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Why Star Wars Battlefront II Will Blow Everyone Away

With the announcement of Star Wars Battlefront II and its release date — November 17, 2017 — the video game hype machine is working overtime. And with Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters at the end of 2017, the Star Wars hype machine, in general, is also working overtime.

Some major, triple-A video game releases don't benefit from such early hype reaching a fever pitch — and, in some ways, 2015's Star Wars Battlefront was negatively impacted by premature excitement. That, and a lack of content. Nonetheless, whereas its predecessor was just a fine game, Battlefront II looks poised to blow everyone away — featuring all the content fans wanted from the first iteration. From Darth Maul to a full-fledged campaign, there's a lot of reasons to be stoked for EA DICE's newest Star Wars entry.

It already has a strong foundation

We know Star Wars Battlefront II will be awesome, because we all already know exactly what to expect — at least in terms of core mechanics.

The 2015 precursor Star Wars Battlefront was a generally good game, though admittedly not without its flaws. The moment-to-moment gameplay was tight, the graphics were stunningly gorgeous on both consoles and PCs, and the musical score and sound effects were pure magic. Combined, all these aspects created one of the most — if not the most — immersive Star Wars gameplay experience ever created. Whether mowing down stormtroopers with the satisfying blast of an A280C blaster rifle, or tripping up an AT-AT with a snowspeeder's tow cable, Star Wars Battlefront brought to life many fans' childhood — and adulthood — fantasies.

Not only should fans expect EA DICE's second installment in this current-gen series to utilize everything positive about the first game, but they should also expect it to make up for Star Wars Battlefront's flaws — namely, the lack of a single-player campaign, a general lack of multiplayer content at launch, and some longevity issues. Star Wars Battlefront II looks to be, by all accounts, the first game ... times, like, ten! The graphics are there. The assets are there. But this time, there will be much, much more for gamers to sink their teeth into.

This time, there's a campaign

One of the biggest complaints from fans everywhere about the first current-gen Star Wars Battlefront was that it lacked a single-player campaign — likely due to time-constraints and an effort to release the game within the same window as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This time, EA DICE promises to not only deliver a full-fledged single-player experience, but a campaign that truly feels like something out of a blockbuster Star Wars movie.

The game's single player game director, Mark Thompson, told Eurogamer that Star Wars Battlefront II's campaign will sincerely have that true Star Wars feel, and won't be, in any way, tacked on. "We take all of our cues from how to tell a Star Wars story working with Lucasfilm story group, analysing the movies, breaking down the beats and flow of Star Wars storytelling," he said. On top of an authentic, film-inspired experience, the story will span a whopping 30 years, from Return of the Jedi "up to The Force Awakens at Starkiller base" — while having players fight as both the Rebellion and the Empire. The cohesive story will follow a female Imperial special-forces soldier named Iden — voiced by True Blood's Janina Gavankar — though, as Thompson confirms, will have the player assuming multiple roles. "Sometimes you're a Trooper, sometimes you're a pilot, and sometimes", claims Thompson, "you're Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber."

If Star Wars Battlefront II's full-length reveal trailer is any indication, we're all in for a real story-telling treat when the game drops.

It will span all eras

Unlike its predecessor, which remained primarily fixed within a slightly-expanded, original-trilogy timeframe, Star Wars Battlefront II's multiplayer will span all three eras of the Star Wars cinematic universe.

All 40 years of Star Wars canon will be represented in EA DICE's latest installment, leaving nothing behind and giving those poor souls who particularly love the prequels something to be extra excited about. This means that players may not only get to fire blasters at storm troopers, but perhaps even get to launch oversized, blue, goofy-sounding orbs at battle droids! According to GamesRadar, one piece of art has already showcased, "Clone Troopers assailing their home planet of Kamino, which appeared in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones."

Everything is fair game this time around, giving us plenty of room to speculate as to what Star Wars assets EA DICE will pull out of the bag. Heck, Lucasfilm creative executive Steve Blank wouldn't even rule out Jar Jar Binks, responding with "only time will tell!" when asked if the goofy Gungan would make an appearance. Whether or not Jar Jar shows up, one this is for certain: Weesa is excited!

