Electronic Arts

This free update includes a new Blast map and a new starfighter.

In its first patch of 2018, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has just gotten some fancy new content. Specifically, a new Blast map and a new hero vehicle are now available in the game. The patch also introduces a whole heap of tweaks to make sure the weapons and characters remain balanced.

The new Blast map takes place on Crait, better known to anyone who’s seen The Last Jedi as “the cool salt planet with red dust.” But seeing as much of Crait appears to be a flat, barren landscape in the film, it’s probably for the best that the new map is set among the machinery in the mines. Blast mode, for those not familiar with Battlefront 2, pits two teams of 10 players against each other.

The new hero vehicle is the TIE Interceptor belonging to campaign protagonist Iden Versio. You can now unlock it in Starfighter Assault mode. But this isn’t any ordinary Interceptor. It comes with a number of special features, including Afterburner, which gives you a temporary speed boost, and Laser Barrage, which is exactly what it sounds like. It also comes with Dual Proton Torpedos that lock onto their target. You can find all the nitty-gritty details about the patch on the Battlefront forums.

This patch, like all additional Star Wars Battlefront 2 content, is free for all players. Rather than charging for additional content, publisher Electronic Arts intended to rely on micro-transactions to fund post-release development. But prior to the game’s release, widespread fan outrage arose surrounding the game’s perceived “pay-to-win” revenue model. In response, just before release, EA removed micro-transactions from the game entirely. Although EA has left the door open to reinstate them in the future, we still haven’t gotten word on when that might happen.

EA finds itself in a tough spot on this issue. If micro-transactions come back, they’ll be under an incredible amount of scrutiny from players. If EA keeps micro-transactions out of Battlefront 2 entirely, the company won’t be able to justify adding much new content in the future. In any case, fans on the game’s Reddit page seem mostly pleased with the update so far. Maybe the micro-transaction outrage has subsided.