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E3 2017: Star Wars Battlefront 2: Multiplayer Impressions

At EA Play, I was invited to check out a limited demo of multiplayer on Star Wars Battlefront 2 along with other members of press and influencers. I played two games, both on Theed, a map located on planet Naboo. I fought as a member of the clone army for both matches.

Notable Changes

Something that I immediately noticed when playing the BF2 demo is that the maps (at least the one on Naboo) have grown in comparison to its 2015 predecessor. This was a welcome change, as it really raises the scale of the battle. Another cool change was the overall diversity of the multiplayer atmosphere. There were more character classes (assault, heavy, officer, and specialist), weapons varieties, vehicles, and abilities. There also seems to be a more compelling level up and customization system, which definitely retains a player's attention. One of the common gripes with the 2015 version of Star Wars Battlefront is that the level up system felt daunting and unrewarding. DICE looks to address this in the sequel.

Vehicles

Star Wars Battlefront 2’s vehicles, special weapons, and heroes run on a Battle Points system. Throughout a game, you earn this BP depending on your performance. While playing I used some of my BP to pilot a N-1 Starfighter, and it felt amazing. Soaring over the battlefield, having my own dogfight in the air as my teammates fight to stop the objective on the ground was just a captivating feeling. Ironically, my only issue with flying was that I felt as though my ship was moving too fast. I felt as though I only had a short two-three second window to fire at an enemy or the ground objective before I zoomed past them and had to loop back around. It could’ve just been a bad combination of spaceship and map, but it felt as though I was constantly throwing my mouse around desperately trying to avoid crashing into a building or the ground.

Heroes

Easily, my favorite part of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 demo came during the second game, where I had reached 5,000 BP and was able to play as Rey. The heroic music swelled, her lightsaber blazed to life and gave me a rush of excitement as I ran around the battlefield slicing and dicing any droid in my path. I even had an epic moment where I came face to face with an enemy playing as Darth Maul, in which I bested him in a brief lightsaber battle (humble brag). Rey has three abilities: saber charge, in which she holds her lightsaber like a spear and impales enemies; Mind trick, in which she can invert an enemy’s control functions; and Insight, in which all nearby enemies are highlighted through walls and other objects. An interesting thing to note is that in Star Wars Battlefront 2, you can have two active members of your team playing as heroes, whereas it’s was one hero per team in the original.

Overall, my short experience with Star Wars Battlefront 2’s multiplayer mode was extremely satisfying. As a die-hard Star Wars fan, being able to live out fantasies such as Rey fighting Darth Maul during an attack on Naboo is purely awesome. Playing this game felt like I was watching a Star Wars film, except I was able to actively participate in. As someone who felt burned by the online mode in Battlefront 2015, I find the changes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 to be very promising. This game is quickly climbing up my most anticipated list when it launches November 17.

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