It’s no secret that despite receiving a good amount of hype, 2015’s Battlefront left Star Wars fans wanting more. It was so apparent that during the EA presser, CEO Andrew Wilson made a joke about taking to heart all constructive criticism they got regarding their first attempt. And let me just say, having gone hands-on with the multiplayer mode of Battlefront II earlier this week, this wasn’t just lip service. Here’s everything we learned.

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Massive assaults

As soon as I jumped into a multiplayer session it was abundantly clear that we’d be seeing more variety out of this sequel than we ever did from DICE’s first attempt at Battlefront. There are now four new classes to choose from before heading into a fight: Assault, Heavy, Specialist, and Infantry. Each one of these classes includes its own special features, including sniper rifles or big-ass guns that can then be further customized (though we had to play with stock builds).

Once I chose my class and jumped in, I found myself in a massive map on Nebu as a member of the Separatist Droid Army. Our objective was to strike and infiltrate the palace while suppressing the Clones that were protecting it (the other team). This concept is not only cool, but also fits into the lore of the films–I can appreciate it not feeling like a random fight. With several choke-points, routes, and open spaces, I was effectively able to figure out different battle strategies. As the battle progressed more folk were flying around in aircrafts, while others either drove different vehicles or ran around as iconic characters, it felt like the ultimate showdown.

Star Wars Battlefront II Iden Versio

Once we breached the palace, the battles were much more condensed because of the smaller rooms we were running around. The match was over once the throne room was ours, and we came out with the W. I was pleased by the structure of the gameplay and the moment-to-moment choices I was given to control the battle. The gameplay is as tight if not tighter than it was in the 2015 release, while the customization was much better.

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Battle points are battle-tastic

Another new feature that was added was the battle points, which can be used to unleash vehicles and champions like Darth Maul and Rey. This in-match currency is earned in a multitude of ways outside of just taking out your foes, giving the game a feeling of progression that was missing in the first. It’s an ingenious way to keep you engaged at all times, helping your squad in any way possible to get those sweet points. And the rewards are well worth it.

The champions require a lot more points than vehicles do, so you have an option to either wait to stack up your points for a bigger impact towards the end of the match, or you can spend them periodically to sway the match more subtly by controlling the battlefield with vehicles. It’s like being in an arcade all over again, trying to choose between spending your tickets for that instant gratification by grabbing the smaller candies or saving up to eventually get that one Power Rangers toy you’ve always wanted.

Merging the Star Wars eras

One of the coolest moments I experienced as a Star Wars fan was watching Darth Maul (the only good thing to come from the prequels) duking it out with the new saga’s badass saber-wielder Rey. It wasn’t scripted or anything, just an organic moment that made me squeal like the sad fanboy that I am.

DICE is very aware that Star Wars fans are now all ages and have grown up with different versions of the franchise, making it imperative to include characters from all the films—even the awful prequels. Why not use all of the Star Wars lore to make the best game possible?

Star Wars Battlefront II Darth Maul

Is it better?

We give credit where credit is due, and DICE and EA deserve praise for listening to fans, even if it took John Boyega to tweet about the lack of a single-player campaign to make it all happen. The gameplay mechanics were never the issue with the game; it was the lack of content that really turned people away from the title, and at least as of now, it appears like most of the issues have been addressed. The quality of the rest of the package will determine just how good the title is, but the potential is definitely there, especially since a single-player campaign will now be included.

How excited are you for this sequel? Is there anything missing from the game? Use your Jedi mind trick your thoughts into the comments section below!

Images: EA

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