So in all the hubbub surrounding the return of The Clone Wars and the announcement of the Star Wars: The High Republic book & comic series, I managed to completely miss a big announcement regarding the latest update for Star Wars Battlefront II: The Age of Rebellion
The update arrived today and gives us a lot of new content as well as some tweaks to existing troopers and heroes. The full update can be found here, but I will be going through some of the big points and giving my thoughts on them.
More maps… kinda
This update sees the MC85 Star Cruiser and Resurgent-class Star Destroyer maps both added to Heroes vs. Villains. More importantly, it adds 7 maps from the Age of Rebellion era into Co-Op:
- Death Star II
- Jabba’s Palace
While it’s not a new location, it’s always good to see more maps added to game modes to give them as much variety as possible – I’ll never forget how boring Extraction or Supremacy would get with just a couple of maps on rotation.
Both the Rebellion and the Empire get a new Infiltrator Reinforcement: the Ewok Hunter and the ISB Agent.
The Ewok Warrior will use a Hunter’s Bow as it’s primary weapon, with a target pick-out described as similar to Finn’s Dead Eye ability, while using the zoom allows a manual targeting and the ability to draw the bow for longer to improve speed and damage. The unit will not show on scanners when used in these ways. The abilities are Valiant Horn (increases damage and damage resistance but makes the unit visible on scanners), Hunter’s Instinct (to uncover enemy troops) and the Wisties Pouch (disrupts and burns enemies). I love the sound of this reinforcement as they sound like they could be great for sneak attacks, while their smaller size will make them difficult targets. Plus if nothing else, it adds a different race to the Rebels.
The ISB Agent will dual-wield RK-3 blaster pistols and have the abilities Assault Training (increased sprint speed and overall damage reduction), Imperial Intel (reveals the 4 closest enemies, up to a total of 10 as you defeat enemies while it’s active) and Double Your Effort (regenerates the base health of nearby allies). It’s nice to see more units on the dark side that are able to boost their allies, while the abilities sound well-balanced. I was initially a little reserved about the dual blasters, but a later part of the announcement (which I will look at shortly) makes me feel a little better about this.
Each of the 4 main trooper classes is finally getting a 5th blaster:
- Assault: E11-D
- Officer: DL-18 Blaster Pistol
- Heavy: T-21 Heavy Blaster
- Specialist: Cycler Rifle
Each weapon will be unlocked by defeating 50 enemies in Co-Op with that class, with mods that unlock with 25/75/100 kills using that weapon.
So I’m stoked that we’re finally getting new weapons to use and unlock as it will give some new variety to the game. The one issue I have personally is that I never play Co-Op, and I’m sure that I won’t be the only player now being forced to play a mode that doesn’t interest me for such a big new piece of content! I’d have rather a higher number of defeated enemies but from any online game mode.
Leia and Chewie have had a bit of a rework in this new update.
Chewie’s Bowcaster has undergone an overhaul. When using the primary weapon when hip-firing, the 3 bolts have changed from a horizontal line to a triangle, while using the scope will now be one powerful bolt, adding to the range of the weapon. When using Furious Bowcaster from the hip the weapon will fire 5 bolts in a wide circle, while using the scope, the 5 bolts will be in a cross, tighter together than the unscoped circle. Personally I like these changes as it makes Chewie a bit more of a feasible option when fighting at range, while probably forcing you to be more accurate in closer quarters.
Leia’s E-11 is getting buffed and the Squad Shield will now heal allies inside it by 5 health per second. The big change though is the replacement of Leia’s Flash Grenade with 3 thermal detonators. As a result, the Star Cards relating to the grenade ability have been changed. In a couple of days, I am releasing my look back through the mission “Royalty” from the single-player campaign, where I have commented on how Leia’s combination of weapons and abilities didn’t really match up with my style. I really like these changes however and think that I will be more dangerous as Leia following the update.
Dual zooms have been added to the scopes for Iden, Bossk and Finn’s blasters, which I like as an option for those who want to attack from range.
Trooper & Reinforcement changes
A little earlier, I mentioned a change to the wielding of dual blasters. Rather than one trigger button per blaster, both will now be controlled by the use of the Primary Fire trigger, with the Power Blast (which has been an ability for the ARC Trooper) now becoming a Secondary Fire option. As a result of this change, the ARC Trooper’s Power Blast will be replaced with a Toggle Weapon: switching between high accuracy but low rate of fire and wide spread but fast firing. Personally, I absolutely love this change as I’m not a heavy gamer – especially with games of this style – so I struggled somewhat when trying to use the ARC Trooper effectively, however I think that I will feel much more comfortable with wielding dual blasters in the new format.
The Imperial Rocket Trooper, Rebel Rocket Jumper and Wookiee Warrior have received new default appearances, with the original ones becoming unlocked alternatives. As someone who has wanted more skins, I like this change and hope we get more in the future.
The Jet Trooper’s blaster pistol has been made fully automatic, but the damage per shot has been decreased – especially at range. Personally I like this as the blaster is more of a close-range weapon and the full automatic fire will probably result in more damage int he same period of time.
For “improved combat efficiency” the Rebel Rocket Jumper’s A280 (burst weapon) has been replaced with the A280C (automatic weapon), the Imperial Rocket Trooper’s RT-97C blaster has been replaced with an E-11 and the Death Trooper’s DLT-19 Heavy Blaster has been replaced with with the E-11D Blaster Rifle. Personally, I’ll be interested to see how these changes affect the Reinforcements, especially the Death Trooper, as I found their DLT-19 to work very well with my style of play.
What do you think of these changes?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…