Not so long ago on a wave of internet forums not so far away from our fine domain, EA incurred their fair share of wrath over the absence of a single-player campaign mode in Star Wars: Battlefront.
But if the latest featurette for their upcoming follow-up to the 2015 franchise reboot, Star Wars: Battlefront II, reveals anything, it’s that the publisher and its development teams appear to have learned their lesson two years later.
Titled ‘Telling a New Story’, the video (below) describes – via the words of Lucasfilm’s creative execs – how EA’s Motive team pitched “a soldier’s story” set between 1983’s Return of the Jedi and 2015’s The Force Awakens to developers DICE and the Lucasfilm Story Group, an Imperial-aligned lead character its USP.
According to Motive’s Game Director Mark Thompson, we can expect protagonist Iden Versio to be “a loyal member of the Empire” and the “perfect candidate” to believe in her tyrannical employers’ merits given her family’s Imperial heritage.
“Something we really wanted to get into in the story is to meet the people inside the Empire,” Thompson says. “Stormtroopers and everyone inside the Empire, they aren’t conscripted or forced – they’re brainwashed and programmed from an early age to believe.
“And what we do with the audience is we take them to a place where they can understand Iden, why she makes the decisions that she does.”
But while comments like these – and the team’s voiced commitment to delivering “great character and gameplay moments” during the campaign – will surely generate hype for the FPS sequel, that doesn’t mean fans will give it a free pass.
After all, few will likely have forgotten the intense controversy surrounding not only the 2015 Battlefront outing’s absent campaign but also its overall lack of launch content, especially compared to the noughties Pandemic originals’ ample offerings.
The quasi-reboot released with just four planets – Hoth, Endor, Sullust and Tatooine – that November, with the other four – Jakku, Bespin, the Death Star and Scarif – as well as plenty of locked gameplay modes only becoming available once players had swiped up the hefty £40 / $60 Season Pass.
Already DICE has confirmed Battlefront II won’t follow its predecessor’s staggered content strategy, the Season Pass ditched for now and the DLC approach (if any) still to be determined, with goodwill also having been built by the presence of Yoda, Luke (who’ll also star in the campaign), Rey (ditto) and other fan favourites in the launch trailer.
Until EA brings a fleshed-out gameplay demo along to the studio’s EA Play event at E3, though, the true likelihood of Battlefront II‘s success where its predecessor failed remains as uncertain as Rey’s parentage.
Star Wars: Battlefront II hits Xbox One, PS4 and PC this November 15th, with its EA Play showcase due on June 10th-12th.