Star Wars Battlefront II: 8 features EA must nail to make the franchise great again

By Kin Boon on Apr 18, 2017

Back in 2004, the first ever Star Wars: Battlefront was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC, enabling fans to live out their fantasy of joining intergalactic skirmishes in a galaxy far, far away. It spawned a sequel a year later, before the franchise was rebooted in 2015 after EA acquired the rights to develop and publish Star Wars games. As much as fans were excited to relive the good memories they had with the series, the modern Battlefront failed to deliver its high expectations. Despite the game’s impressive graphics and audio quality, its lack of content and polarizing multiplayer maps failed to engage the dwindling playerbase.

EA is well aware of Battlefront’s shortcomings, which explains the emphasis placed on campaign mode and multiple heroes from all eras in Battlefront II’s reveal trailer. With that said, the footage is just a mere indicator of what to expect from the sequel, and there are other features the developer must nail to make the franchise great again. Here’s hoping that EA will incorporate all of them into Battlefront II when it launches on November 17, as listed below.

Having non-divisive premium content, especially multiplayer maps

Image credit: VG 24/7
Image credit: VG 24/7

One of the main factors for Battlefront’s downfall is its polarizing expansions, which divided the community between premium and non-premium players. The base game came with a handful of maps from four planets, namely Hoth, Tatooine, Endor, and Jakku, with further additions from purchasing DLCs. This made matchmaking significantly tougher, which compounded the players’ frustrations on top of other issues in Battlefront. We currently don’t have any clue whether the same DLC format will be employed in Battlefront II, though an EA DICE developer said there won’t be any, which was later backtracked by the higher ups. EA then stated that they are hearing feedback from the community, so fingers crossed we’ll get a much better multiplayer experience this time around.

An engaging campaign mode

Image credit: Electronic Arts
Image credit: Electronic Arts

There are mainly two type of Battlefront players, those that enjoy the multiplayer skirmishes, and those that prefer to relive the struggles of the clone troopers in 2005’s Battlefront II. Fans that belonged to the latter group were ignored in Battlefront as it didn’t have a traditional single-player mode, but it’s making a return in the sequel. Based on what we saw in the reveal trailer, players will enter the shoes of an elite Imperial soldier, who seek to revive the glory days of the Galactic Empire after the Death Star’s destruction. Besides the interesting concept in allowing players to use a villain, it promises to be engaging since EA will be given full creative freedom to explore the timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Most importantly, the storyline will be canon in the Star Wars universe, which adds weight to the narrative presented by the developers.

Have more character variants, and heroes from multiple eras

Image credit: Kotaku
Image credit: Kotaku

The classic Battlefront games excelled in providing different and fun experiences, no matter which faction that the players pledged their loyalty to. This is due to the different character variants that you can choose, whether you prefer an automatic weapon, rocket launcher, or even a sniper rifle. Having such choices allowed players to pick their favorite style of play, and it felt significant to the whole gameplay experience as well. Instead of having the same amount of freedom in Battlefront, infantry types were reduced to different load outs only, and most of the weapons felt more or less the same. There is much that can be done with current technology in gaming, so we hope EA will bring back this classic feature with a modern rebranding. On top of that, we definitely need to have more heroes to play with, and luckily, it’s been confirmed that we’ll have access to characters from multiple eras. This is a major plus compared to Battlefront, which only had Galactic Civil War heroes.

Make plenty of vehicles that players can jump right into

Image credit: Star Wars Wikia
Image credit: Star Wars Wikia

Besides the plethora of characters, epic space battles, and intense skirmishes, Star Wars is also known for its iconic line of war vehicles. In earlier Battlefront titles, you have the freedom to jump into any vehicles that’ll spawn in specific areas on maps, but options were severely limited in the reboot. Instead of diving straight into vehicular warfare action, players have to collect tokens to call in vehicles. Needless to say, it wasn’t a popular decision as it took some of the authenticity away, so we hope EA will reinstate the freedom of choice for fans to play the way they want. And also, we need to have more vehicles this time around, considering 2005’s Battlefront II had 37 of them, while Battlefront barely had 10.

Space fights is cool and all, but it’s time to have seamless ground-to-space battles

Image credit: Electronic Arts
Image credit: Electronic Arts

This feature is supposed to be included in the canceled Battlefront III game, before it was modded into 2005’s Battlefront II. EA then featured it in Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron for the PlayStation Portable, which showed they were willing to explore this idea in the series. It’ll definitely be tricky for them to do it in modern titles, since there might be plenty of bugs and glitches to fix, but at the same time, by recreating Star Wars’ iconic ground-to-space battles, it provides a seamless experience that’ll add plenty of weight to the in-game world. Just imagine starting your battle from the grounds in Coruscant or Starkiller Base, before hopping into a starfighter to engage your enemies in space, and it’s all presented in high definition graphics.

More launch content than Battlefront is a must

Image credit: Electronic Arts
Image credit: Electronic Arts

Battlefront felt like a promised land for longtime fans of the series, but the general perception quickly changed right from the moment it launched. There were only a handful of modes and content for players to dive in, which was already bad considering the game only featured the Galactic Civil War era. This will definitely change with Battlefront II’s campaign mode and multiplayer featuring heroes from all eras, though it definitely won’t hurt for EA to offer something more. On a personal note, I’ll like to see the return of Galactic Conquest, which can generate plenty of gameplay hours alone.

Maps, maps, and more maps please

Image credit: Windows Central
Image credit: Windows Central

On top of the disappointing launch content, Battlefront didn’t generate much excitement either in terms of the maps that you can play in-game. With only around 10 of them, it paled in comparison with 2005’s Battlefront II, which featured 33 maps and more than 10 planets for players to stage their battles. With that said, we’ll definitely get to have more choices in the sequel after EA confirmed the appearances of multiple era heroes. I’m just excited to explore the prequel maps in immersive graphics. Not to mention that we’ll get new locales from The Force Awakens and Rogue One as well.

It’s time to get a map-editor to build custom maps

Image credit: Nexus Mods
Image credit: Nexus Mods

The community plays an important role in sustaining interest and fun factor in a multiplayer game, and what better way to engage the players by allowing mods and custom maps? The classic Battlefront II is definitely an old game by today’s standards, but it’s considered as timeless for most of the fans, thanks to the high amount of entertaining mods and custom maps that you can find online. It’ll be a major incentive to keep players coming back for more, as it expands the playing experience at a whole new level. On top of that, it encourages creative fans to make the game even better, which explains why Battlefront II’s modding scene is still thriving. Take note, EA.

Kin Boon
About the Author
Just your 'average' media newbie. Have interest in gaming (duh), superhero series, and I enjoy getting engage in conversations about footy. With that said, slight biasedness might be present if we are talking about Chelsea FC. Hope to see the world with my own pair of eyes in the future instead of viewing it through Instagram or Snapchat filters.
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