We will get the Imperial side of the story

Sure, it's fun to play the good guys — but we're used to being the good guys. Sometimes, it just feels good to be bad, and the prospect of following the story of an elite Imperial special ops soldier is both fresh and appealing. As noted by Star Wars Battlefront II's single player game director Mark Thompson, the movies follow the Skywalker saga and always tell the story from the perspective of the Rebels, i.e. the "good guys." EA DICE's second installment aims instead to provide a more unique and engaging take on the Star Wars story, by getting into the nitty gritty of what it's like to be a soldier in the hyper-strict Imperial forces.

Thompson credits "Alexander Freed's Twilight Company novel that was part of the first Battlefront game," telling Eurogamer that "there was an incredible chapter in there about a Stormtrooper who was coming back from a fight and just getting into some of the details that you don't see in the movies, like where and when you can take off the helmet and what it means to be in and out of uniform and how she was a different soldier" — which Thompson found to be both "incredible" and "inspiring." Indeed, the story, written with the help of former-IGN editor Mitch Dyer, looks to question our understanding of what it means to an individual piece of the Imperial machine, as a human-being with thoughts, feelings, motivations, and emotions — an all-too-uncommonly explored aspect of the Star Wars universe.

We can't wait to see what Iden's story has to tell us, and to witness how her destiny unfolds. The trailer has already given us chills — and still does, every time we watch it.

You'll have a droid buddy

Whether your first Star Wars film was A New Hope, The Force Awakens, or Rogue One, one thing is always abundantly clear: droids rule. And lucky for us, it looks like we'll have our own personal droid companion in Star Wars Battlefront II's single-player campaign.

Those who paid close attention when watching the game's full-length reveal trailer probably noticed Iden's personal droid, which latches on to her back like a high-schooler's JanSport. Now, we can only speculate as to this droid's role in the story, but we can certainly assume that will serve as an important mechanic in the campaign's moment-to-moment gameplay. Hopefully it will be more than what small, floating companion droids in other video games tend to be, which is little more than a glorified door-opener-slash-terminal-hacker.

Rather, we expect that the droid will mechanically act more like the OWL in PlayStation 4-exclusive launch title Killzone Shadow Fall, which — in addition to opening doors and hacking terminals — can drop a protective shield, attack enemies, go off like a stun grenade, create a zipline, and revive you from the verge of death. Most importantly, the OWL is a key piece of equipment in the game's more-than-solid online multiplayer — and an OWL-inspired droid companion could lend more depth to Battlefront II's competitive modes. We don't know for sure what Iden's droid can do — with single-player director Mark Thompson holding back the specifics — but it's probably safe to assume it's at least comparable to the OWL. Though we're hoping Iden's droid is more OWL and less, say, Ghost from Destiny, our fingers are crossed that her droid can even deliver the occasional, patented Star Wars one-liner.

There's a new Imperial planet

We're not saying the likes of Hoth and Tatooine get stale or anything, but we're never opposed to new Star Wars locales. We like new planets. New planets are good. And lucky for us, we already know we'll get to know at least one new planet when Star Wars Battlefront II launches.

Eurogamer reports that, in addition to a fresh-out-of-the-oven campaign, which takes places immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi, players will also be treated to a brand new planet — called Vardos. "Vardos," writes Ian Higton, is "an Imperial utopia created specifically for Battlefront 2, where children of the Empire grow up in peace and aspire to be elite soldiers like Iden." This new location will almost certainly help to explain why so many Imperial soldiers are loyal and determined, being a potentially ideal utopia to live, learn, and grow.

Engadget claims Iden loves Vardos, her home world, which serves to explain why she's an ideal Imperial soldier. The prospect of gaining this kind of insight into the expectedly-totalitarian Imperial society is more than a little exciting, as is the ability to see how the Empire's utopia affects individual psychology. There may still be new planet yet to be announced, but we're positive some serious stuff is going to go down on Vardos.

Multiplayer will have added depth

Star Wars Battlefront perfectly nailed what it would be like to find yourself in a large-scale Star Wars battle — complete with lumbering AT-ATs, crashing X-wings, the satisfying "pew pew" of blaster rifles, and the occasional hero/villain coming through to wreak havoc. Gorgeous visuals and spot-on sound effects aside, however, the game's multiplayer lacked depth — something picked up by both critics and fans alike.

