The original 2015 releases’ fantastic 40-player online gun battles are back, with new and improved multiplayer maps across the entire Star Wars back catalogue of films.
So expect laser gun fights across the lush planet of Naboo, the more recent movies’ icy Starkiller Base and other notable film landmarks like Endor, Jakku and the Death Star itself.
And you get to play as all your favourite characters again, with an expanded cast list on the first game encompassing heroes like Rey, Luke and Finn on top of villains like Kylo Ren, Vadar and new baddie from the single-player campaign Iden Version.
Once you pick from your different types of online gameplay modes it’s not long before you’re in the heart of battle, slaying rivals with either lightsabers or plasma guns as Tie Fighters and X-Wing ships dogfight in the skies above.
It’s hectic, exhilarating and full of fun as your take on your mission – whether it be a Strike objective, trying to seize or sabotage, a 10vs10 classic team deathmatch style Blast mode, a four on four Heroes vs Villains battle featuring the best names in the game and even a 24-player Starfighter Assault, which is all-out air battle.
There’s a fully fleshed-out multiplayer suite here for web gaming fans and while not quite as in-depth as, say, the new Call of Duty, has more than enough for Star Wars fans to keep them coming back for more.
For those not so keen on taking on the world’s best online, there’s also a separate arcade mode which is your player – and a pal at home if you go split-screen – taking on computer-controlled AI characters offline.
I had great fun with a mate blasting our way through 100 baddies split-screen in as quick a time as we possibly could.
The time challenge kept us hooked and playing for ages and the game coped great running two screens at once.
The biggest new addition to Battlefront 2 is the new story mode. Something fans of both the original game and sci-fi films in general have been crying out for.
And the good news is we have a really strong, emotionally-driven Star Wars tale here that feels blockbuster and complements the movies very well.
The campaign helps tell part of the story of what happened in the galaxy after the events of Return of the Jedi, from a vastly different perspective.
You play as Iden Versio, a ‘baddie’ in the normal Star Wars sense, and the Commander of ‘Inferno Squad’ who faces the challenges of an Empire under attack following the battle of Endor and the death of the Emperor.
Gamers are taken to iconic locations from the films like Endor and Takodana, as well as familiar planets such as Fondor and new locations including the coral planet of Pilio and Idens’ home planet of Vardos.
Firstly, it all looks incredibly detailed with some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen in a first-person shooter. The visuals pop off the screen, particularly on Microsoft’s Xbox’s fancy new 4K Xbox One Xmachine.
That detail immerses you in what feels like a living, breathing Star Wars film and is exactly what gamers and fans alike will have hoped from this EA blockbuster.
Iden is quite a likeable character despite her leanings towards the ‘dark side’ and the cut-scenes are so excellently acted and face-animations so detailed that the emotion of her torn existence really tugs at the heart strings as the story develops.
The action is fast and frantic, much like multiplayer, and there’s little hand-holding for new gamers. I struggled to get to grips particularly with the first dogfighting mission in an X-Wing space craft and found myself dying a lot before slowly getting a handle on the fiddly fight controls.
It was annoying at first but – once conquered – there was a strong sense of achievement.
The campaign reminded me of the Halo series a lot, as you’re often playing boots-on-the-ground with two squad members either side, running and gunning through beautiful alien vistas.
And while the makers try to mix things up a bit with the odd space shootout and stealth mission, I did feel that the campaign ultimately offered little new in the gameplay than what the base multiplayer has.
Thankfully the story drives on at such a pace that you want to keep going, shooting your way through endless enemy AI and getting to the next cut-scene to see what happens next.
But then there’s the computer controlled cannon fodder, which isn’t that great and I often saw a couple of glitches in the AI when I played story mode.
At one point a baddie at distance suddenly popped into existence from nowhere when I was looking down scope.
It was very odd and knocked me out of the illusion I was in deep combat on another planet.
Also, some of the AI rivals make some very strange decisions with regards to how they fight back at you.
It’s often the case that these armed characters sit in the middle of an open space shooting at you, rather than taking cover.
And again it feel just odd because no one in their right mind would sit in an open plain to be killed when there’s tree cover all around.
Still, these small gripes aside what you have here is the ultimate game for Star Wars fans.
A title that finally offers a real story for single-player gamers to get their teeth into.
And while, for me, it’s not quite as good as this year’s amazing Call of Duty: WW2 it is still very playable and absolutely worth your money if you can buy two games this month.
The multiplayer is as fun as ever and the maps are big, Battlefield-like in their DICE development design.
There’s loads of heroes and villains to take control of and have fun with and plenty of reason to come back if you can conquer those amazing spaceship dogfight battles too.
- Stunning Graphics
- Great Offline and Online Play
- Story Mode is Average
- Glitches Throughout The Game