After spending a good four hours on a coach, Declan and I arrived at EGX last weekend, for the very first time and it was awesome. We met some amazing cosplayers, had a chat with some pretty chill developers and I’ve never met a nicer group of people than everybody at EGX; seriously, everyone was so polite. Of course, the main thing we went for was to try our hands at some of the upcoming big releases. We queued up for a good hour and a half to play Star Wars Battlefront 2 and here are our quick impressions with the short match that we got to play.
As we reached the front of the queue, my inner (huge) fanboy emerged as I watched the monitors and got incredibly excited watching the Droids and Clone Troopers battle it out. I also felt extremely sorry for the guy whose game froze on him. Anyway, the match we got to play was the same that was shown in the E3 demo, Assault on Theed, which tasks the Separatist army with pushing into the main palace and throne room, all whilst the opposing Clones need to stop them from doing so.
As a little note, if I ever mention the originals, I’m talking about the first two Battlefront games on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles. It does get extremely confusing when we now have two games called Star Wars: Battlefront and two also titled Star Wars: Battlefront 2…
Firstly, I’m extremely happy to say that Battlefront 2 is already a huge improvement over its predecessor and definitely feels like the original titles. I played countless hours into my PlayStation 2 copies many years ago and even though I actually enjoyed the 2015 Battlefront iteration, there was always something huge missing from it. A lack of content, for sure, but also the charm that made the originals feel so perfect. The main change in this sequel is the addition of classes, just like the originals had too. Any weapon was usable in the 2015 Battlefront and there were never any classes, which ended up causing many matches to have players running with identical loadouts. This time around, there are four classes to choose from, all of which excel in using specific weaponry as well as their own mini skills. I was surprised to realise how much I actually missed this feature, once I got handed it in Battlefront 2; each class feels significantly different to play and will end up changing up the gameplay to a wide degree for every player. It was great to try out every class to see which one I liked the most, which ended up being the Specialist, who use sniper rifles.
Oh, Battlepoints. How I’ve missed you so goddamn much. This is also a feature that was in the originals but not in the 2015 Battlefront. As you play through a match, you’ll earn something called Battlepoints, which is used to spawn in some better classes or one of the special Heroes/Villians to play as. Long gone are the days of having to run around the map to find a little floating card, only to be killed seconds before using it. If you want to play as the better classes, such as vehicles, Jumptroopers, Super Battle Droids or the badass heroes, you’ll have to actually earn them. You’ll get more Battlepoints with kills and match progression, so the better you perform, the quicker you can pull out your winning class card. These points are for a single match only, so if you’ve never played the original Battlefront games, don’t worry about this being some sort of overpowered in-game currency. It feels so good to finally be back into the mindset of you “do good and you get good things”. I hated the fact that you had to find the ability to call in one of the special characters in 2015 Battlefront and even then, other players could snatch up the upgrade before you. Now, everything is tied to you personally and allows players to call in specific special classes at certain times, which could end up causing some rather tactical gameplay.
Lastly, the heroes have definitely had some big changes made to them. Of course, they are still powerful in the damage that they can deal but it certainly feels like they have a lot less health and/or defence. When fighting against Darth Maul and Boba Fett, both went down easy enough with enough pressuring fire onto them and when I finally got to play as Han Solo, I died literally within a few seconds. Personally, I feel like this is such a welcome change; the heroes end up feeling like a high risk, high reward type of playstyle, as they cost the most Battlepoints but if you’re good enough, can pile up the kills easily. There were many times in 2015 Battlefront that one player managed to hold down a specific hero for the entire match, simply because they had easy escape mechanics and were pretty damn tanky characters. Also, trust me, it’s so awesome to see the roster of heroes improved so much; to see Rey running around, slashing the Droids was a perfect experience.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is due out on November 17th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. As a huge fan of the original games and someone who found 2015 Battlefront enjoyable, I’m happy to say that DICE are taking the entire game in every single right direction.