Battlefront II is just over a week away, and with the promise of a slew of new content, alongside a bunch of new modes, weapons, and characters, the game is shaping up to be something special for fans. Having spent quite a bit of time with it at a review event in San Francisco over the last couple of days, here are five big takeaways from what I’ve experienced in Battlefront II’s multiplayer so far.
Starfighter Assault’s Iconic Locations
A mode requested by most fans following on from 2015’s first outing, Starfighter Assault is a fantastic addition to Battlefront II. Set around multi-tiered objective-based space warfare, Starfighter Assault has players battle it out across a handful of memorable, well-designed settings above some of Star Wars’ most iconic locations.Taking place above places like Kamino and Ryloth, Starfighter Assault places a strong emphasis on vehicular warfare that is an absolute delight to play. The sheer scale is impressive in itself, and battling it out against a horde of AI-controlled ships alongside other players paves the way for some of the best multiplayer action Battlefront II manages to conjure up. The way the game’s soundtrack blends seamlessly between important objective sequences and finding yourself on the tail of another player’s ship is excellent, and culminates in some of the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer game in quite some time.
Galactic Assault’s Scale
Refined and reworked for Battlefront II, Galactic Assault is the premiere 40-player, 20 v 20 mode for this year’s Star Wars entry. The sheer amount of scale and scope that’s seen in Galactic Assault is breathtaking, and remains apparent as you make your way across some of Star Wars’ most recognisable landscapes and battlegrounds, battling it out for supremacy. Though I’d spent a bit of time with the first Battlefront game and couldn’t quite get into it, Battlefront II had me enamoured with its maps and locales from the beginning. Throughout each Galactic Assault match we played I felt immediately immersed, participating in some of Star Wars’ biggest blockbuster moments. The small snippets of dialogue delivered throughout, which let you know about the next objective and your team’s progress during the match, are delivered well and makes for an experience that truly feels like Star Wars. It’s the most engaged I’ve ever felt in a Star Wars game for quite some time, and the sheer scope of it all — watching AT-AT’s walk over you and Sith ships swoop by — is something rarely seen in the medium. DICE have really nailed the look, the feel, and the sound of the Star Wars universe, and that’s showcased perfectly in Galactic Assault.
The New Heroes (and Villains)
Regardless of what we’ve played around with in the previous entry in the Battlefront series, Battlefront II is a significant step forward when it comes to hero count. The classics are there of course, with the reintroduction of Luke, Han, and the crew, and yet the inclusion of characters from a range of Star Wars eras like Darth Maul, Rey, and Kylo Ren all add to what feels like a celebration of everything the universe has to offer.Each hero and villain have discernible traits and abilities, and I’ve had a blast playing around with each character and figuring out which one suited my play style best. The fact the game has a nice variety of characters this time around enhances the experience tremendously, and helps keep the game feeling fresh and fun each and every time you jump into a new match.
The Sound Design
Considering the excellent work that went into Battlefield 1’s sound design and sound work last year, I had high expectations for what EA and the team over at DICE could offer up for Battlefront II, and they’ve nailed it. From the foreboding steps of AT-AT’s crossing across Hoth to the sound of lightsabers battling in the distance, Battlefront II’s sound work is brilliant and really adds to the overall experience. Combined with John Williams’ brilliant sound work on the series, Battlefront II embraces the sounds of Star Wars and the gameplay experience is all the better because of it. It’s immersive, uplifting, and gratifying, and is one of the best parts in the game by a good mile.
Objective-based gameplay is an important part of DICE games. It’s not always about the kills and the assists, and Battlefront II ensures you understand that. The game, for the most part, rewards you for playing the objective and pushing forward as a team rather than a lone wolf, and it made the experience that much better because of it.
That said, there was more than one occasion in which I’d found my team in a bit of a tight spot — attempting to take an objective with little respawn tickets left, alongside an extremely close objective capture, things got noticeably intense. It was in these moments, where the music properly kicked in and tension began to rise, that I really felt immersed in what EA have created in Battlefront II. Most of the matches managed to swing to either side more than a few times throughout their duration, and usually made for quite the finale. These kinds of moments are scattered throughout Battlefront II, and each and every time I encountered them I came out with a grin on my face, as it was an absolute joy.
These are just a handful of things I’ve really enjoyed about Star Wars Battlefront II. DICE have, for the most part, really listened to user feedback and made Battlefront II a game that prides itself on the authenticity of Star Wars, as well as ensuring the game works and feels great for players. Whether you’re a casual player or not, Battlefront II’s multiplayer is a heck of a lot of fun and is well worth visiting, and I’ll have more thoughts on that next week.