When EA bought back the Star Wars Battlefront franchise in 2015, much ado was made about the significant work that went into making the game look and sound like a movie-accurate Star Wars title. But visual trappings aside, the actual rebooted Battlefront was an online-only shooter that lacked a lot of the depth of the earlier titles, and quickly shattered its user base with expensive DLC. It sold more than 14 million copies, but had very little staying power.
Now, with Battlefront II, EA has listened to the feedback and is bringing back a whole bunch of things from the original iterations of the game. The changes the company has made on the multiplayer side — like bringing back the other eras of the franchise, classes, and more accessible heroes — make Battlefront II more like a Battlefront game. But perhaps even more importantly, the new single-player story mode puts the soul of Star Wars back in the series.
At a demo event, I got the chance to play the first three levels of Battlefront II’s campaign, which puts players into the shoes of Iden Versio, a new character who leads an elite Imperial special forces group called Inferno Squad. Battlefront II’s single-player mode is being developed by Motive, one of three studios working on the game (along with Dice, which is in charge of the core gameplay systems and multiplayer, and Criterion, which is handling the “starfighter assault” and arcade modes). According to Mark Thompson, game director at Motive, the campaign is built on top of the three pillars of Battlefront gameplay: playing a trooper on the ground, being an ace starfighter pilot in the sky, and stepping into the shoes of iconic Star Wars heroes.
As a special forces team, Battlefront II’s Inferno Squad is meant to help bring those fantasies to life, by offering a jack-of-all-trades group that lets players fulfill multiple roles, instead of the traditionally pigeonholed Stormtroopers that exist in the movies to only do one thing….
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