Welcome to the start of a new series of articles: “Battlefront II Revisited”. When Star Wars Battlefront II was released in November 2017, a large part of my excitement was directed towards the inclusion of a single player story mode, which would be telling a new story in the canon and following a new set of characters: Inferno Squad. Having completed the story mode rather quickly, I have only really played the game in patches since as online multiplayer shooters are not really my thing, but all the recent improvements and new content have had me playing a bit more recently and I decided it would be fun to return to the story mode and give my thoughts on each level. Today looks at the 5th mission The Storm
Please be aware there will be spoilers for the story
Inferno are sent to Iden’s home planet of Vardos with a mission to extract her former mentor, Protectorate Gleb. Arriving in the system, they see that the Dauntless is present, along with the satellites they acquired at Fondor, which are now being deployed around the planet. Iden realises that Vardos is the target for Operation Cinder. She goes to the Dauntless to confront her father, arguing that Vardos is loyal to the Empire so does not deserve this, but he refuses to disobey the Emperor’s orders and the satellites fire on the planet as Iden watches on. Admiral Versio reiterates his orders to her and she returns to the Corvus. As Iden leaves the bridge of the Dauntless, Admiral Versio contacts Agent Hask.
“The people of Vardos are loyal to the Empire. Why should they be left to suffer?”
The Corvus arrives on Vardos and Inferno alight to find the planet is wracked with unnatural storms, while Imperial forces are going through an organised withdrawal while holding back the local populace. Throughout the level, the visuals are absolutely stunning, especially with the storms, while it is great to see walkers being distributed around the city as part of their efforts. Interestingly – and symbolically – Iden and Del both leave the ship with their helmets off and put them on, while Hask already has his on and is just a faceless trooper.
Inferno make their way through the city to the Future Leaders School building, where they find Gleb sheltering alongside a number of other civilians. As Gleb prepares to leave, the storms cause damage to the building and some debris injures one of the civilians. Iden makes the call to get the civilians out alongside Gleb, but Hask argues that the mission was to extract just Gleb. Del sides with Iden, leading to Hask calling him a traitor and aiming his blaster at him. Iden shoots Hask in the leg and the pair run with the civilians, while Gleb and her retinue stay with the injured Hask, who contacts Admiral Versio to inform him that Iden and Del have betrayed them.
And at this point the mission changes and goes from almost a walk-through cutscene into a mission to sneak and fight your way back to the Corvus. Somehow the civilians manage to get there on their own, but we have a much harder task. Some sections are relatively easy to sneak past stormtroopers as long as your careful, but there will also be sections as the level progresses where it will be impossible to avoid a fight. Aware that they will be shot down if they try to escape the planet, Iden and Del develop a plan to steal an AT-AT to take down the anti-air cannons.
Controlling Iden, you and Del fight into the AT-AT and get the chance to control it through the streets, using the primary blasters and secondary heavy blaster cannons to take out the anti-air cannons along with ground troopers (a very cathartic feeling), AT-STs, TIE fighters and an enemy AT-AT. While going about all this, Iden receives communication form the crew of the Corvus, who have chosen to stay loyal to Iden and have taken in the civilians that escaped with Del and Iden. Using the AT-AT, you blast through the wall into the landing pads, but a strike of lightning brings down the walker and Iden and Del are forced to make their way across the pad to the Corvus on foot.
Getting there, you, Del and a number of the Corvus crew must defend the ship and civilians from incoming troopers and walkers as the ship reboots following it’s own lightning strike. There is cover but the troopers are coming from multiple directions while there are also some slightly elevated areas, so you need to keep an eye on your surroundings to avoid trouble. Eventually you get the call that the ship is good to go and you make your way to the boarding ramp to finish the level and the Corvus escapes the planet.
“We’re Inferno Squad: you and me.”
Back on the Dauntless, Hask arrives to hand Gleb over to Admiral Versio and is promoted to Commander. Away from danger, Del and Iden discuss what comes next. Del says that they need to warn people about Operation Cinder and suggests that Iden leaves him to be found by the Rebels, however Iden chooses to stick with them.
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…