Star Wars Battlefront II is a herculean, three-studio effort from EA to not repeat the mistakes of the first game. There’s a singleplayer campaign now. Multiplayer actually has objectives. And the microtransacitons are… Well. Two steps forward, one step back?
We sat down with Motive Studios producer David Robillard, who went through the “pillars” of the Battlefront II experience. They are quite simply the ability to play as:
Three different studios have come together to make that possible. DICE, best known for the Battlefield series, has done the multiplayer. Criterion, modern warden of the Need for Speed franchise, has done the vehicle sections. Motive Studios is behind the singleplayer campaign.
There are rare departures from those pillars. One of the first missions (and consequently, one of the things you’ll see most of on the internet pre-release) involves controlling a tactical droid. Robillard was very clear that this is a “one-off.”
So you can expect almost all gameplay to fit into those three categories: Either controlling a trooper, or a ship, or a hero.
From our brief time with the game, controlling a trooper was still every bit a power fantasy as controlling a force-user. As he mentions, you’re Iden Versio of Inferno Squad. The weapons and abilities at your disposal will see you mowing down rebel scum as if it’s easy.
Criterion handled the vehicles for both the multiplayer and singleplayer portions of the game. While the walkers will still have been Motive Studios, the space battle sequences or atmospheric aerial dogfights will have been Criterion.
Robillard mentions one of the things he’s proudest of is how they were able to transition between on-foot combat and aerial vehicle battles seamlessly. It’s the type of thing no one notices, but it’s actually quite nice.
Right at the end Robillard talks about how playing either singleplayer or multiplayer will prepare you for the other, and we can confirm that the singleplayer campaign will allow you to collect and craft things you can use for Star Cards in multiplayer.
As we saw from the multiplayer beta, those Star Cards are a big deal, with bonuses like “+30% Health.” It’s nothing to sneeze at — even if the implementation of such bonuses isn’t the best.