Star Wars: Battlefront 2
The Countdown to the May 16 release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith has begun in earnest, and the videogames are now popping up faster than warts on Jabba the Hutt's backside. You can check out the review of the rather special Lego Star Wars, but we can now reveal the first details and screenshots on the sequel to last year's not-bad-but-we-were-expecting-better multiplayer first- and third-person blaster Star Wars Battlefront. The new game again spans the entire breadth of the Star Wars saga, but this time adds the fall of Anakin and the events leading up to - and including - the beginning of Episode IV: A New Hope. Battlefront II will bring players to new classic-era locations, says producer Shara Miller. For example, you'll actually be able to participate in the battle on Princess Leia's ship, the Tantive IV at the beginning of Episode IV, which we're bringing to gamers for the very first time."
Space Is The Place
Most of the vehicles from the new film are included for you to play with - including that rather eye-catching TIE fighter prototype from the recent Ep III trailer -plus all the classic X-Wings, Rebel Cruisers and more than 20 additions, many of which can carry you and several human or Al team-mates. However, Pandemic has now included new space battles that Miller reckons will vastly improve on the rather sluggish planetbased aerial dogfights of Battlefront I.
When we say space, we mean more then just dogfighting. You now have many options on how you want to play a mission, so you can jump into one of the many turret guns on their capital ship and shoot down enemy TIE fighters trying to blow up your ship, or maybe pilot an X-Wing and even attack the enemy Star Destroyer and destroy it. You can also choose to land on-board an enemy craft and fight from within, fighting blaster-to-blaster with Stormtroopers and sabotaging the ship from the inside.
That's No Moon
While it was undeniably good fun, Battlefront was no Battlefield, and developer Pandemic Studios has listened to criticism by introducing stronger online game modes (hopefully including co-op this time) that will offer more than just the basic taking over and dominating of control points, and new options and tools for people wanting to host games. However, it's the rather limited single-player mode where most of the developer s time has been spent improving things, by infusing some personality into the character classes and designing more objectivebased missions.
Earn The Right
The Campaign mode is now driven by a storyline that roughly follows the decline of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, continues Miller. Most missions will have much more defined objectives for you to accomplish than in Battlefront, with our goal being to take the any-way-you-want' model and add a bit more of a framework. Along the way, you gain credits that may be used to upgrade units or otherwise affect battle conditions. Some missions will be optional too, so very skilled or dedicated players can earn extra credits."
The Galactic Conquest mode - where you set off on a quest to rule the entire Galaxy conquering planets one-by-one - has also been fleshed out, so you now have more strategic control over the factions of the Rebels or Imperials (from Episodes IV-VI), Clones or Confederacy of Independent Systems (from Episodes 1-3).
In addition, each of the competing faction's five soldier classes will now be joined by a sixth character class, which will have a very special and unique ability - although Pandemic is guarding this as closely as the Death Star plans. Talking of which, yes, the Empire's ultimate weapon is featured as a level in Battlefront II, as you can see from the lip-smacking screenshots glued to these pages.
However, the Republic-shattering news is that you'll now be able to cause mayhem as a Jedi or Sith, depending on what side you're on, with a full command of a lightsaber and Force powers. We're also making sure the Al receives a significant amount of attention," adds Miller. On one level, we really want to make sure both friendly and enemy Al are more responsive both to events occurring in the environment but also to the player's actions."
While the visuals won't give Gordon Freeman any sleepless nights, the multiformat Battlefront II will at least have dedicated engineers at Pandemic working on taking advantage of the latest high-end cards and making things more PC-friendly, including stuff such as removing the frame-rate limitation for multiplayer games. One slight concern, though, is the lack of true ragdolls again, with the physics system being the same as the first game. There's some style controversy over whether the ragdoll effect is satisfying or whether it detracts from the immersion because of its over-the-top nature," asserts Miller. The debate rages on, but we'll stay out of it for now..
It's just a few weeks now until you'll find out whether George Lucas has delivered on Episode III - but you'll have to wait until autumn for the final verdict on Pandemic's new hope for the Battlefront franchise. Watch out for a major playtest in a future zone.
We Want Yoda!
Star Wars Battlefront included invincible hero characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. You could earn these handy fellas in battle and they'd then fight alongside you, cutting through enemies like they were droids from Argos. Pandemic has confirmed that they'll appear in Battlefront II, but there may be additions according to producer Shara Miller. Aside from our lightsaber-wielding favourites, other Star Wars icons will make cameos - look for them on the battlefield! All we can say is - include Yoda, the team must. Imagine the sight of the diminutive green Jedi Master, leapfrogging and bouncing around the field of battle like a demented amphibian. Frightening stuff.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode