Star Wars: Battlefront 2
Battlefront 2 sees you as a member of the 501st battalion, fighting on Geonosis during the Clone Wars. As the battle rages on, the Republic evolves into the Galactic Empire and the Clones into the famed Stormtroopers with “shiny new armour and vehicles”. You tear apart both droids and Rebels alike, both as a 501st trooper and as one of the featured Jedi heroes. Missions are divided into equal parts of being on-foot or in vehicles such as the ARC-170 Starfighter and TIE fighters. Overall there isn’t much of a storyline I’ll agree, no Band Of Brothers-style friendships, just plain, good old-fashioned blaster fun. But we all know the Star Wars plots back-to-front, so this doesn’t matter. Controls remain the same as the original Battlefront except the squad commands, which I personally relied on quite heavily in the original, have been replaced with a single push up on the directional pad to mean either “follow me” or “move out”. However, the action is no longer limited to the planet surface. You can take to space from your Corellian frigate, your Mon Calamari cruiser or, that’s right, your Star Destroyer to take the fight back to the enemy. All the favourite space vehicles are here with the added boost function seemingly present in every console flight sim these days to get you to your objective faster.
It’s a shame that Pandemic didn’t have the wallet to get the original actors to reprise their roles for the game: our own Temuera Morrison is the only person in the game’s cast to have appeared in any of the films - which leads me onto the other highlight: you can play as Boba Fett, infamous bounty hunter of Empire Strikes Back fame, complete with rocket launcher, flamethrower and jetpack. He is one of the 20 or so heroes you can take control of, including General Grievous, Darth Vader, Han Solo and even Yoda. Each has special weapons or force powers. You can even replay the scene in A New Hope where Vader force chokes a Rebel trooper for info on Leia’s ship the Tantive IV. Following this, there are 16 maps, mostly new (including Utupau, the Jedi Temple, Dagobah) and some old favourites from the first outing (Endor, Hoth and Naboo) but even the returning maps seem darker and more foreboding. The Death Star is one of the additions, complete with firing mega-cannon. Walking your trooper through the automatic doors into the station’s main hangar really makes you feel a part of it. For any Star Wars fan this game is essential. More fun than you can shake a lightsaber at.
PROSTrue to the Star Wars universe and places you in the middle of some of the best scenes from the movies.CONSNo checkpoints and some very long, infuriating missions. Ewoks.