EA has shared a lot of new details about the beefed up single player campaign for Star Wars: Battlefront II. The first current-gen Battlefront, released in 2015, was roundly criticized for its limited offline play and total lack of a campaign mode (one was planned, but had to be cut for time). EA and DICE did listen to some of the fan criticisms, later adding more offline modes, but it was still a rather simple, instant action-style gameplay.
The original 2004 Battlefront featured no such campaign either, but its sequel had introduced one to much fan praise; players were able to play as a trooper in Darth Vader’s 501st legion all the way from the Battle of Geonosis in the Clone Wars up to the fall of the Empire in the original trilogy. Unsurprisingly, a single player story mode for the new sequel has been long rumored, and now we have some concrete details.
At the Battlefront II panel at Star Wars Celebration, developers from DICE, Criterion and Motive provided details on what the recently confirmed mode would feature. Gamers will play as Iden Versio, a member of the Empire’s elite trooper team Inferno Squadron in a story that is official Star Wars canon. More details below.
The actual length of the campaign is unknown – the developers were coy about the number of episodes – but they did reveal it followed Versio in the thirty-year gap between the end of Return of the Jedi to The Force Awakens and was made to cover a wide range of locations and battle types (and likely see the team switch from the Empire to the First Order, shedding light on the major transformation). Along the way, Inferno Squadron will come up against several famous characters from the movies and – at various points – players will actually get to play as those heroes, including Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.
Not only have EA listened to the complaints about the original, they’ve really steered into it with the sequel (it’s the main focus of the trailer). By all accounts, this single player experience has had a lot of effort put into it and will likely wind up massive as a result. Indeed, all involved were keen to discuss not only the gameplay experience but the importance of telling an emotive story from a traditionally villainous perspective; like the original Battlefront II, this game will explore life in the bad guys’ camp, with Iden having grown up on a planet described as an “Imperial Utopia”. Long-term it may not be as big an attraction of the game (that depends entirely on its length) but it’s a major step in the right direction.
This announcement also offers a lot for non-gaming Star Wars fans as Versio won’t be reserved to just video games. The new release is set to tie into upcoming novel Battlefront II: Inferno Squadron, written by Christie Golden and set to go on sale July 25. This cross-media style of storytelling has been a major element of the Disney-era of the franchise and gives further weight to the much-anticipated campaign.
This isn’t even the whole game either – it will also feature a revamped multiplayer that spans all three movie eras. The wait until November 17 is going to be a long one for Star Wars fans and gamers alike.