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The 5 main changes needed for ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’

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Publisher Electronic Arts last week officially confirmed the existence of a Star Wars Battlefront sequel. A first look at the suitably named Star Wars Battlefront II is planned to take place during Star Wars Celebration on April 15. It’s here that fans will get a glimpse at what to expect from the game as a reveal trailer is set to drop at the event.

That being said, there is still just less than two weeks until these first details are revealed, leaving fans with nothing to do but speculate what could be. It seems only appropriate then, to look at the game’s predecessor and discuss what developer DICE can bring to the sequel. The following is therefore a list of five changes needed so that fans get the Battlefront game they wanted the first time around.

Explore the Eras

The first game’s focus on the original trilogy arguably cashed in on the nostalgia-driven hype surrounding The Force Awakens. Although this proved to be popular for mass market appeal, it was something of a safe bet given that many gamers (both hardcore and casual) would be coming off the back of a movie which fueled their excitement for Star Wars once more. In practice however, drawing from those first three movies for source material limited the game to exploring just a handful of planets, battles, and characters from the Star Wars universe. Whilst the frozen ice caves of Hoth, the Ewok inhabited Endor, and the desert wastelands of Tatooine are all part and parcel of Star Wars, the wider universe offers so much more potential beyond those locales.

Whilst there was content from both The Force Awakens and Rogue One in the form of added DLC content, neither fully embraced those movies to their full potential. There is so much more to draw from those two movies as well as other Star Wars canon. The sequel shouldn’t be locked into only featuring content that ties into an upcoming movie premiere. Rather it should look to embrace other eras such as the prequel trilogy, the Rebels TV show, as well as a renewed focus on those new and upcoming movies. Together, each of these different time periods would offer a refreshing change up for players allowing for a wider variety of vehicles, characters, and locations. In short, embracing these eras ensures that the sequel can appeal to every generation of Star Wars fans, so they can choose the time period preferable to them–which can only be a good thing.

Ground to Space combat

This is a feature that Battlefront fans have been yearning for ever since the leaked Battlefront III gameplay footage from the now defunct Free Radical. This was of course before EA got their hands on the Star Wars license and rebooted the series with a game that arguably didn’t live up to the vision that Free Radical had in mind. In what would have been the third entry in the original series, the leaked gameplay showed seamless ground to space combat without a loading screen in sight.

If the rebooted sequel is going to include any of the ideas shown from that leaked footage, then ground to space combat has got to be high on the list. If early signs are anything to go by however, the recently released Rogue One expansion to DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront could indicate their intention to include such a feature. This amounts to the game mode infiltration, where players fight to destroy a shield generator in space before landing on Scarif to continue the fight on the ground. Unfortunately, this transition is separated by loading screens where each phase occurs in isolation. This means that players can’t freely roam from space to ground or vice versa without the game’s say-so. Nevertheless, the fact this was eventually included in the first game after the base game’s initial reception could hint at DICE’s plans to flesh out this game mode even further for the sequel. This would be a huge step up from the first game and would widen scope of the sequel to bring it even closer to the battles that play out in the movies.

Single Player Campaign

It’s no secret that the single player offerings in Star Wars Battlefront were massively disappointing for players looking for something besides multiplayer. The battles and survival game modes were wave based and severely lacked any lasting appeal. In fact, the disappointment wasn’t just limited to fans; even Star Wars’ own John Boyega reached out to DICE questioning its lack of a story driven narrative. He managed to bag himself a trip to EA’s UK office and hopefully pointed them in the right direction from a narrative standpoint. If anything was going to encourage them to feature a campaign in the sequel, then an actor from the movies the game is based on should do it. EA has since confirmed the inclusion of a single player campaign for the sequel–but what form this will take is still unclear.

Perhaps the sequel should look to DICE’s own Battlefield 1 for inspiration on how to incorporate a campaign that spans across multiple locations and time periods. Squeezing the wide array of characters and events from the Star Wars universe into one all-encompassing narrative is perhaps too big of an ask. Instead, adopting Battlefield 1’s war stories narrative template would allow the campaign to jump between different events in the Star Wars timeline. This in turn would allow DICE to do each story justice without the need to thread them together–they would stand as serviceable stories in their own right.

Vehicle spawns and hero unlocks

The current system of accessing both vehicles and playable heroes via powerups scattered around the map comes with its own set of problems. The main one being that they randomly drop, so there’s no real way of knowing for sure if you’ll be able to find one of these infamous tokens. There’s also the likelihood of being shot just as you find one which makes their inclusion even more frustrating. Reverting back to set locations for vehicle spawns on maps and rewarding certain players the chance to play as a hero would be less of a frustration. The latter would also take less time than frantically running around a map looking for the next pickup. Sitting in spawn queues and dashing for the next available vehicle can be frustrating in its own right, but at least they’re predictable and frequent enough to be less so.

Free content updates (No Season Pass)

The main criticism with the base version of Star Wars Battlefront was its lack of content at launch. There were just a 6 playable heroes, 12 maps and 10 game modes upon initial release, the latter having modes more popular than others. EA proceeded to address this, to the delight of many fans–until they learned of the infamous season pass. EA outlined their plans to effectively charge the price of the full game again for four content drops featuring new heroes and locations from the original trilogy as well as the new movies. This inevitably didn’t sit well with fans and spawned much of the negative backlash over the first game. Whilst EA did offer some free content in the form of a map set on the planet Jakku from The Force Awakens, the better more substantial content was locked behind the season pass.

For Star Wars Battlefront II then, EA should look to release a game that feels complete and which has enough content for long lasting appeal. For any additional content, players should be rewarded for buying the full game in the first place with free updates which expand on the existing game rather than splitting the player-base. The latter is what the first game suffered from, as EA essentially split its online community by the have and the have-nots when it came to the season pass. This therefore weakened the Star Wars Battlefront online community and hurt the longevity of its player base.

From Kent, England, Ben is a keen trophy hunter with a passion for all things PlayStation. His game of choice is an open world RPG, having a particular fondness for games such as Skyrim and The Witcher 3. Ultimately though, he'll play anything with an interesting story and/or fun gameplay. When it comes to movies, his go-to is Star Wars - just don't ask him to pick a favourite!

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