has a special ability that lets them bust out a chaingun and give allies around them a buff against explosive attacks. Officers are the support class and can buff teammates around them. And the Specialist class is your long-range sniper. Various levels will also have specialty classes, like Wookie Warriors, Jet Pack Troopers, and Heavy Assault Droids that you can unlock by scoring points during combat.
Heroes will also be available in certain modes of play if you score enough points and will each have their own set of abilities. There are plenty of Jedi to choose from; Luke, Vader, Yoda, Darth Maul, Emperor Palpatine and Rey will all be making appearance. Everyone’s favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett and his buddy Bossk will join the party as well. Of course, Han, Chewie and Leia are back because how could they not be. And my main man Lando is going to bring the fire as well.
While Jedis will do things like force choke and lightning stun enemies before unleashing a barrage melee attacks, there seems to be a bit more variety among the blaster wielding heroes. For instance, Lando has infrared vision when aiming down his sights, Boba Fett gets a rocket backpack on top the standard three class abilities, Leia can charge her blaster for an explosive shot, and Bossk can temporarily bust out a grenade launcher that also comes with his own reptilian infrared vision.
The multiplayer modes themselves look to offer everything that was great about the last Battlefront and either augments it or expands upon it. Blaster mode offers up your classic PvP throwdowns in a 10-on-10 shootout that ends when the first team gets to 100 kills. Strikes will offer up asymmetrical attack or defend objective based battles. Hero mode pits players in 4v4 matches of Dark Side vs Light Side as each tries to simultaneously defend and assault their respective player targets.
Starfighter Assault takes the to the skies and space for flight-based combat. Only this time each map comes with its own objectives. So you might find yourself having to defend shield generators from bomber assaults on an Empire space station or take off in your A-Wing to help the Rebellion overthrow them in remains of a blown up Deathstar. On top of the fighter, interceptor and bomber classes, if you score enough points you may be able to get behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon, Vader’s custom TIE-fighter, Luke’s X-Wing, and a ton more. Starfighter Assault is definitely looking like an improvement over air combat in the last title. Maps are now full of obstacles and challenges beyond just having to kill the most ships. You’ll need to learn how to maneuver and fight at the same time.
But beyond all these modes the most Star Wars of them would have to be Galactic Assault. Building on the popularity of the last Battlefront’s Walker Assault mode which put players in the middle of the battle for Hoth, Galactic Assault takes the concept to the rest of Star Wars canon. Meaning on top of the Hoth battle, you’ll get to head to Kamino to either defend the Clone database from the prequels or destroy them as part of the droid army. You’ll also get to head to Kashyyyk to attempt to stop the Droids from overrunning a Republic base with two massive MTT tanks.
My personal impression is that a lot of the stuff I felt was missing from the last game looks to have been added for this new iteration. We’ll have to wait until the game releases on November 17th to really run it through its paces, but it’s definitely feeling like there’s a lot that’s a step in the right direction for the franchise. You’ll be able to check it out for yourself on PS4, XBox One and PC soon enough.