Star Wars Battlefront II The Battle on Scarif

Back in 2016, the first of the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront series saw us charge across Scarif with Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic leading their respective allies into battle over the Death Star plans. Now, in 2020, Star Wars Battlefront II meets its apparent end on those same beaches, with DICE declaring the game’s vision “complete.” It’s official — every era is now playable in Supremacy, Co-op, and Instant Action. While I can’t quite say that the entire game’s complete, this conclusion to the embattled multiplayer title is a bittersweet goodbye for everyone.

I know the servers will persist, but Battlefront II is at its apex right now. It’s become a last bastion for some. Whether you were someone who couldn’t care less about the timeline reset or a fan of the new Expanded Universe, everyone was having a blast. The text chat is often jovial, relishing in the many twists and turns of each battle. There’s a dedicated modding community adding skins from all eras. No matter what sort of fan you are, there’s something magically unifying about Battlefront II. I hope that stays the case, offering a spot of peace among the fanbase for years to come.

What’s particularly ironic about all of this is that we and DICE have been on a circular journey. Supremacy in the Galactic Civil War era is a purely on-foot affair, playing precisely like the original Battlefront, while boasting in-air starfighters for certain maps like out of the reboot bearing that same name. The lack of a second phase for reversals means its matches are easily the fastest, but it plays just like your nostalgic memories from way back when. Across four core games and several spin-offs, we’ve gone in one half-a-decade-long trek back to the fundamentals. No more reinventing the wheel with modes like Galactic Assault or one-off gimmicks like Ewok Hunt and Jetpack Cargo. This is how Battlefront was meant to be played, and it’s been realized in vivid, breathtaking detail.

As for Scarif? It’s okay. It’s easily the smallest map of the original DLC pack for Battlefront and, save for a handful of changes, is virtually the same. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not a bad map by any measure, but it feels oddly small. The absence of Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic is also obvious, but considering most of Erso’s abilities were given to a reinforcement unit for another era, I suspect they both were cannibalized long ago. In the end, it’s not quite the dramatic return everyone was expecting, but that’s because it’s not the real focus of the update.

The Battle on Scarif closes out the Star Wars Battlefront II lifespan with countless little improvements. Cut-but-damn-near-finished content like the Female Zabrak skin and Crait Heroes vs. Villains are finally included, as are a boatload of cosmetic options opened up for all infantry. Co-op’s received a final injection of new maps and can be played offline with ease. Several hero and villain skins people have been begging for, sometimes for years, saw the light of day and stand as one of the game’s last meaningful challenges as players grind their hearts out to unlock those final new appearances. With a requirement of 5,000 kills to unlock some of them, it’s gonna take some time.

A few characters have had last-minute tweaks, like the overheat (see: reload) times on Leia’s blaster, the sound and look of Darth Maul’s saber, and the Wookiee Enforcer’s new ground slam move. Even the UI’s had some tweaks, with a touch of holographic effects and a rounded feel that evokes the aesthetics of its predecessors.

Star Wars Battlefront II heroes villains are faithful and representations in actions and behavior

This appreciative last look back demonstrates the team at DICE truly cared about Star Wars Battlefront II. Sure, there have been disappointments along the way, but I think now more than ever, the team understands what the community was yearning for all this time. At first, no one believed in Battlefront II — it was once more famous for alarming governments with its loot boxes than anything else. Hell, I was one of them, critiquing the game heavily at launch. Yet here we are, among the sands of Scarif, with more of us playing than ever.

Maybe Battlefront II isn’t the game we wanted, but I think it’s become the one the Star Wars community needed. It’s a comeback success story rarely seen in this industry. It’s a Star Wars game pretty much anyone can find something to have fun with alone, with friends, or against opponents online. Packed to the gills with ways to revisit the saga, all strung together with a rock solid mix of skillful play and accessible design — it’s Battlefront. It’s earned its name, and I’m proud to say I was there to see it happen.

Elijah Beahm
Elijah’s your Guy Friday for all things strange and awesome in obscure gaming. He spends way too much time talking about such things on Twitter @UnabridgedGamer and his YouTube channel The Unabridged Gamer.

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