While Star Wars Battlefront (2015) had its fair share of fans, it’s generally agreed among gamers that developer DICE could have done better. No single player campaign, no co-op at launch, and a limited multiplayer scope are some of the criticisms that were raised against the first game, and its sequel, Star Wars Battlefront 2, hopes to make sure fans are satisfied.
As part of the EA Play E3 2017 event, Game Rant was able to go hands-on with Star Wars Battlefront 2’s multiplayer to see just what has changed and what has not. Like the multiplayer gameplay reveal during the event, we were given a chance to check out the Assault on Theed, which takes place on the Planet Naboo.
Battlefield Meets Battlefront
What instantly stands out with Star Wars Battlefront 2 is how it now borrows from its brother franchise, Battlefield. Granted, the first Battlefront gave a strong Battlefield vibe in its own right, but the sequel seems to have pushed even further in that direction.
For starters, the mode we played saw the Separatists advancing on the Rebel troopers in an effort to claim the throne room. First, the advancing team must breach the entrance to the Palace, which required escorting a massive transport a certain distance in the outer courtyard. On the other side, the Rebels are trying to destroy the transport, using blaster fire, ship fire, and strategically placed ion cannons around the map.
If the defending team can’t stop the Separatists, they then have to defend two capture points inside the inner palace. Conversely the Separatists need to capture and hold each point without running out of respawn tokens.
And finally, the Separatists need to take control of the Throne Room, which is where the mode becomes its most chaotic. Every player converges on a central area, with ordinance flying, lightsabers swinging, and lots of troopers/droids dying.
But where Star Wars Battlefront 2 really starts to feel like an extension of Battlefield and, more importantly like old Battlefront, is in its new class system. Players can choose from one of four classes, and each of those classes has specific weapon choices, star cards, and potential abilities. Some are good for getting up close, while others are meant for long-range combat.
Class Based Combat Feels Like Classic Battlefront
No longer is Battlefront combat focused on everyone running around with the same, top tier weapon; instead players have to fill out roles and support their team in that role. It was a bit jarring at first to be a sniper in a Star Wars game, but picking off a few Battle Droids is extremely fun.
The more diehard fan will recognize the class system as reminiscent of the original Battlefront franchise, where players specialized in certain roles. It’s also easier to get into vehicles or to control special hero characters than it was in the first game. Every player earns battle points for performing specific actions in the match, and they can then spend those points to control a unique vehicle or hero character for that one life. Gone are the days of the Battlefront veteran hogging the hero or vehicle token on the map, although there is a limit to how many heroes can be active on the map at any one time.
Inherently, Star Wars Battlefront 2 still feels like an extension of the game from 2015, but there are so many smart little changes to give the gameplay more variety and to make it feel like a real battle. The class system and the way the mode we played had smaller objectives leading toward a bigger objective gives players more reason to work together, and it doesn’t feel as repetitive as working to destroy an AT-AT.
Whether or not that feeling will be there when Star Wars Battlefront 2 launches its full experience this fall is unclear, but for right now it appears DICE has heard fans criticisms of the multiplayer in the first game and vowed to make a game that is true to the Battlefront spirit.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 releases November 17, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.