e3 2017

Star Wars: Battlefront II Gets Lengthy Multiplayer Presentation

by Matt Miller on Jun 10, 2017 at 03:19 PM

Electronic Arts showed off a big chunk of Star Wars: Battlefront II footage today as the finale to its E3 briefing, revealing some of what players can expect when the game launches later this year. 

Prior to the demo getting started, EA discussed the new features of Battlefront II. A new class system lets you improve your character and select new abilities as you level up. Weapons have been redesigned to feel less floaty. A point system in-game is built to give you dramatic customization options.

The initial trailer shows off what players can expect out of the multiplayer gameplay. The reveal focused on a section of the Battle for Naboo from Episode I. Amid clone troopers and Droids, Darth Maul takes the field to do battle. From there, the demo jumps ahead to show sequences across the different Star Wars time periods, including everything form the Millennium Falcon to Yoda drawing out his lightsaber.

Check out the trailer below, and continue below that for additional info.

We also got a video message from actor John Boyega revealing that Finn will be a playable character in the game, along with Captain Phasma, and that we’ll get to visit areas seen in The Last Jedi trailer. Those characters and other content will be free to all players in a content drop after launch.

Once the actual multiplayer demo got going, the live content jumped back to the Assault on Theed battle on Naboo. Players were split between battle droids on one side and clone troopers on the other side. The droid team is attempting to escort a vehicle up the main boulevard of the city, while the clones defend. We also got a look at the new class system, which allows players to customize their own style of play. Jumping up to a Vulture air fighter and later a V-Wing, we got a glimpse of the city from above and the way that air vehicles change the playfield. In another sequence, a Droid AAT tank pushed its way through clones. A clone on an AT-RT walker rushed in to push back against the droid push. 

Rather than the tokens you would find on the map in the previous games, the activities you complete in the new game have players earning points in order to purchase access to all sorts of things during play, from vehicles to heroes. 

The commentators took time to note the way different classes support each other, from heavies that can mow through enemies, to specialists and their traps, and officers who provide support and healing to keep a push moving forward. 

As the fight continues, a second phase of the fight began, and we got a glimpse of some hero play as Darth Maul took to the field, as well as a look at Boba Fett. Both of those characters looked like they had the ability to turn the tide of a fight, but they’re certainly not invincible, as we saw Boba Fett go down under a hail of blaster fire. In another moment, we saw Rey was playable, but she was also defeated as the enemy team focused fire on her. 

Detail in the game environment looks great, and the city looks just like fans will remember from The Phantom Menace film. I’m also enthusiastic about the way a given match seems to shift between multiple distinct areas and playstyles. EA's full demo presentation was jumping around almost constantly, making it hard to get a clear sense of what was happening, but there’s no doubt that the game looks beautiful, and many of the systems at play appear to be improvements over the last Battlefront game. I was disappointed to not get more info about the promised story content, but I'm confident we'll hear more on that score sometime soon.

Star Wars: Battlefront II is set for release on November 17 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.