Star Wars Battlefront II campaign was certainly on our wish list of E3 games to play and we got lucky.
EA Play this year was held at the Hollywood Palladium, the site, for anyone who is interested, of the original Paramount studios.
Having experienced the Battlefront II multiplayer on day one (the lines to get on this were insane), today an opportunity came our way too good to refuse: hands-on with the Battlefront II campaign mode.
The campaign mode is being developed by relatively new outfit, Motive Studios, headed up by ex-Ubisoft dev, Jade Raymond. The behind-closed-doors hands-on session featured a level quite early in the game.
Protagonist, Iden Versio, an Imperial special forces soldier, has managed to find her way back from Endor following the destruction of Death Star 2 and reunited with her father at Fondor, the site of an Imperial ship yard. The Battlefront II campaign takes place between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Here you are tasked with attacking and destroying a rebel armada, and before we could say “that’s not a planet, that’s a space station” we are thrust into a frenetic space battle; EA obviously took the criticism surrounding the lack of space battles in BFI on board.
A short sequence piloting and fighting in a TIE fighter concludes with Versio boarding a Rebel ship choosing to disable it in person. As in Battlefront, you can choose first or third-person perspective.
The fight takes Versio down the narrow corridors of the ship with iconic laser bursts crackling and fizzing around your ears. Versio is armed with a blaster, but can also utilise a mini imperial probe droid deployed with the press of button to unlock blast doors and take out groups of Rebel soldiers. And when things get a little too crowded up ahead, a carefully landed thermo detonator sorts out the men from the boys.
The 10-minute demo concludes with a furious gun battle as Versio, and her Imperial probe droid, attempt to destroy the ship’s ion cannons.
We pushed the dev overseeing our demo, actually the game’s writer, on how long we can expect from the campaign. Understandably, he’s coy on the answer at this stage, only countering that there will be “plenty of meat on the bone”.
It’s a short time to spend with the game, but enough to know that a single-player campaign, something sorely missing from 2015’s Battlefront reboot, is exactly what the Emperor ordered.
Building its structure around the framework and foundation that DICE created and strictly vetted by Lucasfilm, the single-player level is everything you expect it to be.
Come November, with The Last Jedi due a month later, Battlefront II is definitely going to be where a lot of punters are going to be spending their money.