Star Wars Battlefront 2 release date, trailers and news

Update: The Star Wars Battlefront 2 release date is fast approaching (at seemingly less than twelve parsecs), and we have a new gameplay trailer from the E3 2017 press conference.

It's the multiplayer gameplay trailer, and its new Star Wars story bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, according to Electronic Arts.

It's much bigger than the original game, with three times the content, more space battles, and content from all Star Wars eras.

The biggest change to Star Wars Battlefront 2 gameplay may come from what EA calls Battlepoints that act as hero point perks throughout battles.

The new game will also feature customizations, not not just from weapons. It goes all the way down to the character's abilities.

Original Story…

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.”

And address it they have. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The sequel to the multiplayer-focused shooter Star Wars Battlefront
  • When can I play it? November 17 2017
  • What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC

Trailers and screenshots

The Star Wars Battlefront 2 trailer has been a story in and of  itself. First we saw leaked version before the trailer was originally  set to launch before it was pulled down much to our chagrin. But that  all changed on April 15 when we got the official trailer during a panel  at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.

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. 

A new two minute feature called The Story of an Imperial Soldier has  been released which gives more of an insight into the game's single  player campaign and its protagonist. 

In the video game director, Mark Thompson, and Lucasfilm creative  exec, Steve Blank, discuss Iden Versio and more about the game's  imperial-focused story.

The  game's creators say they really wanted to get into the head of an  imperial soldier through Iden Versio. As commander of the elite Inferno  Squad with an admiral father, Iden's belief in the good of the Empire  runs in her blood.

Apparently  the imperial army won't be a bunch of brainwashed soldiers and  conscripts; it'll be a complex look at how people may want to fight for  Palpatine. We imagine it'd be hard to angle something called the Death  Star positively, but we're more than willing to see an attempt to  humanise the Empire. 

The Friday before the big E3 reveal, we got  another teasing look at the game's Naboo planet, too, with a  blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse at the chatty-but-incompetent Battle  Droids, courtesy of an official tweet from the PlayStation account:

Release date

Turns out, November and December are going to be great months for Star Wars fans.

Star  Wars Battlefront 2 will see a worldwide release on November 17 2017,  followed shortly by the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode 8 The  Last Jedi one month later on December 15. 

What  this means is that the game will be out slightly ahead of the movie –  and thus has the potential to give us a brief look at new locations and  new ships from the upcoming film. 

Those who pre-order the game  will have access to two new skins – Episode 8 variations of Kylo Ren and  Rey – as well as two new ships – the Episode 8 variation of the  Millennium Falcon and a yet undisclosed ship from the new movie. 

EA  and Origin Access subscribers will be able to get their Star Wars fix  even earlier, with a downloadable trial becoming available a week early  on November 9. 

What we know we'll see

Thanks to the Star Wars Celebration panel, we now have expert insight  into what we can expect when the game comes out. There are two  important new additions here: a story mode and space battles. 

Single player campaign

Let's start first by looking at the game's new single-player mode. 

In  it, you'll play as Iden Versio, a member of the Imperial Forces elite  ops unit called Inferno Squad, a combination of expert Tie Pilots and  covert commandos. During the trailer for the game we watch Iden witness  the destruction of the second Death Star above the moon of Endor.  Without direct missions from the now-deceased Emperor, Iden leads her  squad on a mission of revenge to try and quell the Rebellion. 

To that end, Battlefront II will occupy the time between the sixth  film of the franchise, Return of the Jedi,  and the seventh film, The  Force Awakens.

After  the battle on Endor, players will travel to Iden's homeworld, a planet  that has been under Imperial control for the entirety of her life.  Instead of an martial law-loving Imperial city that we've seen in the  past, however, Ida's homeworld has come to embrace and love the Empire.  This love hits home the theme that the single-player campaign is going  for, which is that yes, the Rebellion had heroes, but so did the  Empire. 

