Star Wars Battlefront was a well received multiplayer when it arrived in 2015. One of its main criticisms was that it didn't have a solo campaign mode and, therefore, no real story. That's something Battlefront 2 fixes: it touts a story mode said to "help bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Fore Awakens", which should please fans who have been waiting for a game that includes material from all three film's trilogies.
But we're not here for the solo campaign. At EA Play 2017 - which exists off-site just prior to the E3 games convention running in Los Angeles - we got to experience the new multiplayer. And boy has it got some great new plus points.
Battlefront was a decent multiplayer game. Battlefront 2 plays like a refined version of that.
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First of all there's a new class system, with each of the four main selectable character types offering different ways to play and a progression system that will help fit your play style.
Secondly there's a new points system - known as Battle Points - which allow you to earn and play as special characters. You'll earn points during a multiplayer battle and, should you be blasted into oblivion, you can spend them to regenerate as, say, Darth Maul, Boba Fett or Han Solo. There will be more than those specials, too, when the game is released, with different characters costing more Battle Points for their one-off play.
The special characters make a massive difference, with special moves punctuating your play style and keeping a, say, 10 minute match fresher than returning as the same inefficient Trooper. You don't have to spend your Battle Points, if you don't want, but it's a good idea if you're hoping to defend against the opposing team.
In our playthrough the goal was to defend against the Battle Droids advance on Theed capitol. This brought multiple sections of play: the first section was based outside, with huge transport and artillery; the second stage was in the building itself, trying to hold back the Droids from entry; while the final stage was to defend the throne room from being overrun.
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In the exterior section the presence of vehicles and heavy weapons makes a massive difference to the way in which the game played. Get the right spot, play as a team, and taking down armoured tanks is plausible. The interior building sections of play take on a different play style, which is where the deft motions of the special characters can come into particularly good use.
Vehicles will be an important factor beyond what we've seen. We know that X-Wing fighters in space, while even Tauntauns will be playable (if that could be accused of being a vehicle, we suppose).
There's a whole lot more yet to learn and explore in Battlefront 2. From what we've seen, it looks like a polished multiplayer that will keep fans of the original happy, while the single player story will lure in new fans and players alike.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 17, 2017.