10 things you should know about Star Wars Battlefront 2

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

It is a dark time for the GALACTIC EMPIRE, whose brand new DEATH STAR has been destroyed by the perfidious REBEL ALLIANCE terrorist organisation, and its beloved Emperor Palpatine murdered by the apostate Darth Vader.

With its operations in the system temporarily thwarted, the Empire’s OPERATION: CINDER contingency plan is now in effect, with climate disruption arrays launching over the treasonous NEW REPUBLIC worlds.

Meanwhile, having escaped annihilation on the forest moon of Endor, the Imperial soldiers of INFERNO SQUAD have vowed to avenge the Emperor, and restore peace and order…

1. It’s got a single-player campaign. And unlike most other Star Wars games, Battlefront 2 is mostly told from the perspective of Empire commander and TIE pilot Iden Versio, who also has the notable distinction of being a woman. Hey, the Empire is evil, but it’s equal opportunity evil. She’s voiced by and modelled on actor Janina Gavankar, whose previous credits include True Blood and Far Cry 4.

“We never describe the Empire as the bad guys,” game director Mark Thompson told Polygon at a preview event at the recent Star Wars Celebration. “We never say Iden is a villain. We present the other side of the conflict.”

At times in the campaign, however, you’ll also be playing as Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.

2. Iden also has a bot buddy, somewhat resembling a miniature Imperial probe droid, who helps her out through the campaign and can also be upgraded.

3. The game starts with the destruction of the Death Star at the end of Return of the Jedi – an action perceived by the Empire as a terrorist attack by the Rebellion, and a threat to its totally legitimate rule – and spans the 30-year gap between the original trilogy and The Force Awakens.

4. A new planet called Vardos, described by the developers as an “Imperial utopia”, is introduced in the game.

5. Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams is attached to the project, with former IGN editor Mitch Dyer. Both are apparently “voracious fans” of Star Wars, with an “encyclopaedia knowledge” of its universe, according to a Q&A over on Glixel.

6. A tie-in novel by Christie Golden titled Battlefront II: Inferno Squad will precede the game’s November launch, with an expected release in July.

7. Battlefront 2‘s multiplayer matches will support up to 40 players, and feature characters and locations from “all eras” of the Star Wars timeline, including Vardos, Yavin IV, Kamino, Endor, Starkiller Base, Mos Eisley, and Hoth, and Darth Maul, Rey, Kylo Ren and Yoda respectively. Offline split-screen support for two players will also be available on the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.

8. The sequel’s revamped multiplayer system features four basic, upgradeable Trooper classes, each with their own custom abilities and gadgets. There’s also a “career” of sorts for hero characters, who have special skills to unlock as they level up. And instead of randomly spawned power-ups, heroes will called into play via some sort of resource system – by accomplishing certain objectives in-game, you’ll be able to “change into a hero or a vehicle or… something else,” creative writer Bernd Diemer explained to Polygon. Please let that “something else” be a rancor.

9. It has space battles for real, and DICE enlisted BurnoutNeed for Speed, and PSVR Rogue One: X-Wing developer Criterion to help design this part of the game for maximum thrills. Available ships include the obligatory TIE fighters and X-Wings, but also Han Solo’s Millenium Falcon and Boba Fett’s Slave I. All vehicles will have unlockable mods.

10. Oh shit yes, you can ride tauntauns in multiplayer. But can you disembowel one to revive yourself? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.