Game review: Star Wars: Battlefront II

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By David Morris

By David Morris

Battlefront II is every Star Wars fan’s fantasy.

Make a selection, pilot or Marine, and then race towards nostalgic starcraft. Will you choose the A-wing and move through enemy formations like a scalpel or jump inside the Y-wing and wail on the capital ships?

And when you tire of flying around land inside your opponent’s hanger and wreak havoc from within. This is just a small fraction of all the opportunities Battlefront II offers to the gamer.

Some of the maps from the first game such as Tatooine and Kashyyyk have seen their way onto this with revamped visuals with a few new ones from the Episode III worlds including the lava planet Mustafar and Utapau. Many of the worlds now have explodable features that trigger game events. With more then 16 new maps, too many of the returning maps just received a graphic face lift instead of any significant changes.

You can select specialized soldier from the two eras of Star Wars; from the Clone Troopers and CIS, to the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. The different character classes have also been reworked and improved upon.

The Trooper, Heavy, Sharpshooter and Engineer stayed almost the same, while special classes like commanders and spies spice it up by adding bonuses to characters around them and cloaking for sneaking behind enemy lines.

A much sought out feature of using Heroes and Villains within the game enables the player to mow down foes and friends with quick lightsaber slashes and force powers.

Players can control beloved character such as Yoda, Obi-wan, Luke, Leia, Mace Windu, Darth Maul, General Grievous, Darth Vader and Anakin. It’s an awesome feeling moving around the map as Yoda and ripping through enemies like butter. Heroes and villains only last as long as the meter which is affected by dispatching foes and being a traitor.

“Rise of the Empire” features a new objective based story line following the notorious 501st Legion, Vader’s personal troops. As Republic soldiers you follow the timeline of the Empire’s birth, the assault on the Jedi Temple and into the Rebellion.

Galactic Conquest is a feature from the previous game but on steroids. With a new option to build multiple fleets you have to navigate a galaxy map, conquering worlds as you go and intercepting your opponent’s fleets with space battles.

New modes in Instant Action increase the replay value by including not just the monotonous conquest mode but assault, capture the flag, and hunt. A feature that is sorely missed from the previous game is the ability to randomize the instant action maps.

The vehicle and starcraft controls have been improved upon, adding new critical hit points for the walking behemoths and evasive maneuvers for starcraft. Controlling a single character feels the same with the new ability to sprint, but the characters and vehicles feel more like playing with toys without depth.

Everything that is good in Star Wars is contained within this game, intense dogfights around huge capital ships, sprawling ground battles with the aid of butt kicking heroes and paying as the infamous 501st. Yes, being a Star Wars fan is awesome.

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