One of the highlights of Star Wars Celebration 2017 was a panel by Electronic Arts that promised an early look at Star Wars Battlefront II, the highly anticipated sequel to 2015's epic battle game. At 2015's Celebration, that original was available on the show floor for fans to try out and the line was seemingly endless, but EA didn't provide a demo this year. That's why on Saturday, April 15th, the second most anticipated panel of the day was Star Wars Battlefront II.
This game is a coproduction between three studios and four members of the creative team were on hand to share some never-before-heard details on the upcoming release. Matt Webster from Criterion Games, Berndt Diemer from DICE, plus Paola Jouyax and Mark Thompson from Motive Studios. They were joined by Steve Blank, Creative Executive at Lucasfilm, and author Christie Golden from Del Rey Books to participate in this exciting panel.
One of the first things they did was debut a trailer for the game, which revealed many familiar locations and characters from the Star Wars Universe. They didn't waste much time in sharing that the game would include multiplayer areas based on all VII saga films, and fans were particularly ecstatic both times Darth Maul was shown in concept art form.
Personally, I was underwhelmed by the first Battlefront game and prior to the panel, had no intentions of even looking into the sequel. However, the single player story mode made this a must play for me and I really can't wait for November. Following this story, gamers play as Idin Versio, a hero of the Empire and the game starts as she and her crew watch the second Death Star explode and vow to avenge their lost Emperor. This storyline promises to connect the dots between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and is a cannon story in the Star Wars story, so this could be referenced in future films, including The Last Jedi.
So why was a Del Rey author on the panel? As part of the promotion for the game, Christie Golden has written a book called Inferno Squad which tells Idin Verisio's story and provides more background for fans. I love this concept, as it means this exciting story is accessible to Star Wars fans who aren't gamers, or who want to dive deeper into the story. The book will be available in July ahead of the game's November release.
Another interesting concept is that players can train and upgrade their characters. You can literally attend classes within the game to improve your characters abilities and rank with lots of flexibility to chose your own path. Within the multiplayer Battlefronts, entering the scene promises to be a special moment and everyone's experiences will be different, offering lots of replayability. Not all of the battles take place on a field, either, as some of these scenes take the battle to outer space and give players the chance to pilot many iconic ships from the films.
Star Wars Battlefront II comes out on November 17th and fans who preorder it will get Last Jedi costumes to use on Rey and Kylo Ren in the game, plus the First Order Starfighter and the Millennium Falcon. The game will be available in both a standard and Deluxe Edition, which adds additional Stormtrooper upgrades to the game and allows you to get it early on November 14th. The presentation ended with the reveal of a Battlefront II PS4 Pro bundle (two fans won the highly coveted system), plus a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel that was not played for the livestream audience. As a parting gift, fans were given an exclusive Battlefront II patch. Despite being let down by the previous game, I'm really excited for the sequel. How about you?