EA confirmed this week that Star Wars Battlefront 2 is on the way, with the game expected to drop sometime in 2017. Although it sold very well, last year’s Star Wars Battlefront reboot wasn’t exactly accepted with open arms by Star Wars fans who had been waiting a decade for the franchise to return. The game’s beautiful visuals and authentic sound design were offset by questionable design decisions and shallow gameplay, in addition to the game offering a relatively low amount of content for its premium selling price.
Fortunately, all those problems can be addressed in the sequel! Here is our Star Wars Battlefront 2 wishlist.
10. Return of Space Combat
Is it too much to ask for a modern Star Wars game to feature actual “star wars?” One would think so considering that space combat is nowhere to be found in Star Wars Battlefront. Oh sure, there’s in-atmosphere dog fighting, but this is a half measure for a game that feels like it already took one step forward and two steps back in practically every design decision. True space combat, with starfighters and capital ships, needs to be included in Battlefront 2 and not be just good enough so that EA can include it as a bullet point on the box office. The experience needs to go well beyond what was offered 2005’s Star Wars Battlefront II (yeah, these titles are getting confusing), with the ability to board and explore enemy ships, and sabotage them from the inside. We’re overdue for a true next-gen Star Wars space combat experience, and Battlefront 2 needs to be the game that delivers the goods. That being said, there’s still room for it to go one step further in this regard …
9. Ground-To-Space Battles
Back before EA got their hands on the Star Wars game licence, a sequel to the original Star Wars Battlefront games was being developed by the now defunct Free Radical Design. “Star Wars Battlefront III” was unfortunately cancelled back in 2008, but a leaked gameplay video from 2013 showed a significant gameplay concept that was noticeably absent from DICE’S reboot: ground-to-space battles. Having the ability to take a battle planetside, hop into a ship and blast off into space where another battle is taking place sounds like the ideal Star Wars Battlefront experience, as it would capture the massive scale of the various conflicts from the movies. Of course, just getting space combat into Battlefront 2 would represent a major step up from the previous game, but if DICE can find a way to implement the epic scope of true ground-to-space battles, it would be even better.
8. Vehicle Spawns
The vehicle icon thing in Star Wars Battlefront was a nice idea but in practice, it’s a poor substitute for traditional vehicle spawn points. Running to grab a power-up on the map before someone else does is effectively the same experience as making a mad dash for the vehicles at the start of a match, and getting shot before you have time to call in an X-Wing is an extremely frustrating experience. Star Wars Battlefront 2 should go back to the traditional vehicle model, by having set areas where the vehicles spawn on the map. It would add a little more realism to the experience too, since you’d actually see someone hop in a ship or speeder, as opposed to just disappearing into thin air. Plus, this would also help make another potential addition see the light of day …
7. Multi-Seat Vehicles
What’s better than piloting the Millennium Falcon? Piloting it with a gunner in tow. For whatever reason, Star Wars Battlefront eschewed the ability to have multiple players occupy the same vehicle, making the act of maneuvering the game’s starships and AT-ST Walkers a bit of a lonely experience. Attacking enemy positions with a fully occupied vehicle is one of the immense pleasures of online shooters such as Halo or Battlefield, something that DICE would do well to remember while designing Battlefront 2. And while they’re at it, they should probably give the Rebels an answer to the AT-ST and AT-AT; whatever happened to those speeder tanks from the earlier Battlefront games? It’s time those made a comeback.
6. Playable Heroes From ‘The Force Awakens’
This is probably a given considering that EA explicitly stated that Battlefront 2 would feature content from “the new movies” but all the same, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has to make every major character from The Force Awakens playable. That means new heroes Rey, Finn, and Poe Damerson, as well as new villains Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. This point is really a no-brainer, but bear in mind that gamers still have hardly any options when it comes to games featuring these characters. Sure, you can play as them in the toys-to-life game Disney Infinity 3.0 if you cough up enough cash for each figure, and next month’s Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will include these characters as well, but there has yet to be a “realistic” Star Wars game featuring the new generation of Star Wars characters. Battlefront 2 could potentially hold the distinction of achieving that first.
