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Regardless of your opinion on the first of EA’s new Star Wars Battlefront games, it’s hard not to be excited about the upcoming sequel. Launching for PS4, PC, and Xbox One on Nov. 14 with a beta earlier in the fall, Star Wars Battlefront II adds an original, canon story focusing on the rise of the First Order.
Penned by Spec Ops: The Line scribe Walt Williams, players follow Iden Versio, the commander of Inferno Squad, with brief interludes featuring Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and more. The campaign will span the 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but multiplayer was the primary focus of the game’s presence during EA’s E3 press conference.
Janina Gavankar, playing the game’s lead, took to stage flanked by Stormtroopers as the company dedicated 30 minutes to Battlefront, highlighting the changes made to gameplay. Battle Points will be earned during a match, allowing players to take control of iconic units, vehicles, and heroes. A space-combat mode was teased as well, showing off the Millennium Falcon and a squadron of X-Wings going into battle with Imperial forces.
John Boyega appeared on screen to announce that The Last Jedi themed content was coming this winter, including Finn, Capitan Phasma, and the planet Crait. It was later confirmed that this would be only the first season of free DLC, with more characters coming to all game owners in 2018.
The conference then showcased the Assault on Theed Palace, ripped right off Naboo from The Phantom Menace. The three-stage match pits Battle Droid against Clone Troopers, with players controlling A-Wings, AAT tanks, and Vulture Droids. In the tank, we saw something known as Siege Mode where the player hunkered down to unleash a volley of explosions, though they were left vulnerable.
Visually, this footage showed a clear improvement over the already gorgeous original. The Naboo map starts off with a wide scope, and as the attacking army moves in, action is funneled to smaller courtyards with tight chokepoints. Moving into Phase Two, the action moved indoors and hero characters like Boba Fett and Darth Maul excelled at racking up kills.
The stream ended with defeat, and we weren’t able to glimpse the third phase of the new mode. Players will be hands-on with Star Wars Battlefront 2 in Los Angeles this weekend, so more details will likely continue to roll out.
AJ Moser is a Brooklyn-based reporter who focuses on video games, movies, and internet culture. His work has appeared in Paste Magazine, Game Informer, and Big Spaceship.