On April 15, EA Star Wars released the first trailer for their upcoming sequel in the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront game series, Star Wars Battlefront II.
As a longtime Star Wars fan and gamer, I am crazy excited to witness any Star Wars awesomeness. However, as the trailer ended and the rose tinted nerd glasses fell away, I realized something. Almost two years ago to the day, I was just as excited for the the initial Star Wars Battlefront reboot trailer.
While critics had largely varying opinions about Star Wars Battlefront, I can sum up my personal opinion of it in one word: shit.
If Star Wars Battlefront, the 2015 reboot, was a person, it would be one of those reality TV housewives from Beverly Hills. At first glance, their glamorous appearances and charming tones of voice coax you into believing that they really have life figured out. However, as you get to know them you slowly come to realize that behind the attractive facade, they are nothing more than shallow, overpriced and uninteresting husks.
I know its a bit harsh, but I do not take kindly to seeing not only one of my favorite movie franchises, but also one of my all time favorite games, so undeservedly half-assed.
Now, it wasn’t all bad. Actually, when I dropped into my first game of the 2015 Star Wars Battlefront, I was in awe. The game has gorgeous graphics and the overall look totally captured the Star Wars aesthetic beyond my expectations. Wielding my blaster, I fought onward, and the sounds of laser blasts and explosions all around me made me feel as though I WAS in the movies.
So, with expectations soaring I fully intended to waste many nights playing the game. Much to my dismay, it went downhill from that point forward.
While I will happily shit on Star Wars Battlefront all day, I chose instead to look forward. I hope, and tentatively believe, that Star Wars Battlefront II will be the game that we all clamored for. To be honest, if it were up to me any reboot would be updated and remastered version of the 2005 game of the same name. But I know, I know, progress, originality and all that jazz are important.
From the short trailer alone, it’s pretty obvious that the makers of the games heard many of the Star Wars Battlefront critiques. The first and most obvious sign of this is the inclusion of an actual campaign. The lack of a single-player campaign was a major problem that plagued the 2015 Battlefront.
Majority of the trailer showcased this new feature, but only time will tell whether that was just to placate fans. EA’s Motive studio is in charge of the new campaign. Their team includes industry heavy-hitters like Portal designer Kim Swift and Jean-Francois Poirier of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell.
In the trailer, the player is Versio, a soldier in the Imperial special forces, who honestly believes in the peace and order brought about by the Empire. It also indicates that the campaign takes place in the years following the destruction of the second Death Star, and subsequently the death of the empire. This is an era only explored in depth in books that were de-canonized when the series rebooted in 2015.
The trailer therefore provided a glance at an experience with a commonly untold Star Wars story. I expect that the campaign will link to the Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens. The trailer clearly shows characters and events from the movie, and I doubt game makers would pass up such an opportunity to show off an Imperial perspective of those events.
The promise of a campaign with some depth is really exciting because it also shows that game makers adopted a similar structure to the original Star Wars Battlefront games. This isn’t the only sign suggesting that their game design has embraced some of the glory of its ancestors. The trailer confirmed that all three major eras of Star Wars will be playable. This is an exciting reveal that shows potential for a large variety of locations, game modes, weapons and units to play through.
Equally exciting is the possibility of Space battles akin to those of the old Battlefront II. The trailer glimpses ship to ship space combat, and, from what I can see, it is between Rebel carriers and Imperial Star Destroyers. EA has so far confirmed nothing – but come on, that feature is just too amazing to pass up (Cough Battlefront shaming cough).
That all sounds great, right? There is also a truly intriguing sign that tells me Battlefront II wasn’t assigned to EA’s normal team of baboons.
DICEs Battlefront II creative director Bern Diemer made a statement shortly after the trailer release. In an interview with Mashable, he said, “We don’t have a season pass.”
“We decided on that, and it’s one of those difficult decisions because it has so many implications all around,” Diemer continued.
Like the 2015 Star Wars Battlefront, this game is going to be incredible from an audio and visual standpoint. Combined with the potential I can gleam from this two minute trailer, I am left fantasizing about this new game.
While I am still cautious, all of these signs give me hope that DICE and EA have actually set their sights on creating what could possibly be the ultimate Star Wars Battlefront.
Star Wars Battlefront II releases on Nov. 17 of this year.
Contact CU Independent Arts Writer Christopher Koehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.