In a recent interview with Eurogamer  single player game director Mark Thompson and Criterion's Matt Webster  revealed that the single player campaign will be “a continuous story  with a beginning a middle and an end” rather than separate missions and  war stories like Battlefield 1. 

Players  will follow Iden for 30 years, from the end of Jedi up to the Force  Awakens at Starkiller base, though there will be moments in the story  where the player will switch sides and play "from the perspective of one  of the iconic heroes because […] that’s just part of Battlefront’s  DNA.” 

In  the trailer it was revealed that Iden will have a droid. According to  Thompson, this droid will offer players a way to customize their play  style while they're playing as Iden. For example, he says it will offer  them choice when it comes to how they engage in a combat scenario so we  imagine the droid will be able to be used as back up in combat, as a  scout or perhaps even as a tool for hacking. 

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.

It's been confirmed that Battlefront 2 will explore characters,  locations and events from the new films and prequel trilogy as well as  the original trilogy. 

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, Kylo Ren, Yoda and Darth Maul.

The  other interesting addition in this iteration will be space battles.  These will be developed by Criterion and will allow players to engage in  epic dogfights over some of the most iconic battlefields in the Star  Wars universe. 

Combat with depth

In a recent interview with PC Gamer, Star Wars Battlefront 2's creative director Bern Diemer said that DICE wants to add depth the game's multiplayer modes.

This  time around Heroes will apparently not be all-powerful game changers as  they once were. As well as making Heroes more present and not  restricted to a "lucky few" players, DICE will add something called team  play to make sure that those playing as standard troopers are not at an  unfair advantage. 

Team  play is based on classes and leveling and encourages players to join up  with their friends in well-balanced squads in order to take down  heroes. 

Matt  Webster revealed that there will be 4 Trooper classes which are  differentiated by standard things like range and firepower. 

There  will, apparently be "customization and progression inside the Trooper  classes, inside Heroes and inside Starfighters. So whilst they have  clear lines of class types, there is customization within those." 

Webster  said they'll reveal exactly how that will work at a later date, but we  imagine gadgets will have something to do with it as Diemer told PC  Gamer that to improve personalization and depth, abilities and gadgets  will also be introduced. According to Diemer different classes in the  game will have access to different items.

For  example, Diemer said that troopers don't really "have a personality"  and to give them one "you need to be able to customize them in some way  so it feels right. I really like using grenades, so I might try to pull  my class a little bit towards my favorite toy or my favorite gadget.”  

It's  also been confirmed that there will be no more blue pick ups to become a  Hero character, with Webster explaining that “it was becoming a brief  experience for the lucky few, or people were just hunting and hanging  around the spawn locations for tokens. So we wanted to expand the hero  play within a battle, we wanted to increase that scope but also have a  better system for players to be able to become a hero than just picking  up a token.”

This addition of classes and squads brings  Battlefront 2 more in line with DICE's other multiplayer shooter  releases such as Battlefield.  

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. 

In a recent interview,  it was revealed that as  far as the team is concerned “We are not talking about VR at the moment  for Battlefront 2. That's a story for another day…” That's not a direct  no, but it does confirm that Criterion's main involvement is with  regards to improving space battles and making them more dynamic 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 felt slightly too expensive, especially alongside the use  of  micro-transactions. So, what can the sequel do to change that?

Well,  first off, eliminating paid DLC would be a good first step – and, from  the sounds of it, that's exactly what's going to happen. According to  IGN, Star Wars Battlefront II won't offer a season pass this time  around, meaning that DLC will most likely be supplied for free.

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. 

Split-screen co-op

Our  last request is for split-screen co-op. This was an important feature  of the first two games made by Pandemic, and yet wasn't included in the  series' return.

Allowing two players to use the same screen (what  we refer to endearingly as couch co-op) harkens back to the game's  original design philosophy and will surely make long-time fans of the  series happy. And really, don't we all want to be happy?

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