Star Wars Battlefront II: The First 90 Minutes

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Star Wars Battlefront II: The First 90 Minutes

Our hands-on impressions of the single-player campaign.

Star Wars Battlefront II opens with an interrogation. Commander Iden Versio, disarmed and bound, glares at the Rebel soldier holding her captive. The slow, steady tension of the scene runs contrary to the often bombastic, spectacular battles that Star Wars is known for. But Iden’s story is one of military dedication, political motivation, loyalty, and betrayal. And bombastic, spectacular battles.

Iden serves as a humanizing element to the Empire — a force we have spent decades fighting in the Star Wars universe. She and the other agents of Inferno Squad represent the discipline and devotion that the Imperials glorify. But the most striking quality of her character impacts the entire narrative: her courtesy.

The single-player campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II takes place in the moments before and immediately after the conclusion of Return of the Jedi. The prologue mission follows Iden as she deftly escapes Rebel capture, then assists Imperial forces on Endor following the destruction of the second Death Star. But as she creeps behind enemy lines and uses her tactical droid to survey soldier positions, her whispered commands speak volumes. “Scan, please.”

Iden address both her fellow agents and her droid with notable politeness. It is immediately endearing, and a small detail among many that make the beginning moments of the campaign so enjoyable. It showcases that Iden and her team are not supervillains. They are soldiers. Even Iden has misgivings about the Empire’s plans, and those boil over in due time…

Visually, Star Wars Battlefront II looks sensational. The motion capture and texture work employed here brings Iden and her fellow squadmates to life. The superb detail extends into the nigh overwhelming environments, from the debris-littered reaches of space to the lush, leafy moon of Endor. These environments make for fantastic stages to all the action, while Iden’s humanity keeps the conflict grounded.

While on foot, Iden has access to standard Imperial weaponry, as well as rechargeable skills including an impact grenade, the aforementioned scan, a tactical shock, and a pulse cannon built on DLT-20A framework. These abilities add a welcome wrinkle to the running, gunning, and sneaking of each mission. The pulse cannon, for example, gives Iden a powerful long-range tool for dealing with officer units that enhance the prowess of soldiers around them. Targeting these officers from a hidden position before starting the battle in earnest was a useful tactic during the introductory missions.

Early in the campaign, Iden takes to the sky (or space, more accurately) and pilots a TIE fighter against Rebel forces. These ship battles are delightfully chaotic, with the ship itself having its own suite of abilities from rapid-fire bursts of laser fire to tracking torpedos. Making sense of enemy positioning, and avoiding dangerous debris, are challenges in and of themselves.

If the beginning hours of Star Wars Battlefront II are any indication, players can expect a cacophonous ride filled with action and tense, quiet cutscenes. And at the center of it all is Commander Iden Versio, who still has the sense to thank her droid for a scan well done.

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  • Had this preordered and paid off. Found out they dropped VR. Took my money back and put it on South Park.

    One thing would have been to just outright say that there would be no VR. But there are quotes saying “we aren’t ready to discuss VR yet. That’s a story for another day.” Among other hints that this game would get a nice update to the super popular VR mission from last year.

    I’m sure the game is great. But you guys let players experience what it’s like to fly an Xwing and then stole the promise of more of this.

    • So you canceled a pre-order for a game that may eventually get VR support, and instead bought a game that definitely won’t have any VR support. Makes perfect sense.

    • I think what @Sindred is trying to say is that the only reason for SWBF2(EA) is VR. Without it, much like the 1st(EA) game, it’s an “eh” game.

      Honestly, it’s the same here…VR is the only thing I liked about SWBF(EA).

      Wish we had the Pandemic/Rebellion games instead. If only EA didn’t such Pandemic down. -_-

    • @drd that’s actually not what he said at all… he explicitly in his post states it will probably be a ‘great game’ – which it will be, but he’s not buying it due to lack of vr. stop trying to put a negative spin on other people’s posts.

