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Star Wars Battlefront II is a much-needed step up

October 05, 2017 2 min read

I've spent a few hours with the Star Wars Battlefront II multiplayer beta, and, you know what? I wouldn't mind playing for a few morehours rolling around as a droid or going HAM as Darth Maul. Shallow as the last game often felt, I stuck with it through every expansion and liked it as something to come back to whenever I needed a break from more demanding online shooters. Get in, have fun for a bit, get out.

In a lot of ways, Battlefront II(2017) is the game I wish Battlefront(2015) would've been.

The biggest changes, at least to my mind:

  • There are four distinct trooper classes (assault, heavy, officer, and specialist), and the star cards (abilities) you unlock are class-, ship-, and hero-specific. This is a boon for team dynamics and does a lot of heavy lifting to give Battlefront II more depth. I'm a big fan of the slow-but-tough heavy class, which can pop a shield or whip out a devastating heavy rotary blaster, but it's also a joy to buff teammates as an officer.
  • Ships and hero/villain characters aren't pickups you have to rush to collect on the map. Instead, you'll now earn points as you battle which you can spend to spawn in as special characters or vehicles. Not only is this less frustrating, it also opens up room for more strategic timing. Do you save up for Maul or go with something cheaper, like the rocket-firing B2 battle droid? I typically went for the latter -- its jetpack is hard to resist.
  • The ship-only combat is vastly improved. I didn't much care for the way Battlefronthandled dogfights. It felt too mindless and scaled back. The new mode, Starfighter Assault, is a different story. It feels like an honest-to-goodness space battle, with rebel forces picking apart a Star Destroyer's defenses bit by bit and imperial players having their own objectives beyond just defending. There's nuance to the movement and aiming that takes some getting used to if you played the last game, but it's much more satisfying once everything clicks into place. And, again, I feel like I stand a real chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon or Slave I now that I'm not rushing to collect pickups.
  • Playing as those stupid, goofy, adorable little droids from the prequel trilogy is just the best. Roger roger.

Star Wars Battlefront II is a much-needed step up screenshot