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In Electronic Arts’ first edition of Star Wars: Battlefront, players got to enjoy a massive Battle of Hoth where the Rebels had to stop the Imperial walkers from destroying their base. The developers of Star Wars: Battlefront II — which debuts on November 17 — took that idea and ran with it in a multiplayer mode called Galactic Assault. In it, you can participate in 40-player multistage battles to take or defend an objective.
Battlefront II is one of EA’s biggest titles of the year, coming out on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows all at the same time. Three studios — EA DICE, Motive Studios, and Criterion Software built the game as a sequel to the 2015 game. Battlefront II is about the fantasy of being a trooper, a pilot, or a hero in the Star Wars universe, said Paul Keslin, producer at EA’s DICE studio and one of the makers of the game’s multiplayer mode.
“Hoth inspired us to do Galactic Assault, where you can do a massive battle on every planet,” said Keslin.
I played the multiplayer mode for a couple of days at an EA preview event, and Galactic Assault was one of the best parts of the experience. The maps will take place in a variety of memorable locations. You’ll be able to pilot your favorite vehicles, choose from among four trooper classes, call in reinforcements, and become a hero who could tip the balance of the battle. One side attacks and the other defends.
In the video below, I was part of a Battle Droid army (OK, there were 20 of us) assaulting a Clone Trooper stronghold on the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk.
We started out in the wetlands and charged into the lush, swampy environment. It was fairly chaotic, with 20 human players squaring as off as droids against 20 humans in control of the Clone Troopers. I chose to be a Heavy gunner, which game me more firepower but less maneuverability.
If I earned enough battle points through kills and other accomplishments, then I could respawn as a beefed up character or even a hero. But once you’re killed, you lose that status and have to start earning battle points all over again. That allows even the worst player to enjoy a temporary advantage over the other side. It’s one of the things that makes the game more accessible for less-skilled players.
We had a good team that kept on pushing the Clone Troopers back through a bunch of objectives. I found that I had to start using my special abilities as a Heavy gunner. Those included the impact grenade, which blows up on contact, or the gatling gun, which mows down anyone standing still, and the combat shield. Over time, someone would earn a mighty hero and start causing havoc. But it’s good to know that you play a vital role in the battle and that the ebb and tide of fighting changes as you perform your best — or fail.
The second time, I played a Galactic Assault battle on the planet of Endor. You’ll notice the little Ewoks running out of the way as non-playable, non-shootable characters. This battle ended quite early in defeat, as we couldn’t get through one of the early stages.
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