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Star Wars Battlefront 2’s Campaign Is on the Right Track

Die, Rebel scum! Wait…what?!

[DISCLOSURE: The Star Wars Battlefront 2 campaign is co-written by former IGN editor Mitch Dyer, who also, coincidentally enough, gave me my demo at E3.] Titanfall, Evolve, Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront — all major first-person shooters released early in the current console generation, and all of them either lacking a memorable single-player campaign or lacking a campaign at all.

With today’s hands-on of Star Wars Battlefront 2[2]‘s new single-player story mode in the books, it’s now safe to say that of those FPS franchises left standing, all have exhibited the potential to make those campaign-free days a distant memory (and in Titanfall’s case, they’ve already proven it). I played a brief slice of a campaign mission from Battlefront 2 as Imperial Inferno Squad commander Iden Versio. While I wouldn’t call the solo mode the opposite of Battlefront 2’s hectic, frantic, die-and-respawn large-scale multiplayer modes, it’s definitely a change of pace.

I’d call it complementary. It feels much more in the vein of a traditional FPS campaign: quieter (though with plenty of explosions, I assure you), more linear, and with a heaping helping of cutscenes. Side note: we need a new X-Wing vs.

TIE Fighter game. Badly. Though I had little context for the cutscenes in what I played, a couple of things are clear.

First, there should be plenty of them, as the action swapped to a cutscene with character dialogue several times during my 10-minute hands-on. And second, while I don’t wish to make further light of Mass Effect Andromeda’s shortcomings in the facial animation department, you can rest assured that Battlefront 2, which has the same Frostbite engine foundation, won’t suffer from the same issues. On PS4 Pro, the character faces were all highly detailed and emotive.

Very, very impressive. Battlefront 2’s solo quest takes place between the time of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. I began in a TIE Fighter, tasked first with destroying a Rebel Corvette — all while shaking off enemy X-Wings — before entering a hangar bay and infiltrating the Rebel cruiser on foot.

The ship combat feels great, honestly. The left stick handles barrel rolls, while the right stick handles more methodical turning and movement. At 60fps it just feels fantastic to fly around, especially when you dive down into the midsection of a ship, zip through it, and then pull up and out of there at the last moment. (Side note: we need a new X-Wing vs.

TIE Fighter game. Badly.) In an awesome nod to the Star Wars films, you can even shoot the control panels of certain doors to lock them, trapping enemies in a hallway

Once your outer space objectives are complete, you fly into a hangar bay and blow the heck out of the helpless Rebel soldiers and even a hovering X-Wing before disembarking on foot. Explosions ensue, and you feel very Star Wars-y. As you make your way inside, that feeling continues.

In an awesome nod to the Star Wars films, you can even shoot the control panels of certain doors to lock them, trapping enemies in a hallway or locking yourself in a room so they can’t hunt you down. You can also use special abilities (on a cooldown timer) mapped to the shoulder buttons, such as sending a hovering droid out to zap door locks or, better yet, electrocute groups of Rebel enemies. Battlefront 2 campaign co-writer Mitch Dyer (yes, that Mitch Dyer!) told me that you’ll be able to change loadouts to best suit those special abilities to your playstyle.

Versio shows strong potential as a lead, and if the team at EA Motive can make an interesting story out of playing for the Imperial side, then Battlefront 2 might finally knock off Republic Commando as the most recent good Star Wars FPS campaign.

And let’s be honest: Republic Commando has held that title for far, far too long.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan[3], catch him on Unlocked[4], and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.

References

  1. ^ Ryan McCaffrey (people.ign.com)
  2. ^ Star Wars Battlefront 2 (uk.ign.com)
  3. ^ Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Unlocked (www.ign.com)

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