Friday, June 16, 2017

Opinion: What to Expect from 'Star Wars Battlefront II'

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By: Nate Hyndman

With the recent reveal of EA's Star Wars Battlefront II Multiplayer, fans are building with anticipation for the release of the game in November along with the new story, set to take place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens in Battlefront II's single player mode.  This new story looks to be very exciting and will follow Commander Iden Versio of Inferno Squadron, and will likely give us an in-depth insight of the transition between the fall of the Galactic Empire and the rise of the First Order, shown from an Imperial point of view.


Aside from Battlefront II's story mode, the game's multiplayer, which I had the chance to try at EA Play last weekend, is absolutely incredible!  EA, DICE, and Criterion have done a lot of reworking from the first Battlefront and many of the problems from the predecessor have been fixed and changed for the sequel.  So far, Battlefront II's multiplayer is a huge step up from the first game.  Perhaps the most notable changes are the introduction of a class system, set up very similarly to EA's Battlefield series.  Players will have access to 4 different classes of troopers including Assault, Heavy, Officer, and Specialist.  Each class serves a different role and has access to different abilities and weapons which greatly encourages a higher level of team play in the game.  

Another significant update is the introduction of a point system during each match that allows players to gain access to special units in addition to the 4 regular class troopers as well as their favorite heroes and villains.  At EA Play's Assault on Theed, these units included B2 Super Battle Droids, AAT Tanks, AT-RT Walkers, Droid Starfighters, and N1 Starfighters in addition to Rey, Darth Maul, Han Solo, and Boba Fett as playable heroes.  Other confirmed heroes for the game include, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Finn, and Captain Phasma.  Hopefully, we will get more special units for the Clone Wars era such as Commando Droids, Droidekas, and Wookies.  This point system is very similar to the system in the original 2005 Star Wars Battlefront II.

Aside from the new reworks to the game and the new eras and locations we will be getting from Battlefront II, the game also feels a lot better to play than the predecessor.  Each weapon in the game really feels different from each other and you get a good sense where you really fit in the team or the army as a whole with the weapon, load-out, and class that you choose to play as.  Additionally, there have been changes to how aiming down your sights effects weapon accuracy (though they do still feel like authentic "blasters" as opposed to "guns") and changes to the flight controls that really give pilots a much more realistic feel and create a much higher skill threshold for piloting starfighters.  All in all, the new multiplayer feels really immersive and is a ton of fun to play.  The game really makes you feel like you're in the middle of an authentic Star Wars battle and has a pleasant contrast to other non-Star Wars shooter games.

Before the game's release, fans can also expect a revealing, dramatic back-story for the character of Iden Versio in the new novel, Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, by Christie Golden.  The book is set to release on July 25th and will act as a prequel to the story in Battlefront II, taking place in the aftermath of the events of Rogue One and A New Hope.  What we know so far is that Inferno Squadron was an Imperial Pilot Special Forces unit formed in the aftermath of the Rebel Alliance's first collective victory at the Battle of Scarif and the Battle of Yavin after the destruction of the first Death Star.  Inferno Squad was initially tasked with hunting down Saw Gerrera's Partisans, survivors of the destruction of Jedha City.  It is likely that the Empire was looking to tie up loose ends after the betrayal of Imperial Pilot, Bodhi Rook.

During this same time period, the Empire is looking to hunt down those responsible for the destruction of the Death Star.  We know from the Darth Vader Marvel Comic series, that Vader is being tested by the Emperor and is using his own private means to search for Luke Skywalker, the force-strong pilot responsible for the battle station's destruction, so it is unlikely that Vader is directly involved with the operations of Inferno Squadron at the same time.  Perhaps Inferno Squad is receiving their orders directly from the Emperor or another high ranking officer such as a Grand Admiral or Grand General.  While Vader is searching for Luke Skywalker, Inferno Squad may be investigating the conspiracy plot created by Galen Erso.  In a recent interview on "The Star Wars Show," Iden Versio's actress, Janina Gavankar stated that there were some very deep and very dark things in Iden's back-story that made her who she is at the a start of the game.  Fans will have to wait until the novel's release on July 25th for the full back-story.


In what we've seen so far of Battlefront II's story mode from the trailers, Iden Versio and the members of Inferno Squad appear to be fiercely loyal to the ideals of the Empire, a stark contrast to what we've typically seen in the past.  The Galactic Empire is extremely large and hard to control and has seen many defectors and traitors in the past, a few of which include: Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Galen Erso, Bodhi Rook, Wedge Antilles, Agent Kallus, Biggs Darklighter, and eventually even Anakin Skywalker himself (just to name a few).  Iden Versio and Inferno Squad are of the first examples of the extreme loyalty that we see in the First Order, whose one and only traitor in its' existence was Stormtrooper FN-2187, a.k.a. Finn.

These extremely loyal Imperials are most likely the foundation of the First Order and fans can't wait to see their story told in Battlefront II.  This story will span the thirty-year time period between the Battle of Endor and the events of The Force Awakens, and will very likely tie in with other stories we've received that take place during this time such as the comic book mini series Shattered Empire and the Aftermath trilogy of novels.  Perhaps we'll get a closer look at the Battle of Jakku and other such conflicts that take place during this time.



Battlefront II was amazingly fun to get my hands on at EA Play, and this was just the pre-alpha/E3 build of the game.  We can expect a lot more content in the game at the full release later this year.  Also, Criterion, who is working on the space battles and starfighter combat portion of the game, stated that we will be getting a closer look at the game's space battles with a reveal trailer in August.  The novel Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden releases on July 25th and Star Wars Battlefront II releases on November 17th.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.

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