5. Clone Wars Era
While it’s great to hear that Star Wars Battlefront 2 will feature content from the new movies, hopefully this doesn’t mean that EA and DICE are forgetting about the Clone Wars era yet again. Say what you will about the quality of the prequel trilogy, but the Clone Wars are great fodder for Star Wars battles. The era features beautifully-designed worlds that make for great battlegrounds, and the design of the era’s ships and other vehicles are creative and fun. And while Clone Troopers may no be quite as cool as Stormtroopers, they’re quite badass in their own right, with the Separatist Droids making for a hilarious (but still formidable) opponent. The Clone Wars era also has the benefit (or is it a curse?) of featuring gungans, a species that make for great cannon fodder. How can DICE deny Star Wars fans the pleasure of shooting Jar Jar Binks in his natural habitat?
4. Squad Classes (With Ability To Customize)
The Star Cards system in Star Wars Battlefront is garbage. Sure, it’s great that you can customize your loadout as you see fit, but the limitations placed on players by only being able to carry three Cards at a time is frustrating. The jetpack and thermal detonator (or your own grenade of choice) are practically essential items in most battles, but they take up two out of three available slots, which severely limits your ability to experiment with different weapons and power-ups. That’s why Battlefront 2 should adopt a class-based system; this would not only allow players to specialize in certain areas (medic, sniper, support etc.) but also afford more customization. Much like in recent Battlefield games, each class would excel at a certain area of combat, but with a lot of room for players to tweak their loadouts within these parameters. Having classes would also help to make the game more tactical, as players would have to consider what role they should play based on a given situation.
Additionally, some more cosmetic customization options would be nice; being a nameless Stormtrooper is fun, but being able to add your own personal touch to your avatar’s outfit would be even better.
3. Split-Screen Online
Thankfully, Star Wars Battlefront includes split-screen functionality, a feature that is becoming all-too-rare this gaming generation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really give players a lot of compelling reasons to stick with split-screen, as it doesn’t carry over into the online modes, which are obviously the game’s main event Surely, it must be possible to allow players to play split-screen online and this is a feature that we hope makes the jump to Battlefront 2. We’re not exactly confident that this will happen however, as split-screen seems to be of little concern to most developers nowadays. That being said, even if online split-screen doesn’t make its way to Battlefront 2, there are other ways that DICE could make playing the game with a couch co-op buddy an enjoyable experience …
2. A Proper Campaign
Star Wars Battlefront’s offline offerings are mediocre at best. The Missions and Survival modes are largely designed to introduce players to the game’s mechanics and get them ready for online multiplayer, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it didn’t also mean that playing split-screen quickly becomes tedious and repetitive. Although online split-screen is a longshot for Battlefront 2, having a proper campaign is something that definitely could (and should) happen. Battlefront 2 should adopt a new version of Galactic Conquest from the older Battlefront games, as it’s pretty much the best way to experience a game designed for online skirmishes in an offline setting thanks to the mode’s meta game features.
We hate to keep turning this into a comparison between the early Battlefront titles and the new one, but those games are classics for a reason. Going even further, Battlefront 2 could take advantage of the fact that it will be using content from the new movies and use that to build a standalone story. As the massive box office success of The Force Awakens proved, people are hungry for new Star Wars stories, and we’re pretty confident that that desire will carry over to Star Wars stories in video game form.
1. Free Updates
Star Wars Battlefront received a ton of criticism for its sparse offering of content upon release. EA has been addressing this complaint ever since the game’s launch last November, but unfortunately, they’ve been doing so with paid downloadable content Yes, they’ve released a few free updates that have included new maps and game modes, but the really good content is only available in pricey DLC packs. The problem with this pricing model (besides it representing a rip-off for consumers) is that it actively divides the game’s community between those that have the new content and those who do not. This is an issue in a game that is almost exclusively focused on online multiplayer, as online games live and die by the strength of their communities.
Recently, games such as Halo 5 and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End have adopted a business model where they release new maps and modes for free and charge for cosmetics that have no impact on the actual gameplay. This is the model that Battlefront 2 should adopt, as it would make the community happier and also make them more likely to purchase cosmetic DLC that isn’t being forced upon them.