Star Wars Battlefront 2: Everything You Need to Know From EA's E3 Press Conference
For a long time now, we've known that DICE is working Star Wars Battlefront 2. Today, however, EA released a ton of details about SW:BF2 at their annual E3 Press Conference -- so much so that they literally spent half the show on it.
What did the publisher reveal for this highly anticipated sequel? Lots of big things.
A Story Mode Has Been Confirmed
That's right -- there will be a story mode in Battlefront 2. Moreover, the story mode won't merely have you reliving the events of the game, but it will also have you playing through a unique storyline. This story is also said to help bridge the events between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Content Is King
More Isn't Always Better, but In This Case, It Is
One of the main complaints with the original Battlefront was the lack of content. EA has heard you loud and clear. As such, there seems to be a lot being added in this time. Not only is there a full-on campaign, but EA also promised that there would be "three times the content" compared to the previous title.
You Get DLC, You Get DLC, EVERYONE Gets DLC!
Another common complaint about the previous game was the fact that DLC was so damned expensive. This, combined with the lack of content, made it almost impossible to resist EA's DLC scalping. But that shouldn't be a worry any longer, as DLC is now promised to be released in themed seasons for free. The first iteration of this DLC will be based on the upcoming film Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and will feature Finn and Phasma.
It's currently unclear whether all DLC is going to be made available for free, though. EA made it clear that they want to avoid splitting up the player base, which makes us think that maps could be free. As for characters, weapons, and/or skins, your guess is as good as ours. But we're willing to bet that if story DLC is ever released, we'll have to shell out for it.
Content From All Eras
This reveal was relatively simple: there is going to be content from all 3 eras of Star Wars. This presumably means that there will be content present from all 3 trilogies.
Return of Skirmish and Couch Co-Op Goodness
It was also confirmed that Skirmish, an offline single-player mode, will be returning in Battlefront 2. Along with this, a couch co-op mode was also confirmed. It's nice to see that there seems to be a continuity in the modes offered.
As much of a big deal as there was about the single player, there really wasn't much shown or said about it other than EA confirming its existence. The same could not be said for the multiplayer, however. In fact, there was more coverage of competitive Battlefront players giving feedback on the game than there was of single player. That being said, there's a lot to be noted here, so let's dive in!
Customization & Progression
To start off, we have the low-hanging talking point that developers love: more customization and deeper progression. I think I must have heard this same sentence said about 5 different games during EA's conference. While they were vague on customization options, they did at least elaborate on...
Classes & Skills
That's right, there is now a class system in Battlefront, which I will go into some greater detail on below. As far as how you progress, and what the nature of progression will look like in this game (skill trees anyone?), it's anyone's guess.
There have currently been 4 announced classes: assault, heavy, officer, specialist. It seems that this is probably the number of classes there will be at release, but EA hasn't confirmed one way or the other whether more classes will be added later down the line. Here's what we know so far:
- The assault unit seems to function like your average character would in any of the games. These are the most generic ground troops. They are supposed to have access to a shotgun as a secondary weapon, which makes them lethal in mid-to-short range combat.
- The heavy unit is your slower, higher HP unit that wields minigun-type weapons, and has access to a combat shield that protects them from the front and allows them to push forward to gain positions.
- The officer is more of a support unit than anything else. He's capable of healing nearby allies while also having access to a turret that he can throw down.
- Lastly, we have the specialist. These units are generally looked at as snipers and also have access to trip mines, which they can use to protect their flanks while sniping.
Battle points have been overhauled. Instead of finding them on the map, you now earn them through your exploits on the battlefield, either through getting kills, assists, healing allies, or going after objectives. They can then be used to purchase access to special units, like jetpack wielding units, heroes, or even vehicles.
There will now also be multi-stage battles. EA hammered so hard on this that the publisher dedicated a good 30 minutes of its conference to one of these battles, called The Assault on Theed.
The Assault on Theed, which is inspired by events from the prequel trilogy, is a multi-stage battle that tasks the Separatists and their droid army with first guiding their MTT tank down the main path that leads to the palace, then making their way into the palace, and finally capturing the throne room proper. The clone troopers are challenged with defending their turf.
The first phase of the level was extremely open, with long and wide streets and a short supply of cover. Droids and clone troopers were often left vulnerable from several angles. On the ground, specialists were extremely useful, while aerial combat dictated the ebb and flow of the forces below.
However, the further you proceeded into the level, the more cramped the environment became. Transitioning from without the palace to within it completely flipped the script -- specialists became vulnerable and assault troops reigned supreme. And aerial combat literally didn't matter since the fight had transitioned indoors.
Moreover, since the palace interior was later into the fight, you began seeing more and more specialized units and heroes. Darth Maul ran rampant all over the clone troopers, which resulted in Muselk being the MVP with a combined 36 kills across the entire level.
From the looks of it, this structure allows designers to recreate classic battles and capture the feel of them, rather than just plopping players down into a classic location and expecting that to be enough.
We were left with a few questions concerning the classes, heroes, special units, etc. For instance, its unclear what class (if any) the heroes or special units would fall into. I suspect heroes wouldn't have a class because they are kind of their own unique self-contained character. But as for special units, like jetpack-wielding units, we don't know if they are a particular class or not.
EA was also not 100% clear as to whether or not different factions, like Stormtroopers and droids, used different abilities for the same class. For instance, would an assault class droid use different weaponry or abilities than an assault class stormtrooper? Based on what we saw, it seems like they have the same skills. They also seemed to either have weapons that were functionally the same -- or at least quite similar.
Moreover, we once saw an assault unit use a combat roll. But I am not sure whether that is something unique to the assault unit -- which seems to be focused on slightly higher mobility than the other classes -- or if it was something that any class had access to. Hopefully we'll have more answers to these questions soon.
Pre-ordering the game grants you access to the multiplayer beta as well as the Yoda Light Saber Mastery Star Card. (Note: There are conflicting reports on what the pre-order bonuses are, but this is what I noted during the E3 press conference.)
Good Night, Star Wars...
EA's press conference was heavily focused on Battlefront 2, and it stood out among all the other games that the developer covered during the presentation. And from the looks of it, DICE has made some great design decisions for the sequel thus far -- including more content, story mode, split-screen co-op gorgeous graphics, retooled multiplayer, and free stuff.
Battlefront fans should be able to safely look forward to this new iteration in DICE's Star Wars series.
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news about Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as EA confirms more details and we get closer to launch.