  • True, If this had VR i would have ordered it day 1… But it doesn’t. Probably will pick it up if the campaign reviews are good. I got BF1 to play the x wing VR mission and had a hoot, but I’ve only been able to convince myself to play a few minutes of the multiplayer before i got bored. And then my plus ran out… so it goes.

  • The comments section never changes. Always negative. Folks always seem to say stuff that would sound totally ridiculous and rude if said out loud and to the developer’s face. I guess the joker was right… “Give a man a mask and he will become his true self” So with this mask I wear, my true self LOATHES how toxic and whiny and bullying the gaming community, a community I do not wish to be associated with but cannot escape because I love games. As a former game developer ( now high school teacher) I will fight tooth and nail for my game design kids to NOT grow up to be a part of that TOXIC, WHINY, ENTITLED population of the community.

    • Fancy assessment. You know what else comment sections are known for? People assuming they know someone. Trust me buddy. You don’t know me. I would say this to the developer in person. I believe they did an amazing job bringing VR Star Wars to a bunch of happy people. With this new iteration they didn’t so much promise that it would be there but they very much hinted that it could be.

      Folks like you judge others without knowing them but then complain when change doesn’t come. I’m speaking to this developer with my wallet. You know when else this happened?

      Last year when EA released a campaign-less game and guess what happened when people dropped purchasing it?

      BattleFront 2 has a campaign.

    • It is QA’s responsibility to say rude things to developers, like “Hey you, you have a bug here. FIX IT”.
      Uncommon thing nowdays as how the games are released unfinished.

    • (I really do hope that you understand that I was joking)

    • I would agree with that, but i did accidentally complain about COD with one of the developers onces to his face… was awkward, but to be fair he asked my option without saying how he was associated until after my rant. And after i knew there wasn’t any turning back from that…. EEEEP

    • Sindred you were correct in my assumption and I was wrong to direct my frustration in your direction. So for that I apologize. I don’t know you. I realize too that it is EA we are talking about here. Being the corporate machine that is EA, they have had a history of these types of shenanigans.

      I literally just got done reading another article about again how our gaming community is full of haters, bullies and racists – and therefore i was a bit triggered, because it’s true. So anyhow – My bad. By all means, stick to EA with your wallet, bruh.

      “You Either Die A Hero, Or You Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain” – Harvey Dent. I gotta be careful not to end up truly the villain.

    • So you went straight for the jugular based on assumptions you read on another post/site and then you back peddle when your called out? And nobody cares if you really was a game developer or not, it’s the teaching high school kids with your current mentality that has me worried the most. Wonder where kids today get the disrespectful attitudes from…?

  • Mark my words. It is War Stories 2.0 just like in Battlefield 1.
    Battlefield’s first two war stories, first 90 minutes, were also great and amazing. Then, after your free trial/demo ended, you got the full game with the rest of 3 War Stories that were boring as #@$%.

    • I really liked Battlefield 1’s campaign… I’ve also played most of the COD single player campaigns which were terrible. So I’m waiting for reviews, also avoid spoilers, a weird hot mess of anticipation and paranoia. Cheers

  • I can’t trust reviews for AAA games with multiplayer and loot boxes as the main focus of the developer. I would get and play this game if I could have solid assurance that it has a worthwhile single player campaign. I really don’t care for any competitive PvP multiplayer content it has.

    • Well said! More developers need to focus on single player games rather than online junk.

      I pre-ordered this just because I am that much of a geek *sigh* tis a curse :)

  • Just wanna say that I hope the campaign is great cuz the online pales in comparison to Battlefront 1 (gameplay wise) ha how funny…people cried because of the lack of content,Dice brought the content and with that a lame broken gameplay that is crap compared to the fluid gameplay Battlefront 1 has.I would wait to buy it anyway but after playing the beta and getting very disappointed I know I’m not buying it until fall 2018 or 2019.

    • And now you cry over your opinion based on a beta rather than the finished game? Keep your money, you don’t deserve this game…!

  • came here from the tweet expecting to actually watch the first 90 minutes of the singleplayer… not watch a 2 minute trailer.

  • I was hopeful, but then I found out the campaign is only 5-7 hours. Might still ask for it for Christmas.

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