Preview: DICE ups the ante with Star Wars: Battlefront II

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Developed by EA DICE, and soon to be published by Electronic Arts, Star Wars: Battlefront II is poised to offer vast battlefields and a colorful array of characters, vehicles, and abilities for players online.

DICE’s last entry to the series, Battlefront, focused solely on the original trilogy’s material, such as Hoth and Tatooine. Battlefront II, meanwhile, spans the three trilogies of movies, from The Phantom Menace throughout The Force Awakens. Heroes, locations and units from these eras are all included, though based on the trailers, battles will be era-canonical (as in, Clone Wars commandos won’t clash against the First Order’s forces). Planets such as Kamino, Naboo, and Starkiller Base are set to appear in multiplayer modes.

Gameplay trailers reveal that Battlefront II‘s multiplayer retains many elements of the first game’s, but with some additions. Players can fight in the first or third person, and this time, armor is not just cosmetic like in the first game. Battlefront II has four player classes available, each with a different appearance and kit: assault trooper, heavy, specialist and officer. This harkens back to the original two Battlefront games, where players could choose from several different classes, each with locked-in, specialized weapons and powers. Battlefront II looks to streamline the process a bit, given how super-specialized roles like sniper and demolitions expert seem to have been left behind. The roster of heroes is also expanded with these new eras, including the Sith assassin Darth Maul, the Jedi-in-training Rey, and Yoda.

Vehicles, too, come in a wide variety. The sleek, yellow N-1 starfighters of Naboo clash with the spindly droid starfighters in prequel battles, and the classic X-wing and TIE fighter return as well for original trilogy and The Force Awakens battles. The motor pool on the ground is also expanded, bigger than Battlefront‘s limited aresenal of just the AT-ST, speeder bikes, and the occasional AT-AT. In Battlefront II, more specialized vehicles such as the tiny AT-RT walker (also seen in the old Battlefront II), the massive, troop-transport MTT, and the Trade Federation’s standard battle tank, the AAT-1. Vehicles can help shape a battle with their presence, and the inclusion of so many of them in Battlefront II could deliver fantastic online battles.

The upcoming Battlefront II also includes a single-player campaign, a mode conspicuously absent from Battlefront. Set between Episodes VI and VII, the campaign follows an Imperial officer named Iden Versio, but the plot of the campaign so far is inclear. Time will tell if Iden Versio’s adventures are what Battlefront has been sorely missing. Famous characters like Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren are also set to appear in the campaign as playable characters.

Overall, Battlefront II promises to keep what made 2015’s Battlefront multiplayer great, while adding a whole new galaxy’s worth of content on top of that. Battlefront II releases worldwide on November  17, 2017.

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