After nearly two and a half years of continuous content updates, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now officially considered “complete”. Developers at EA Motive said in a community blog post that after this most recent Scarif update to the game, no more major content updates are on the way. While it is sad to hear that a game that has received so much attention over the last year will no longer be expanding, this also generates some interest in what that team will be working on next. Here we dive into what this final update brings and speculate on what could be next for the Battlefront franchise.
The Scarif Update
The Star Wars universe has always been known for its beautiful environments. In my personal opinion, the tropical paradise of Scarif sits at the top of that list. With this new update, players can now visit this Rogue One location in Supremacy, Co-Op, and Instant Action. One note is that due to the planet having a giant shield around the whole atmosphere, there will be no cruiser ships included in these battles. Instead, developers have allowed the use of Star Fighters during the battles to make them more interesting.
In addition to Scarif, the Age of Rebellion maps will also now be available for Supremacy. Hoth, Death Star 2, Tatooine, and Yavin 4 will now all be playable in Battlefront 2’s biggest mode.
Other additions to the game include the MC85 Star Cruiser and the Resurgent-Class Star Destroyer maps being added to the Age of Resistance (the newest Age) map set in Co-op. Also, Co-op and Instant Action will both be available for players to enjoy offline.
New cosmetic options have also been added for three heroes. Darth Maul is now able to dawn his robotic legs from the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. *Side note: If you haven’t watched the story of his return in the animated Clone Wars series, I highly recommend you check it out. Rey will also get a new skin that reflects her appearance in Rise of Skywalker with a yellow lightsaber. Finally, Emperor Palpatine is now also playable in his old and wrinkly RoS form as well.
Where Does Battlefront Go From Here?
In my recent retro-review of Battlefront 2, I noted that, for me, this game represents the true definitive Star Wars experience. You can be a stormtrooper, Luke Skywalker, an Ewok, an X-Wing, fight on Hoth, Naboo, Yavin 4, in space as a Tie-Fighter or the Millennium Falcon. Nearly every experience that we’ve wanted to enjoy from the movies is represented somewhere in this game and more. This makes me wonder, what can they do next?
Historically, games that spend as long as BF2 has getting updated usually take a major step back in their sequels. What happens if/when Battlefront 3 comes out and it doesn’t have everything that players have come to expect from the series on Day 1? Disappointment.
This is not to say that a new title won’t be a technological or graphical leap forward. It’ll no doubt be on new consoles with new hardware and capabilities. The community around this series, however, has made it clear that they want to be able to do everything all at once.
But then, if BF3 is just everything that BF2 was plus some new tech and a nice new campaign, then is it really worth the entire $60 bucks that they’re going to charge? This is always the crux. Destiny has struggled with it. The Division has struggled with it. No one gets it just right.
What Do We Want From Battlefront 3?
So what CAN Battlefront 3 bring to the table that will make it a success? For starters, we can only hope that none of the same poor decisions are made with the game that sent BF2 down a dark hole to begin with. When the game released, nearly every unlockable was tied to lootboxes that had to be earned through an incredibly long grind, or extra cash. It didn’t take Motive Studios long to figure out that this was a horrible idea, and merely three months later, the entire loot system was overhauled. This MUST be maintained for the next iteration, else they should expect another catastrophic launch like we saw in December 2017.
Another focus should be continuing to fill in all of the gaps in heroes that players want to experience. The most glaring omission from the Battlefront lineup is by far Ahsoka Tano, the former padawan apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. How her dual wielding white lightsabers never made it into the game is beyond me. Other Jedi and lead characters from the series seem to be missing as well. Assange Ventress, Count Dooku’s former apprentice, Savage Opress, Darth Maul’s bullish brute of a brother, Captain Rex, beloved leader in the Clone Army, and many more remain absent.
Finally, I feel BF3 could do significantly more with Starfighter Assault. The mode has been tragically ignored for most of its life. There is a future though, where I feel that more could be done with Starfighter Assault akin to something like Supremacy. Start in the air, and then whomever is pushed back too far must fall back to their ship and defend it on foot. Or defend it as the larger ship itself, manning turrets and other such measures of defense. The mode needed more environments, more ships, more abilities, and just overall more love. I wonder how much of this was driven by technical constraints versus resource allocation due to lack of popularity.
The End Of An Era
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a true comeback story. The game represented a reference point in how to NOT launch a game and was the butt of lootbox jokes for months and years after it hit the market. Over time, however, it came to be a game that still sits in top sales every month and is beloved by the fans that have continued to play for years on end. Not every game that fails at launch dies. Hopefully when we look back on Battlefront 2, we can remember not how it started, but how it finished. A great video game.