Star Wars games have always sold well, regardless of the quality of the game. Outside of a few solid Star Wars games, the rest have been pretty poor, to say the least. Last year Pandemic created Star Wars Battlefront, which satisfied every Star Wars geek’s dream of reliving all of the best battles from the movies. Moreover, with Ragnarok private server players can easily create gaming servers on their own and battle to their heart’s content along with their friends.
Now, just a year later, a sequel has been released to coincide with the release of the Episode III DVD. The first game took a page from the Battlefield franchise, literally recreated every battle from the Star Wars universe, and allowed gamers to take control of the Star Wars vehicles we have come to know and love. It instantly became a hit on Xbox Live, despite some severe network issues. There was only one problem: a single-player game was virtually nonexistent. With that said, gamers have eagerly been awaiting the release of Star Wars Battlefront II. Did Pandemic pull off a worthy sequel in such a short time or is this one more of an expansion?
The original Battlefront was clearly a multiplayer-centric game in which gamers got to be all of their favorite characters from the Star Wars universe. Although Battlefront II is heavily focused on the multiplayer game, there is actually a worthwhile single-player campaign this time around.
The campaign mode revolves around the 501st ring of elite troopers who protect Darth Vader throughout his travels. There are five classes of stormtroopers to choose from, and gamers will have to switch between them in various situations. Most of these classes will be unlocked from the get-go, but some will require some effort on your part. Switching classes is as easy as going up to a command post and hitting Y, then selecting a new class.
The story is actually is told through the eyes of a member of the 501st, and there are some scenes from all six films that help advance the story as well. One of the coolest new additions to Battlefront II is the ability to play as various heroes from the Star Wars universe. In different situations, you will have the option to play as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan, and many more of your favorite Star Wars characters! All of these heroes are uber-cool because running around with a lightsaber and killing everyone is just so satisfying. Each hero has certain powers from the dark or light side of the force. Gamers can also use their lightsaber as a projectile and watch as unsuspecting enemies meet an untimely death. Unlike the last Battlefront, the single-player game doesn’t revolve around you capturing command posts. There are objectives for each mission and you’ll instantly recognize these objectives from the films. The campaign is definitely not worth buying the game for, but it is fun and a step in the right direction for future sequels.
Another big addition is the inclusion of space battles, which turned out quite nicely. Now, just about every space battle from the films is playable in Battlefront II. I know I always wanted to do this in the original, and it is most definitely a welcomed addition in the sequel. You’ll be flying by the Death Star, Dagobah, Mustafar, and Hoth in ships that any Star Wars fan will recognize. Gamers will have X-Wings, TIE Fighters, V Wings, and many other ships at their fingertips. Despite seeming fairly simplistic, the space battles can turn into deep strategic battles for supremacy in space.