When Disney announced they had purchased the Star Wars franchise back in 2012, there was a lot of hope, aspiration, and promise amongst the Star Wars community. For the most part, this early excitement has been fulfilled. We have had four different yet excellent new films, a brilliant animated show, and a dozen or so novels that have helped expand the stories told from a galaxy far, far away. The one part of the fandom though that has failed spectacularly (so far) is the video game portion of Star Wars. Soon after the acquisition, Disney awarded EA Games with the Star Wars video game franchise. EA does not have the best rep amongst the video game community, so when it was awarded arguably the biggest franchise in entertainment history (I may be slightly biased), there was a loud groan. Some of the complaints were silenced when EA announced the first game under their control would be a remake of the popular Battlefront series.
Battlefront (albeit limited) was a success for EA and was a popular title for the two years it was fully supported. When EA announced the details for the sequel, it sounded too good to be true. No paid for DLC with a proper (and canon) campaign mode. Soon after the announcement, cracks began to appear. True, there was no paid DLC, but Battlefront II was going to heavily feature the controversial loot crates, but what pissed off gamers more was the fact that it would take up to 40 hours of grinding to build up enough credits to purchase one of the many locked heroes. EA’s response on Reddit to this criticism actually became Reddit’s most downvoted comment in their history. EA did rectify this ludicrous price for heroes, but sadly the damage had seemingly already been done. Where the initial sales were good (second only behind Call of Duty: WWII in the US), the overall sales for the first couple of months were well below what EA had targeted. Battlefront II was never going to fade into nothingness completely due to the franchise attached to it, but it was certainly considered a failure.
So, over 18 months later, you would expect that there is zero point in either going back to Battlefront II or even trying it out for the first time, right? Wrong! I was one of those people that played the game at launch for a few months, got tired of it and put it away without ever considering to pick it up again. Then a month or so back while just knocking around on Twitter and Reddit, I kept seeing Battlefront II popping up. I didn’t take much notice until two words popped up. Two words that I love that were not “Star” and “Wars”, instead they were “Clone” and “Wars”. As many of my friends know (due to my constant babbling about them), I am a HUGE Prequel mark. I love everything about the prequels, but the thing I love perhaps most about them is the Clone Wars. But Dom, didn’t Battlefront II already have the Clone Troopers and Battledroids when it originally released? Yes, yes it did, dear reader, but it was lacking one vital map and some important heroes. Alas, it appears during my hiatus from Battlefront II, EA has released the Clone Wars content that had been missing. Heroes Obi-Wan, General Grievous, Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku had all made their way into the game. EA also released new looks and multiple armour sets for the Clone Troopers. Now, this is extremely cool, and I have played as each of them a few times, but I don’t really play as the heroes much. I still find the lightsaber combat to be a bit clumsy, especially when up against another lightsaber-wielding hero. No, I am much happier playing as the normal “grunts”, especially when playing as the brave men that make up the Grand Army of the Republic.
However, what makes Battlefront II a worthwhile either first-time visit or a longtime revisit is that Geonosis is finally in the game, and it is glorious. It seemed a strange decision to leave out the planet where the Clone Wars began from the launch maps, but it seems that EA had actually planned this to perfection as it is generating a lot of buzz online and on social media platforms. Before the latest update, Geonosis was just part of the standard gameplay modes available, but late last month, EA dropped Capital Supremecy, a brand new gameplay mode that makes Battlefront II feel like the original release.
Capital Supremecy is split into two battles, on the ground and then aboard a capital ship. The first objective is to control as many command points as you can, which will steadily increase the number of reinforcements. Once one side fills that requirement (150), then you will invade the opposition’s capital ship, where you will have two more sets of objectives. The defending team will just have to hold out until the attacking team runs out of reinforcements. What makes Capital Supremacy so much fun is that if the attacking team fails, the defending team doesn’t win. Instead, the ground battle resumes with an advantage to the defending team. This means that one game can last well over an hour, with each time jockeying for position, and with the smooth gameplay of Battlefront (that was one aspect that many could not criticise), it really does create the perfect multiplayer experience. It is a shame though that EA couldn’t squeeze in Rex and Ahsoka somehow, or will we get them in a future update?