In 2013, the night before my Business Studies GCSE morning exam, I was up at 3am watching E3, where a surprise teaser for an unannounced Star Wars: Battlefront was played. Little was shown: just snow, a couple of faint blaster shots that sparked some excited murmuring and then one giant AT-AT foot that sent the crowd nuts. There was a more silent celebration from me in bed.

This was the only piece of material made for the game at the time, and we had to wait till November 2015 to play it. The game looked great, and played nicely, but there was some disappointment. Pretty hit-and-miss character models and voice acting, plus a quite uncomfortable original score from Dice that felt very unauthentic against the original John Williams.

As was said at the EA E3 conference this year, there was “a lot of feedback, a lot of it positive, and a bunch of it constructive”. A lack of good game modes or a single player campaign made the game somewhat underwhelming for some, including John Boyega, who made his concerns public.

Battlefront 2 was featured at E3 earlier this year, where we got to see some of that single player campaign that John was after, and the huge announcement of free future DLC. But the big multiplayer demo we saw seemed like a big mess to me. Points for confidence and ambition to play, stream and edit the game live, but swapping between the screens of a whole bunch of different players, Darth Maul getting trapped in corridors, vehicles crashing into nothing – they need to take a tip from their pals over at Battlefield.

A new trailer has just dropped though, and it is gas. Johnny Boy is at the helm repping more locations, heroes and vehicles than ever before, across all three Star Wars generations.

In this new game, we have been introduced to spendable ‘Battle points’, as well as the ‘Star Cards’ and ‘loot crates’. It is EA, after all. Despite this, game design director Niklas Fegraeus has assured us that it definitely will not be pay to win. But perhaps we’ll have to wait and see.

Off from the bad news though, we’ve got 5 multiplayer modes: TDM and Domination equivalents, Heroes vs. Villains, Starfighter Assault for large scale dogfights, and Galactic Assault, the massive 20 vs. 20-type game we saw at E3.

“It looks and sounds amazing”

It doesn’t appear that there will be split-screen multiplayer online, but in an offline Arcade mode you can have some couch co-op and versus, which will be a refreshing return to PS2 Battlefront gameplay at home. There is also an offline single-player arcade mode shown, as well as a little more of the single-player campaign – an original narrative from the perspective of an Imperial Commander, fighting for what’s left of the Empire after the events of Return of the Jedi.

What really sticks out as always is the visual and sound design. Excuse me for sounding like every gaming outlet but it really does look and feel like Star Wars, and sets the gold standard for sound design that’s just so iconic.

The multiplayer modes aren’t that different, the purchasable add-ons might suck, and they didn’t even mention their ace card free DLC in this trailer, but more offline gameplay and split-screen is great, it looks and sounds amazing, and John Boyega is a major addition to the hype. A gamer, who’s stood up to EA for us on the last one, makes for a credible pitch for what will hopefully be a great game. Release date coming soon, but off to a flying start.

Rui Almeida

Featured image courtesy of Star Wars Battlefront 2 via ea.com.

Article image courtesy of twitter via imgur.

Image use licence here.

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