With EA Play and E3 having been on over the last couple of days, we have unsurprisingly been getting some news relating to Star Wars’ 2 main console video games, Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Battlefront II. While Battlefront II’s news came from a community transmission than anything at EA Play, I decided to cover it this time given its timing alongside Jedi: Fallen Order and some of the announcements we got.
Jedi: Fallen Order
If you don’t want to know anything about the story, then avoid this section as there will be some spoilers!
After a trailer at Celebration, we got our first look at the gameplay with almost 15 minutes of footage from a mission on Kashyyyk. The footage sees Cal and BD-1 working with Saw Gerrera and a group of rebels to try and free some imprisoned Wookiees. The footage gives a good chance to show off a range of Cal’s skills – including wall-running, blaster deflections, Force push, Force pull, saber throws, Force slow (similar to Kylo Ren’s freeze ability) and psychometry (“sense echo” as the game called it), which allowed him to see an echo of a dead stormtrooper’s last moments – as well as taking on a range of troopers, spiders and a couple of purge troopers.
Graphically, the map looked incredible and on the whole I was really happy with the visuals, though I was hoping for the characters to look a little better in the cutscenes. That said, this was footage from the Alpha, so changes could be made, and this game uses the Unreal Engine rather than Frostbite Engine that Battlefront II used (which is known for better graphics). Truth be told, the graphics were still very good and it is nowhere near enough to even slightly put me off. I imagine that things will be more challenging for most of us when we first play the game, while the fact that even the star player struggled at times against the purge troopers makes me feel that there will be a good level of challenge. While I mention the purge troopers, I love how they use their electrostaffs to counteract the impact of some of Cal’s Force powers, so that you have to attack them smartly – a great example of the “thoughtful combat” discussed by the developers.
I was a little worried by how strong and dangerous Cal appeared in this footage, but again that is something that I will hold judgement on. The mission we saw is supposedly about 3 hours into the story, so there will have been time for his character to develop, while one of the team’s star players was playing the game, which will always make him look better. I am a little surprised by the new powers we are seeing Cal used – the Force slow and sense echo – but as long as we can be given a legitimate reason for a Padawan having these abilities we never even saw from the Jedi Masters during the Clone Wars.
I really like the look of BD-1 and his uses in this game. Somewhat similar to Dio, it looks like BD-1 will often stay on your back when not required, while being used for a range of roles including hacking computer systems. As well as also providing a light source, it also looks like he will be a key part of healing yourself, so I am looking forward to seeing more of his exploits.
In terms of the overall canon, while I am interested to see how they fit Cal’s powers in, I think they are doing a great job of fitting this into the existing universe. Bringing in a character like Saw Gerrera is a great way of tying Cal into the existing stories and I also really like the use of the Wyyyschokk spiders, which we know are on Kashyyyk from Aftermath: Life Debt. I also really like how the developers have made clear that there will not be light side and dark side endings to pick from (as we saw in The Force Unleashed) due to story being fully canon so needing a definitive storyline. The only thing that leaves me a little bummed about that is that I would love a Skyrim/Fallout-esque RPG game in the Star Wars galaxy one day, but I can’t see how such an open game would be possible due the constraints of canon.
Following the gameplay footage at EA Play, E3 saw the release of a new trailer. The trailer doesn’t give much new away as it sticks to the Kashyyyk mission again, but expands on it slightly by showing scenes of Cal and BD-1 commandeering an AT-AT and initially meeting Saw. I really like how little we are getting of the story at the moment and I hope it stays that way, so that we all get to experience the story together when it releases.
Safe to say, I’m excited for this game!
While the focus at EA Play and E3 has understandably been on Jedi: Fallen Order, Battlefront II has also been making the news following the most recent Community Transmission.
The Naboo map for Capital Supremacy will drop on June 26ᵗʰ. Set at dusk, I can already imagine that it is going to look absolutely stunning, even if it is just the same outside section of the map that we get in the first phase of Galactic Assault. My only gripe with this is that once again, we are getting a Capital Supremacy map that is for the Prequel Trilogy era, so I will likely not find myself playing the map as much as I’d love to as after a few rounds I get bored of repeatedly playing as just the Republic/CIS.
Along with Naboo, we are getting a new Enforcer for the CIS in the form of a droideka, and a TX-130 tank for the Republic. I like both of these additions as the TX-130 gives the Republic a counter to the AAT, while the droideka’s a reinforcement many of us have wanted for ages. I just hope that the fact it is classed as an Enforcer does not mean that it is replacing the B2 super battle droid but will in fact give the player options, which could be a great way to introduce new reinforcements for other factions, like the Republic Commando or the K-X droid.
3 new skins are also dropping this month: the “General Skywalker” skin for Anakin, which will come as no surprise to anyone, and 2 new skins for the clones. The 212ᵗʰ Recon Division will have the ARF armour with desert camo as seen in The Clone Wars season 2 episode “Landing at Point Rain”, while the 41ˢᵗ Scout Battalion were seen in Revenge of the Sith on Kashyyyk. I love that we are getting more individual looking designs for the clone skins rather than just the same armour with slightly different colour patterns, but I really wish that other factions would also start to get more skins.
While that is it for June, July will see a series of Community Quests to allow you to unlock VO lines and animated poses for Clone Wars heroes and villains. While the animated poses sound interesting, I am very disappointed that we again appear to be focusing just on the Prequel Trilogy and ignoring the other eras.
The final bit of big news for the game was that later in the year we will get a new planet, with Felucia joining the list of Capital Supremacy maps. While I love this due to Felucia’s unique appearance, I really hope that it comes to other game modes as well as Capital Supremacy, and I am again disappointed that other eras are being completely ignored while the Prequel Trilogy gets all the content.
While I feel that these announcements are great in terms of new content still being added, I really hope that we start to get more content for the other eras soon. I imagine that the Sequel Trilogy will get some attention in line with the release of The Rise of Skywalker, hopefully we don’t need to wait until 2020 to get more content focused on the Original Trilogy.
What do you think about the recent news? Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…