EA DICE aims to remedy this problem, in part, by implementing a much-desired class-based system. In the first Battlefront, everyone was virtually identical, with player customization almost non-existent — something which is borderline unacceptable in the age of highly-customizable, class-based, team-oriented multiplayer, as found in everything from Killzone games to the Battlefield series to the Call of Duty franchise.

Star Wars Battlefront II looks to crank its predecessor's already-decent multiplayer up a notch, by focusing more on team-oriented play with a class-based system — which will undoubtedly take the multiplayer experience from "just fine" to "that was one in a million!" According to PC Gamer and EA DICE's creative director Bernd Diemer, the ability to level up your trooper, play the way you prefer, and squad-up with your friends means heroes won't be so significantly over-powered this time. Also coming to the table are abilities and gadgets, which will allow players to personalize their otherwise nameless troopers with useful flair. No matter how it shakes out, everyone can expect a much deeper multiplayer experience with this Star Wars Battlefront installment.

We'll get to play as Darth Maul, Yoda, Kylo Ren, and Rey

Get ready to paint your face red and black, glue on some horns, and channel your inner dark side like a 2nd-grade trick-or-treater, because EA DICE has prepared an epic treat for gamers everywhere.

Wielding arguably the most badass of all Star Wars weapons, Darth Maul has been featured in the Star Wars Battlefront II full-length reveal trailer — meaning we'll get to slay enemies online with that oh-so-badass, double-sided red lightsaber, which we made our moms take us to Toys "R" Us to buy the day after we first saw The Phantom Menace. Let's just take a moment to let that sink in.

If dual-beamed badassery isn't your thing, Yoda has also been featured in the trailer — or at least his hand — which means the stage is set for some mean, green, hyper-flipping Jedi mastery. And on top of that, we bore witness to Kylo Ren's supercharged lightsaber and undeniably rad helmet, thus confirming his playability, with Rey also confirmed to be a playable character, as well. We can hardly contain our excitement. Now, please excuse us while we go have Grunge toss Nerf balls for us to deflect with our plastic Darth Maul lightsabers like the real badasses we are.

It will likely support 4K

Stop what you're doing. Close your eyes. Now, imagine epic Star Wars space battles in fully-rendered 4K resolution. Pretty incredible, right? Now, go grab a paper towel and wipe up all that drool.

With Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro on the market and Microsoft's Project Scorpio on the horizon, the era of 4K console gaming is now upon us. Thus, we have every reason to assume that Star Wars Battlefront II will support 4K resolution, in some capacity, across both consoles — as well as PC. Four times better than 1080p Full HD, 4K resolution has the capacity to not only improve the lush foliage of Endor or the powdery snowdrifts of Hoth, but to make those lumbering AT-ATs four times more imposing. It would make the Millennium Falcon four times more detailed, and Yoda's wrinkles four times more wrinkly! Star Wars Battlefront was already a stunningly gorgeous game, so just imagine how much better Star Wars Battlefront II has the potential to look on 4K-ready hardware!

Just the idea of Battlefront II rendering in 4K is enough to make any graphics whore weep with joy. And if HDR is supported ... don't even get us started.

It's canon

For those who care — and there's a lot of people who do — Star Wars Battlefront II is going to be the real deal. And we don't just mean it's going to be awesome. We mean it's going to be, like, the really real deal. You know? We're talking about that magic, five-letter word: canon.

There's just something about knowing that a particular work of fiction officially fits into the official scheme of things, which makes it so much more satisfying ... you know? Lucasfilm creative executive Steve Blank confirmed that Battlefront II's story is indeed canon, though he claims that word gives him "an allergic reaction," when he told Eurogamer that the game "is 100 percent authentic to the Star Wars stories that we're telling, all the new work that we're doing, all the new novels and comics like we mentioned the integration of Shattered Empire and that Messenger figure. This is now part of the lore, this is now an authentic and established part of those Star Wars stories and that Galaxy."

Though not everyone could give a toss about continuity, the added authenticity of knowing this particular tale is truly part of the Star Wars story should make true fans even more excited, as the game's campaign could potentially tie in to Star Wars films — even if only minutely — in the future! And don't act like you're not excited it's canon. We're all nerds here.