For months, Star Wars fans have been dying for any new updates regarding the follow up to Star Wars Battlefront. Developed by EA DICE and Criterion Games, Star Wars Battlefront was released in November 2015, and the game certainly outpaced original expectations. The game has sold over 13 million copies to date, cashing in on the hype leading up to The Force Awakens and last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While the initial anticipation for the game’s release was high, the shooter series left fans with mixed feelings overall. It left something to be desired in terms of gameplay, and many lamented the lack of a campaign mode and more overall content.
Recently, EA has announced several major developments regarding Star Wars Battlefront II, and has addressed the pleas for a campaign mode. Much to the joy of fans, Star Wars Battlefront 2 director Bernd Diemer already confirmed that there will be no season pass. On a side note, Lucasfilm executive Steve Blank left everyone with a cryptic response when asked about Jar Jar Binks making an appearance. Here are some of the major highlights announced by EA at the Star Wars Battlefront II panel held at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.
We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting developments about the upcoming Star Wars video game. Here is Every Update You Need To Know About Star Wars Battlefront 2
15 Release date: November 17, 2017
The upcoming sequel will mimic Star Wars Battlefront's release date and scheduling. Star Wars Battlefront II is slated to be released on November 17, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on Origin for PC. Fans who choose to preorder the Deluxe Edition will be granted earlier access to the game on November 14. The release date coincides perfectly with the hotly anticipated release of The Last Jedi on December 15, 2017.
While the original Star Wars: Battlefront was released in 2004 by LucasArts and developed by Pandemic Studios, fans embraced the follow up title of Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005). Based on the recent panel at Star Wars Celebration, EA hopes to that this year’s sequel will do the same. In 2015, fans were anxiously anticipating the release of Star Wars Battlefront, yet most thought the game lacked a variety of modes and content. While many were initially impressed by the stunning visuals found in Star Wars Battlefront, the lack of a campaign mode and overall content was a major disappointment.
Although Star Wars Battlefront might have fallen short of most fan’s expectations, it certainly generated a ton of sales for EA. Will Star Wars Battlefront II live up to the hype?
14 Single Player campaign from the Imperial perspective
Unlike Star Wars Battlefront, the campaign for Star Wars Battlefront II will focus on the Imperial perspective. Star Wars Battlefront allowed fans to play on either faction— as part of the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, yet sorely lacked by not offering a single player campaign mode. In stark contrast to more traditional Star Wars storytelling, this time fans will get the chance to adventure to a galaxy far, far, away and step in the footsteps of the Empire.
At the Star Wars Battlefront panel at Star Wars Celebration, game designers discussed that they were inspired to move in a different direction on account of the fans. Instead of retelling the same stories from the original trilogy, the prequels, or even new canon, the concept was to tell a new tale through the eyes of an Imperial.
Details are still pending, but the campaign for Star Wars Battlefront II will focus on an elite team of soldiers who serve the Empire known as the Inferno Squad.
13 Multiplayer will encompass all eras
Instead of being limited to the timeframe of the original trilogy, fans were pleasantly surprised to hear that the upcoming game will encompass all eras. In Star Wars Battlefront I, gamers could choose between familiar landscapes featured in the original trilogy, from the lush forests of Endor to the icy planet of Hoth. The season pass included maps from other recognizable environments, including Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, Bespin, and the Death Star. The most recent DLC for Star Wars Battlefront was exclusively centered on Scarif, where fans were able to play several game modes outside of the shield gate and directly on the planet’s surface.
According to EA, the latest announcement regarding the eras of Star Wars Battlefront II involves “up to 40 players in massive multiplayer fights in authentic locations across all eras. Revel in deep class-based online gameplay, pilot a wide variety of land and air vehicles, and control iconic characters with distinct abilities that can turn the tide of battle.” In the panel, developers also included a gameplay still on the planet Kamino, which was featured in Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars.
12 Split-screen Co-op Confirmed
While many lamented the lack of a campaign mode, another one of the most disappointing aspects of Star Wars Battlefront was the game’s lack of a substantial split-screen co-op. As announced at the Star Wars Battlefront 2 panel at Star Wars Celebration, the co-op mode will be exclusive for Playstation 4 and Xbox players. This announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as this follows suit with Star Wars Battlefront from 2015.
With Star Wars Battlefront, players can team up with a friend and complete a default set of missions. Options include facing off against an opponent for a generic mode of Imperials against rebel scum, or testing your might with a hero versus a villain. The game’s Survival mode pits rebels against wave after wave of Imperial forces, complete with Admiral Ackbar barking out mission objectives.
While the experience of playing within the Star Wars universe is spot on, many fans felt that the co-op mode needed more of a challenge, along with more breadth and depth. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that there will be more details announced about the co-op mode for Star Wars Battlefront 2.
