Star Wars Battlefront II’s support has come to an end, but given the sheer profitability of the Star Wars brand and DICE’s previous indications it had more content in mind, one can only imagine Star Wars Battlefront III is in the cards for next-gen systems. After spending a ludicrous amount of hours with the series, this is what I feel the series needs going forward:
1. Don’t leave finished content hanging. One of the most glaring oversights between the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront II is the sheer absence of previously made maps, heroes, and modes. While obviously tech upgrades are a factor, a sequel should be built with previous content in mind. There are already some fantastic maps, modes, and units that fans haven’t seen since the first game, and it’d be a serious missed opportunity if DICE were to do the same with Star Wars Battlefront III. Obviously not everything can make the cut, but I think we can all live without Ewok Hunt and Hero Starfighters if it means Supremacy and Co-op live on.
2. Battlefront needs focus. I get that more modes sounds better, but twice now, more than half the ways to play Battlefront have all fallen to the wayside. Anyone remember Droid Run? Drop Pods? Sabotage? Jetpack Cargo? Yeah, I thought not. It’s also clear that DICE is struggling to properly support all these modes, often recycling partially finished ideas or converting existing maps with new objectives on top. That’s absolutely fine as a cost-saving method, but it wouldn’t hurt to focus on five core modes.
Ideally, bring back Supremacy, Co-op, Starfighter Assault, and two variety mosh pit playlists for Heroes vs. Villains modes and small-team modes. Spreading everything beyond that has led to a maze of menus and taken focus away from the core game modes that people typically most enjoy.
3. If Supremacy and Co-op both return, each could use some considerable expansion. We’ve seen with Star Wars Battlefront II’s campaign that it’s possible for Frostbite to render landing inside a starship without skipping a hitch loading the interior environment. With the added horsepower of next-gen, imagine if Co-op maps had space phases that transition to ground phases or vice versa. Or if air combat strikes against capital ships in the atmosphere would help tip the scales of battle in Supremacy. We could also see more objective types besides simply capturing command posts for co-op, not unlike with Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer. Above all else, DICE needs to capitalize on all the gameplay possibilities available to it.
Also, let’s toss out the ridiculous argument that the Rebellion somehow doesn’t have enough capital ships so we can have a capital ship phase in the Galactic Civil War era. It’s clear DICE just didn’t have the time or budget, which is understandable; the excuse given isn’t.
4. And that brings us to the bantha in the room: DICE’s only consistency with starfighter combat is how inconsistent it is about implementing it. Criterion made what is easily one of the strongest modern arcade flight combat systems I’ve ever seen, and it’s not seen a new map since a handful of months after Battlefront II released. There’s an entire dedicated wing of ships and hero units for Starfighter Assault that was left with nothing to do, which is extremely peculiar when Battlefront’s Death Star and Scarif DLC both had unique modes featuring each alongside ground combat sections.
DICE could benefit from having Criterion consult again and help it develop a system that DICE itself can keep expanding on. In the past, the death of both Starfighter Assault and Extraction came because they weren’t “played enough,” but the reality is players weren’t given enough content for years of play. Simply put, DICE needs to make a call to either drop starfighters entirely or actually invest in them.
5. A new story campaign would likewise demand further investment. Battlefront II’s single player campaign is a mess and rarely capitalizes on the strongest points of the core gameplay. It tries way too hard to be a linear Call of Duty-esque experience. Instead of feeling like a masterful soldier on the battlefield, you’re an awkward yutz or a hero character stuck in a glorified tutorial.
The solution to this is remarkably simple — apply the brilliant design of Battlefield V’s single-player anthology campaigns to Star Wars. Tell us several short stories about unique characters in various eras, and tailor them to truly flex the strength of several classes and heroes we can play as in multiplayer. And never, ever make us fight waves of crabs again.
6. The moment-to-moment dialogue needs revamped. The mid-battle character barks, the announcers overheard as you dodge blaster bolts — everything that sets the tone for the experience. Because right now, it can be downright terrible.
“We shield the innocents with our lives!” the Resistance officer yells like he just stubbed his toe. “We’ve proven to our friends on Takodana that we can be trusted!” the announcer exclaims like she’s talking to five-year-olds. This is not a volunteer theater production. This is one of the biggest franchises on the planet. Why does everyone sound like they had to improvise their lines on the spot?
The Clone Wars era at least has decent delivery because it’s two very talented members of the TV show voicing most of the infantry, but the Empire and First Order end up sounding more than evil, and the Rebels and Resistance spout lines like amateur LARPers. I get that Disney’s whole thing is that everything’s youthful and twee, but it comes across as condescending and robs several scenarios of their tension. DICE has done better than this, especially with Battlefield V.
Even some of the celebrity vocals just come out wrong. Matt Mercer’s great as Luke in the campaign, but his multiplayer taunts never sound like things Luke would ever say. Daisy Ridley sounds pissed as she quotes lines that she read quietly and confidently in The Force Awakens. It might seem like a minor thing, but it undercuts everything, making the T-rated multiplayer shooter seem kiddier than a Lego game. In a game all about selling the intertextual fantasy of being in the Star Wars universe, that’s not ideal.
Anyway, that’s my wish list for Star Wars Battlefront III. Let us know what you want to see in the comments section!