E3 2017 is in full swing, starting on a high with Electronic Arts’ press conference. Among glimpses at a new IP and footage of a handful of sports and action games came the highly anticipated focus on Star Wars Battlefront 2. EA promised “30 minute of pure, unadulterated Star Wars” fun, and the publisher cranked the hype up to the nth degree when it rolled pre-recorded footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega confirming his character, Finn, would be a playable hero in Battlefront 2. Just not at launch.
Before the big news broke, Boyega popped on screen to give a few quips about Battlefront‘s lack of story mode, something EA intends to amend in the upcoming title. The actor swung back around for a second appearance to confirm Finn’s inclusion in Star Wars Battlefront 2 as part of the game’s first DLC season. All peripheral content is free to obtain, and the first bundle includes new characters fans have long been yearning for, namely Captain Phasma (portrayed in the films by Gwendoline Christie).
The first content pack will, expectedly, tack on maps, levels, character-to-character dynamics, and elements seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Finn and Phasma join the sinister Sith Lord Darth Maul, the wise Yoda, everyone’s favorite space-faring Jedi Luke Skywalker, the could-be-a-Skywalker Rey, the seriously angsty Kylo Ren, and the scruffy-looking Nerf-herder Han Solo.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Game Director Dennis Brannvall explained that the heroes will work under a rock-paper-scissors type of functionality, in which certain character types are more effective against others. Brannvall also promised that Battlefront 2 players will notice that heroes bring more physical presence than ever before. Gamers will actually feel stronger and more powerful — in a sort of phantom physicality — as they traverse through the game as their hero of choice.
Additionally, EA confirmed that all heroes, vehicles, and maps that release subsequent to the game’s launch are entirely free. These include new maps like Theed, which joins a number of already announced 40-user multiplayer maps: Mos Eisley Spaceport, Yavin IV, Starkiller Base, and the Kamino Cloning Facility. Players who preorder Battlefront 2 will be gifted with four upgraded player classes: the Elite Officer, Heavy Metal, Armored Assault, and Master Specialist. They’ll also gain access to the game three days early. Talk about a win-win!
During EA Play, developer DICE unveiled a stellar new multiplayer trailer (slightly different from the leaked Battlefront 2 footage) that showed off an intense battle on Theed, the capital city of the Outer Rim Territories planet Naboo. Also shown was an entirely too short look at Battlefront 2‘s single-player campaign that centers around an Imperial solider fighting for what he believes is right.
Unfortunately, no other Star Wars games were discussed during the EA Play briefing today. That means absolutely no official word on the titles in development at the Dead Space series studio Visceral Games or with Titanfall developer Respawn.
Despite the slight disappointment of focusing exclusively Battlefront 2 and nothing else Star Wars-related, EA does appear to have gotten one important thing right: listening to fan feedback. By the looks of gameplay footage and by details dished up during the company’s presentation, progression and depth in Battlefront 2 have definitely been influenced by the game franchise’s playerbase. Adding in Finn and Phasma as new heroes is just the cherry on top.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is slated to release on November 17, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.