11 New character Iden Versio, voiced by Janina Gavankar
One of the major highlights from the recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 panel at Star Wars Celebration was the introduction of a brand new leading lady— Iden Versio. According to EA, Iden is described as being a commander of Inferno Squad, “an Imperial special forces unit equally lethal on the ground and in space.” Voiced by the talented Janina Gavankar, Iden looks to be a promising addition the Star Wars universe. Gavankar is no stranger to the voice acting world, or even the gaming scene, having voiced Amita from Far Cry 4 back in 2014. The actress has also starred in such roles as Luna Garza from True Blood, Shiva from The League, and Diana Thomas from Sleepy Hollow.
Rumors were circulating about the actress’ involvement in the project, but things were officially confirmed at the EA Star Wars Battlefront 2 Panel. Although Janina was not on stage, she was in attendance in the audience and was given a warm shout out from the game developers and designers. Players will get a chance to discover more about Iden Versio in the campaign mode for Star Wars Battlefront II, set to span across a total of thirty years.
10 Confirmed as a canon
In the recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 panel, developers made a major announcement regarding the storyline by confirming that all of the latest developments from Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be a "canon story." When it comes to a vast fandom like Star Wars, one of the biggest challenges that directors and authors face is keeping continuity with the expansive universe.
Star Wars used to encompass many different stories and novels, but when Disney acquired Star Wars, many things were determined "non-canon." The single player campaign mode in Star Wars Battlefront 2 purportedly takes place over the course of thirty years, and will follow the point of view of the Empire. The campaign will allow fans to experience the game via Iden Versio, the commander of an elite group of soldiers called Inferno Squad.
In the recent trailer, Iden is shown speaking with a mysterious cloaked figure in red. The character is known as “The Messenger” and projects a hologram of Emperor Palpatine in the messenger’s helmet. The character has also appeared in the Star Wars comic "Shattered Empire, Part II”.
9 Developed by three studios: DICE, Motive, and Criterion
The Star Wars Battlefront reboot from 2015 was originally developed by EA DICE and Criterion. In similar suit, Star Wars Battlefront 2 unites EA DICE and two other developers. Motive Studios, based out of Montreal, also joined in the development of the game, along with the return of Criterion Games, which is based out of the UK.
It is unclear if any of the original Star Wars cast will play a role in Star Wars Battlefront 2. In Star Wars Battlefront, some original cast members lent their voices fto their video game counterparts, with actors like Temuera Morrison reprising his role as Boba Fett, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
Actor Sam Witwer, best known for his velvety voice as Darth Maul in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, voiced Emperor Palpatine. In the original Star Wars Battlefront from 2005, actor Tom Kane voiced Admiral Ackbar and Yoda. Kane returned for the Star Wars Battlefront reboot, but there's still no word yet about Star Wars Battlefront 2. In the trailer, Yoda is shown squaring off against Darth Maul, which gives us good reason to believe that we'll be hearing Kane’s (and Witwer’s) voice again soon.
8 Deluxe Edition details
The Star Wars Battlefront II: Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition preorder costs $79.99 and, as mentioned previously, will allow fans to play the game on November 14th, three days ahead of its general release. The Deluxe Edition also includes upgraded packs for each trooper class (Officer, Assault, Heavy and Specialist) along with new weapons and abilities.
The Elite Officer upgrade pack will include the Blurrg-1120 blaster, along with an enhanced grip modification and the Battle Command epic ability. The Heavy Metal upgrade pack will feature the FWMB-10 “Megablaster”, barrel vent modification and the Personal Shield epic ability. The Armored Assault upgrade pack will include the CR-2 (with a trigger modification) and the Grenade epic ability, while the Master Specialist upgrade ability boasts the A280-CFE blaster rifle and scope modification and the Laser Trip Mine epic ability.
Purchasing the Deluxe Edition will allow for instant access to the specified weapons for all four trooper classes, along with exclusive “Kylo Ren and Rey-themed looks, inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” According to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 panel, the deluxe edition will also include the First Order Starfighter, but alas, it’s not confirmed on the EA website at this time.
7 Novel tie-in “Star Wars Battlefront II Inferno Squad” on July 25th
Author Christie Golden has penned the upcoming prequel novel entitled Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad. The book will explore more about the protagonist of Star Wars Battlefront II, Iden Versio. At the Star Wars Battlefront 2 panel, Golden stated that the book will show how the Inferno Squad meets, along with more information about their first mission and how they learned to become a "well-oiled machine."
In the Star Wars universe, Golden is best known for writing several novels for the Fate of the Jedi series, including Allies, Omen, and Ascension. Her most recent dalliance with the Star Wars universe was with her 2015 release, Star Wars: Dark Disciple. The novel focused heavily on Asajj Ventress, the former Sith apprentice of Count Dooku.
In addition to writing her own original works, Golden has also written books set in the Warcraft, Star Trek, and Starcraft universes. Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad will hit shelves on July 25th, letting fans dive into the action four months before the game's release.
In 2015, author Alexander Freed wrote a novel called Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company in line with the first Battlefront release.
6 New planet called Vardos, Iden’s homeworld
While the novel is set to take place in multiple locations, Golden confirmed that we will see the home planet of Iden Versio, named Vardos. The video game developers sent Golden some early concept art over for reference, and she was mesmerized by the more esoteric qualities of the city. In the image released during the panel, the city features several bright red trees, which are planted right above several pools of water. Golden was told that when the leaves fall off the trees, they “bleed into the water”, and she said it was the perfect touch to help her gain inspiration for her book.
