Following a leaked trailer and teaser, EA has now unveiled the full trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront 2, the sequel to DICE's Battlefront game from 2015 and bearer of the same title as the beloved 2005 shooter. The leaked trailer already told us quite a bit about the game, but that doesn't make the full trailer completely informationless.
So, after watching more space battles, Jedi and Sith, and yet another Death Star explosion in the trailer, here are the four impressions I'm left with:
Even before the full trailer dropped, it wasn't a surprise that we would be seeing characters like Yoda, Darth Maul, Rey and Kylo Ren. In multiplayer, we can expect to see these characters in battle, and future trailers should presumably show off clones and droids clashing as well.
But, judging from what this trailer shows, at least, the Clone Wars and post-Galactic Civil War stuff feel like mere side dishes or add-ons. X-wings and TIE fighters, Rebels and Imperial Stormtroopers are still the meat of the game, and the campaign - conspicuously absent from 2015's Battlefront - is perhaps the greatest indicator of that. Where the original Battlefront 2's campaign began in the final years of the Clone Wars before entering the era where the Galactic Empire ruled, this one seems mostly centred on the immediate time period following the destruction of the second Death Star, with the player character being an elite Stormtrooper called Iden.
We do see the First Order's base at the start of the trailer (and the voice-over makes it sound like Iden is affliated with them), but it likely won't feature all that much in the campaign (update: the Battlefront 2 website reveals that the story "spans 30 years"), especially where gameplay is to be concerned. That's not a bad thing though, and it might be a pleasant surprise if it features fairly heavily.
But honestly, the campaign's time era doesn't bother me that much, and the spectacle looks great - no actual gameplay though, just in-engine footage. Multiplayer, on the other hand... granted, it's only the first trailer, but after having the Rebellion clash against the Empire over and over in the predecessor, it wouldn't hurt to see even a glimpse of clones and droids. Oh well, maybe they're being left as a wonderful surprise for the next trailer.
From the opening scene that suggests Iden's place with the First Order and her eagerness to avenge the Empire, to the tone and events of the other campaign-related parts of the trailer, Battlefront 2's story seems like one of a resolutely loyal Imperial unit. When Iden crosses paths with Luke later in the trailer, it certainly doesn't look like she has any intention of defecting, and it feels even more unlikely that she'll carve out her own path and go up against both sides.
The original Battlefront 2 had us on the side of the Empire throughout much of the campaign, but it also had us playing as clones, and we know how they turn from "good' to "bad". Here, we've got a human Stormtrooper and she doesn't seem to be fighting the Rebellion based solely on orders. There's one bit in the trailer that could suggest that Iden was formerly involved with the Rebellion, but the possibility that she was always with the Empire still seems pretty high. How this Battlefront 2 tackles her character and backstory will be very important if we're going to be mowing down rebel after rebel for the glory of the Empire till the end of the story-heavy-looking campaign, and it'll be interesting to see how the game shows things from the Empire's perspective without alienating players who're used to supporting the rebels.
It's Star Wars we're talking about here, so it shouldn't really be surprising to see space ships and battles involving them. It's also good to see that Battlefront 2 will have space battles - rather than restricting dog fights to the skies like the previous game prior to DLC - right out of the box.
From a single-player FPS perspective however, the numerous space ship battle scenes here are somewhat unexpected. Rather than getting into the cockpit for only a mission or two, we might actually be spending a lot of time chasing enemy fighters and dodging turret fire if the trailer's any indication. I didn't try out the flying in 2015's Battlefront and it's unlikely that the flying sessions will be skippable like original Battlefront 2's space battles, so I'm not sure if this apparent emphasis on it is something to wholeheartedly embrace or be slightly wary of.
It's probably a given though that space ship battles ultimately won't overshadow the ground-based stuff as much as they do in the trailer, but it'll still be pretty cool if they featured noticeably in the game.
The Battlefront 2 trailer certainly has the feel of a movie trailer, but the extent to which it reminds me of the actual Star Wars movies - or rather, one, in particular - is surprising. Let's look at some shot comparisons between the game's trailer and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The last two in particular feel very similar when viewed in motion (and is it just me or does it look like we'll be seeing Scarif again?). I'm not complaining about the similarities though, but the shots just looked and felt so darn familiar that I couldn't resist comparing them and point them out.
But while we're somewhat on the subject of movie and video game comparisons, I suppose I should bring up the fact that this trailer contains no gameplay again. I enjoy cinematic and/or in-engine footage trailers, but this trailer in particular, combined with the Star Wars name, Rogue One comparisons and current resurgence of Star Wars movies, makes me think of a film - Iden Imperial Elite: A Star Wars Story? - more than a video game. Hopefully, the trailer's imagery and wonderful-looking battles will be realized as beautifully in moments where the player is in control while offering more than just pretty spectacle.