Two years later, a new story mode and tons of new content from each era, Battlefront II stands to offer a lot more than the last game did. However, one of the most exciting additions to this package is without the doubt Starfighter Assault, which put players among the stars as Rebels and Imperials face each other head-on in an intense space battle.
You’ll get the choice to pilot either an X-Wing, A-Wing or a Y-Wing, each with their own special abilities and star cards. I mostly opted for the X-Wing out of pure nostalgia (I am guilty of quoting pilots from Red Squadron from time to time).Starfighter Assault is divided into multiple sections with various objectives, ranging from destroying energy generators to eliminating enemy starships, changing up each phase as Rebel troops progress throughout the game, though their success or failure is ultimately the deciding factor when it comes to moving to the next phase. The system and setup for this mode is a concept very obviously derived from the Death Star and Rogue One map packs, which is a welcoming feature, considering the narrative structure of the missions makes for a very engaging and interesting experience, providing context to the match and faithfully recreating the feeling of space battles akin to A New Hope, Return of the Jedi and such.
Vehicle gameplay is more or less unchanged from the previous installments, though small refinements to the controls were obviously made in order to improve maneuverability. I found myself constantly switching between the first and third person modes as I adapted my field of view to the combat situation I was finding myself in. Especially in close-dogfights and in interiors (which I’ll come back to later) the first-person view was my preference, switching to third-person as I went into the wider landscape of the intergalactic battlefield I found myself in.In all of this, ships have been changed up a bit in order to differentiate more in their abilities. Each ship has its own set of weapons, abilities and special moves, which can conform wildly different playstyles, depending on if your priority lies with maneuverability or combat. I found myself sticking to the X-Wing for the most part since it provided me with a strong all-around ship that fit my playstyle the most. When spawning, players are also given the ability to change up Star Cards, changing up gameplay bonuses such as added health, weapon recharge rates and such.
Another rather large change is the fact that Hero ships work very differently in Battlefront II. Rather than being earned as pickups, the XP the player earns is transferred into credits, which when amassed enough of, can be used to buy a Hero ship at launch. This obviously prompted me to take multiple runs as the Millenium Falcon, because, well, who doesn’t want to fly into a space station as the Millenium Falcon in order to shoot reactors?Whilst Starfighter Assault is something that we’ve got a taster of before in the first game as DLC, Battlefront II is looking to expand on this aspect in a big way. The structure of missions and the cinematic aspect of it really does make players feel like they’re part of the Star Wars universe, giving a rather immersive feeling that doesn’t just play great but looks visually stunning as well. Crafted on the Frostbite engine, the game builds upon the frameworks of the first game and Battlefield 1 to provide a detailed and cinematic visual presentation that almost wouldn’t look out of place in the films themselves.
Star Wars: Battlefront II comes out on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this November.