Update: The trailer that we expected to see released on April 15 as part of the Star Wars Celebrations in Orlando has leaked early! Scroll on down to watch the trailer in full and find out what it reveals about the game's included eras and new single-player campaign.
Original article continues below…
Things are pretty great for Star Wars fans at the moment: not only are new films coming on the regular, according to EA's Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen there are going to be a handful of games from various studios too.
The next exciting title in the Star Wars franchise is, of course, EA Dice’s Battlefront 2, the sequel to the franchise reboot first released in 2015.
When it was first released, Star Wars Battlefront received a mixed reception with some praising how it captured the Star Wars atmosphere perfectly with its excellent cinematic visuals while others bemoaned its repetitive combat and limited depth and content.
In spite of criticisms, the game still sold over 14 million copies and counting. With a sequel on the way, though, EA has the chance to learn from the first release and create something bigger and better.
If these words from EA CFO Blake Jorgensen are anything to go by, that’s exactly what we’re going to get: “If there was criticism, they just wanted more. So we're taking that criticism to heart as we build the next game and trying to address any of the issues that they had.”
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The sequel to the multiplayer-focused shooter Star Wars Battlefront
- When can I play it? Winter 2017
- What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC
Trailers and screenshots
Exciting news – the trailer we were promised on April 15 has leaked early! The trailer which was originally set to launch during a panel titled the Galaxywide Premiere of Star Wars Battlefront II appeared online on April 11.
The trailer gives fans a glimpse of the game's single-player campaign which it appears will revolve around an "untold soldier's story" in the Empire. As well as this single-player campaign that appears to be set in the period following the Empire's defeat at Endor, there'll also be a multiplayer mode of the game which will span "across all eras."
This means we'll see locations and characters from the series' original trilogy as well as the prequels and new films. The trailer gives us a look at characters like Rey, Kylo Ren, Yoda and Darth Maul across a variety of locations. It also looks like there will indeed be exciting space battles involved.
You can watch the leaked trailer in full below:
We don’t have an exact release date for Star Wars Battlefront 2 just yet, but we do have a window of Winter 2017 which EA stated in a recent investor call. This makes sense as a release date as it has the potential to fit in nicely to take advantage of the hype that will surround the release of the Episode 8 film.
What we know we'll see
A feature that was confirmed for the game in a Eurogamer interview with DICE producer Paul Keslin is a single player campaign mode. This is something that will undoubtedly please those who criticized the first title for its poor offering in this area.
Even John Boyega tweeted EA to ask if players would get an offline story mode to engage with.
From what we can tell from the leaked trailer, the single-player campaign will revolve around the story of an unknown Imperial soldier directly after the Empire's defeat at Endor. How long the campaign is and how the story will play out is, of course, still a mystery.
Despite the fact that the original game is mostly focused on multi-player missions and has limited solo challenges, games such as FIFA 17 and Battlefield 1 have shown that even games with strong online multi-player focuses are capable of crafting affecting and compelling single-player narratives for players to follow.
Considering the Motive development team has been brought in to work on the single-player specifically, there’s little chance of it feeling like a tacked on afterthought and we're excited to see how this will play out.
EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson also confirmed that there would be a new single-player campaign mode and added that players could expect to see “more locations” and the chance to “play with more heroes and characters across multiple Star Wars eras.”
This is certainly interesting – the original DICE title limited players to characters within the series’ original trilogy but from what we can see from the leaked trailer the sequel is going to open up even further and explore characters, locations and events from the new films and prequel trilogy too.
That means that in addition to characters like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and Boba Fett, players will get to take control of characters such as Rey, Kyrlo Ren, Yoda and Darth Maul.
Will there be VR?
It’s been revealed that Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission developer Criterion is involved in the development of Battlefront 2 which points to the idea that there will perhaps be some VR content involved with the game, or at least the addition of some epic space battle missions.
It’s perfectly possible that we could see optional VR side content like that released previously but we'd also like to think that Criterion is helping to work on some epic space dog fights with the expertise gained from the X-Wing Mission development process.
There was space combat in the first game but from what we can see from the leaked trailer it looks like this feature has been expanded to be more impressive and open.
What we'd like to see
Diversity in game modes
It’s not that there was a dearth of modes in the first Battlefront game, but after a while they all began to feel very similar. Something we’d really like to see in Battlefront 2 is either more game modes that feel a little different or at the very least the same number of game modes, just with some tweaks to make them feel a little more distinct from one another.
Some free or cheaper content
The original Battlefront has free content and that’s great but the content it charges for feels slightly too expensive alongside, especially alongside the use of micro-transactions. We’d love to see either more good free content or at least more reasonably priced DLC content.
The DLC for the first game was pretty pricey considering the cost of the original game but for many players it became a necessary purchase to continue enjoying the game as older maps lost their popularity and it became a struggle to find good matches using them.
Making the DLC slightly more affordable would at least slow down the process of or reduce the number of players being forced out of play because they can’t access new content. Another option, of course, would be to make the game’s new maps free to all players so that they don’t fall behind in that sense and use DLC and microtransaction content to make money via other things such as weapons and cosmetic features.