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Star Wars Battlefront II Live Demo Impressions


Joseph Knoop

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Star Wars Battlefront II was undoubtedly EA’s centerpiece attraction this E3, with the company dedicating more than half an hour of their press event to the team shooter juggernaut. After a new trailer that featured never before seen maps, heroes, and vehicles, EA presented a long look at a single multiplayer match. Keep reading for a full rundown of everything we saw.
 
EA’s live demo featured the new “Assault on Theed” map, set on the lush and architecturally luxurious planet of Naboo. The map seems to be taking a lot of inspiration from the final battle of Episode One: The Phantom Menace, where Separatist droids fought with the Naboo army in the streets and palace halls of Naboo’s royal city.
 
Much like the Hoth map in the 2015 Battlefront, the assaulting team (Separatists instead of Emperial this time) must escort a siege tank to the front doors of the Naboo royal palace, tear down its defenses, and shut down enemy activity inside the palace. Players are able to take the form of your standard Star Wars prequel trilogy characters, including variants of battle droids and clone troopers.
 
The live demo showcased players competing for every inch of a sprawling, dense, yet surprisingly spacious lane of activity. When players weren’t fighting building to building on either flank, they were sprinting across the large center roadway along the siege tank’s path. Clone troopers were able to make use of AT-RT “chicken walker” tanks, bite-sized prototypes of the original trilogy’s AT-ST’s. The AT-RTs are capable of sprinting long distances in mere seconds, although it seems their attack capabilities are withdrawn as a result. When they are firing lasers, droids are easily mowed down with ease, though the lackadaisical pace puts clone troopers in a vulnerable spot. Separatist droids have their classic battle tanks at hand, which can shells at a modest pace or lock themselves into siege mode, which provides greater power but zero mobility.
 
Clone troopers won’t have to rely on just AT-RTs to get around though. Higher class troopers can spawn with the same jetpacks seen in 2015’s Battlefront. However, the droids might have air superiority in the skies above Naboo, with their numerous vulture droid starfighters dogfighting clone V-Wings. Players were able to zip around the city at daringly low altitudes, in between large stone arches, though any level of contact is of course instant death.

 

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Heroes and villains are sure to get their due as well. After the first stage of the battle is complete, and the palace doors blown to bits by the droid’s siege tank, Darth Maul made his debut by chopping up clones into itty bitty pieces. He’ll have some deadly moves, including a lightsaber toss and spiral lunge that can decimate tightly packed groups of enemies. Rey showed up, too, but her player couldn’t hold a candle to Maul’s malevolence, so it was a bit of wash. Evidently, Rey will be able to make use of her Jedi mind control powers she tapped into in “The Force Awakens” to momentarily stun enemies.
 
The live demo ended with the droids taking the palace throne room, essentially walking all over the clones, and ensuring their victory by numbers. While the Frostbite engine will always impress, and while Naboo is certainly a colorful locale to do battle in, it remains to be seen if Battlefront II will be able to differentiate itself from its predecessor.
 
Make sure to check out the gameplay trailer for a more varied look at where Battlefront II will take players later this year.


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