Star Wars Battlefront II
PS4, PC, Xbox One
Genre:First Person Shooter
Release Date:November 17, 2017
Star Wars Battlefront II is an upcoming online shooter set within the Star Wars universe, developed by EA DICE, with some help from Criterion Games and Motive Studios, and published by Electronic Arts. Following up from the 2015 reboot of the series on current generation hardware, Star Wars Battlefront II adds many new features like a story-driven single player campaign, multiplayer character classes, and bringing together characters and locations from across the entire Star Wars timeline, original, prequel and sequel. The game has a projected release date of November 17th, 2017 world-wide for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Star Wars Battlefront II was first revealed to be under development on May 10th, 2016, led by EA DICE with development assistance from Criterion Games and Motive Studios. One of the goals of Star Wars Battlefront II was to bring content from the ongoing Sequel trilogy to the game, bringing together all three eras of Star Wars.
Having found the Season Pass system of paid DLC used in the previous game to have fragmented their user base, EA DICE has opted for an expansion system where DLC will be provided free to all players with a free EA account, reminiscent of titles like Titanfall 2, Splatoon 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.
Star Wars Battlefront II is running on the Frostbite 3 engine, EA DICE’s in house engine which powers many recent Electronic Arts games such as Battlefield 1, Madden NFL 18 and Mass Effect Andromeda.
Star Wars Battlefront II’s story mode is being handled by Motive Studios, and new characters have been created in close partnership with the story group within Lucasfilm. At the Star Wars Celebration on April 15th, 2017, the same day the release date for the game was announced, Lucasfilm confirmed that the story of Star Wars Battlefront II will be canon within the larger Star Wars Universe.
The story mode, co-written by Walt Williams who penned the highly praised Spec Ops: The Line, will take place within the 30-year gap between the end of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, beginning around the time of the Death Star 2 blowing up, and Starkiller Base exploding. Players mostly follow Iden Versio (played by Janina Gavankar), a captain of an elite Imperial unit called the Inferno Squad, but occasionally players will get the chance to play as fan favourites like Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren during the story. Iden and her story intends to shine a different light on the empire, and the individual people who were raised to see the good of the empire.
Motive game director Mark Thompson stated, “We wanted to create a campaign that told a story we haven’t seen before in Star Wars. It was important for us to tell a new authentic story, one that gives players a brand new perspective. By putting the players in the boots of an elite member of the Imperial Forces, we can show them what the battle was like from the other side.”
Star Wars Battlefront II follows up and refines upon the multiplayer shooter gameplay established within the 2015 predecessor. While the expansive and ambitious story mode is being handled by Motive Studios, the multiplayer is still the centrepiece being crafted by EA DICE.
While details are scare at the minute, the previous load out system has been dropped in favour of a full class system. Each class will come with a shared progression system, but players might appear completely different depending on what map and side of the battle they’re on. As an example a Battle Droid from the prequel and a First Order Trooper may look very different, but are functionally the same class and make use of the same upgrades and abilities. Vehicles and heroes are supposed to have their own individual progression systems as well, allowing more player expression in adding to their favourite heroes and ships.
Criterion Games, former Burnout studio and the studio who created the VR experience for the last Battlefront, are taking the reigns on a redone air and space combat mode. While there aren’t a lot of details on this mode, it should share a lot of the progression elements with regular multiplayer.
New to Battlefront II:
The only new introduction to the universe we know about so far is the (anti?)-heroine to the campaign, Iden Versio. The young woman’s journey is set to begin at a rare low point for an empire she has grown up knowing and identifying as good, which makes a good inciting incident for her arch through the campaign. With an Imperial Admiral as a father and an artist commissioned for Propaganda posters as a mother, she’s trained her whole life to become an Imperial commander.
Prequel Trilogy Heroes:
Of the officially confirmed heroes, only Darth Maul hails specifically from the prequels. Darth Maul’s intimidating in appearance, but a brutally elegant master of the Dark Side on the battlefield. His signature double bladed Lightsaber and command of the Force make him a devastating foe, launching himself through the air with a Spin Attack, destroying his enemies before slamming them into the ground with a Choke Hold and his Furious Throw can impale whatever poor Jedi happens to be standing in front of him.
Original Trilogy Heroes:
Most of the confirmed heroes hail from the core, most popular set of movies in the franchise. A young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and Bossk are all confirmed to return, though details are scarce about their playstyles and how they might change from the previous game. Though previous heroes like Jyn Erso, Dengar and Greedo haven’t yet made appearances, we know we can expect more within both the base game and as ongoing content expansions. Expect the little green Jedi master Yoda to make his debut you will, hmm?
Sequel Trilogy Heroes:
Within the new age favourites, almost everyone you can think of is confirmed already. Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Captain Phasma all represent the age of the newly awakened Force, but you’ll have to wait for Finn and Captain Phasma to arrive through one of the content updates post launch. While details are unavailable about how Kylo Ren will operate, Rey will be all about playing smart. The mysterious Force-User from Jakku will employ her insight to sense her enemies, Mind Tricks to daze them, and a Dash Strike to bowl over whatever hapless New Order trooper happens to stand in her way. Perhaps the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII will give us an idea of more heroes to expect down the line, besides TR-8R.
As is becoming routine within online gaming, Star Wars Battlefront II will employ a loot box system as player engagement and secondary income source. While there was a brief controversy about the system becoming pay-to-win, they’ve made specific changes since the beta ended to address concerns.
Star Cards are an in game item that can be used to customize your characters and vehicles through different buffs, unique skills, ect. There’s also Epic Star Cards, the highest tier available, which can primarily be obtained by crafting from materials you get through the crates. But, not so fast! You’ll need to reach level thresholds in game before you can go ahead and craft those Epic Star Cards.
A chosen handful of weapons will be exclusive to crates, but most of them should still be earn-able by playing as the class you want the weapon for. Classes will have thresholds to reach, where players will unlock class specific crates with Star Cards and crafting parts.
DICE does constantly play with and iterate on its systems, so over time even what’s laid out here could evolve, but seems DICE is committed to keeping them as unobtrusive to the experience as possible.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.