According to the panel, the planet of Vardos was brought into the Empire by Iden Versio's father. Golden also gave a quick shout out to Janina Gavankar, recognizing Gavankar for personally reaching out to her in order to learn more about her character's story. In terms of gameplay, Vardos will be different from some of the more traditional multiplayer maps, as reps from the panel confirmed that gameplay will take place inside the city. In the recent trailer, we’re given a glimpse at an action-packed scene on Vardos involving heavy fire, Stormtroopers, and even an AT-AT.
5 Game play will include more customization options
In 2015, fans heavily anticipated the release of Star Wars Battlefront, but were sorely disappointed when it came to the lack of customization options in the game. At the recent panel during Star Wars Celebration, reps from Motive, Criterion, and DICE confirmed that Star Wars Battlefront II will offer “more breadth and depth” in terms of gameplay. In Star Wars Battlefront, gamers were limited to a few skin options and in-game power-ups.
Last year, EA execs teased that the gameplay for Star Wars Battlefront II will be much bigger than before. Recently, Dennis Brännvall, the Associate Design Director at EA DICE tweeted that fans will get the chance to “drastically to suit your playstyle." In the panel, execs confirmed that fans will finally be able to live out something from everyone’s childhood dreams— players will be able to actually ride Tauntauns!
4 Space Battles will encompass all eras
Star Wars Battlefront gave players the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon, or enter the fray with the Slave I. Rebels can choose between A-Wings or X-Wings, while Imperials could opt for a Tie Fighter or Tie Interceptor. Depending on the game mode, rebels could also pilot T-47 Airspeeders, while the Bespin DLC introduced the Cloud Car.
With the Death Star DLC, players could get the chance to pilot Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1, Luke Skywalker’s Red Five X-Wing, or play as a special Wingman for either side.
In the Rogue One: Scarif and Death Star DLC, space combat is a mandatory part of certain modes, like Infiltration or Battle Station. Both modes requiring rebels to complete an objective before moving to the next stage.
While footage from the latest trailer seems to hint at a similar type of gameplay, we’ll have to wait and see what’s to come in Star Wars Battlefront II. According to the panel, execs confirmed that we will be able to see prequel-era vulture droids, First Order Tie Fighters, and Hero ships as some of the new additions to the game.
Matt Webster, Executive Producer of Battlefront II, confirmed that starfighters will also get customization options.
3 Campaign Time frame: After ROTJ and before TFA
According to the description of Christie Golden’s novel, Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, one of their first missions is to hunt down the remnants of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. As the extremists continue to follow in Saw Gerrera's footsteps, the Inferno Squad is tasked with taking them down "from within." As confirmed at the panel during Star Wars Celebration, the single player campaign will span thirty years, starting after the events of Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens.
Star Wars is no stranger to cross-platform mediums, including books that take place in the timeframe, such as Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. Fans were also given a glimpse of this era with Star Wars Battlefront. Before the release of The Force Awakens, players were gifted a free downloadable DLC map with the Battle of Jakku. With one of the larger scale maps, players can weave throughout a wrecked battlefield on the planet’s surface, and taking cover behind downed AT-ATs and scrap piles.
2 Will include characters from every era
Unlike the previous Star Wars Battlefront, the upcoming sequel promises to include major characters from every era. In the Star Wars Battlefront II panel, the developers confirmed that Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren will be playable characters in the single player campaign mode. In the trailer alone, we’re given a closer look at major characters in action, like Yoda, Darth Maul, Rey, Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker.
In Star Wars Battlefront, players could choose from a selection of heroes, including Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker. The Imperial side included Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and Boba Fett. Nien Nunb and Greedo were added with the release of the Outer Rim DLC, while Lando Calrissian and Dengar were included with the Bespin DLC. The Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk was introduced, alongside everyone's favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, as playable heroes and villains with the Death Star DLC.
With the final release of the Rogue One DLC, Jyn Erso was introduced as a playable hero, while Director Orson Krennic was included as the game's final villain. We look forward to covering more future announcements regarding playable characters for Star Wars Battlefront II.
1 Official full-length trailer debut
While snippets of a trailer were previously leaked online, a full-length trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II was officially released during the panel held by EA at Star Wars Celebration. Based on the action-packed reel, it seems like EA, DICE and Criterion are seriously looking to remedy things regarding the outcry for a campaign mode from the most recent Star Wars Battlefront.
With a slew of exciting announcements, from customization options to seeing characters and locations from all eras, it seems like this next video game installment to the Star Wars universe is bound to be a thrilling ride into new, uncharted territory. We can’t wait to find out more about Iden Versio, Inferno Squadron, and the planet Vardos in Star Wars Battlefront II this fall. Developers have said that more details about the game will be announced during EA Play in June. Until then, stay tuned for more updates regarding Star Wars Battlefront II.
What are you looking forward to about Star Wars Battlefront II? Are you as excited as we are? Let us know in the comments!
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