Gamescom 2017: Hands on with Star Wars Battlefront 2’s new Starfighter Assault mode

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Unfortunately, EA doesn’t have a business presence at Gamescom so we’re not going to be able to get interviews or in-depth analysis of any of their products. Missed opportunity EA *hint hint*, but they are on the show floor so yesterday I lined up like a good little gamer to get some hands-on time with two of their biggest upcoming titles.

One thing you have to give EA is their ability to put on a show. After queuing for a few minutes in front of a massive door “that” Star Wars music starts playing and then the door slides open, smoke billows out and 2 storm troopers march into view. We were then escorted past the troopers into a viewing room and shown the latest Star Wars Battlefront 2 trailer.

After which we moved over to the huge bank of machines to start a gameplay session with Battlefront 2. The entire period was dedicated to the new space battles that are in Battlefront 2. I was put on the Rebel Alliance side automatically (That’s the one with the tinfoil man and his push bucket friend isn’t it?) and had the choice of three spaceship designs. Each one could be modified using their card system to allow shorter cooldown time of weapons, extra-strengthening of the hull or other small tweaks.

Each ship also felt very different when flying, the smaller ones being much faster and nippier but didn’t feel as powerful when attacking objectives.

Every time I spawned in, which was many times by the way, I was dropped in with a new squad of four people. If you stick with your squad and attack the objectives together you get extra points and you also have the ability to protect each other from the enemy AI. Once the AI it has you in their sites, they are quite dedicated and it’s really tough to shake them. Which led to some of the most enjoyable moments of the game. Diving straight at a Star Destroyer at full speed and then zipping around a huge antenna before hammering on the “brakes” and attempting to get behind your pursuer to take them out was definitely some of the highlights of my time in Battlefront 2.

Unfortunately, the entire thing was quite chaotic and with our limited time I never really got to fully understand what was actually going on. In the end, I think we lost, but can anyone say we truly lost when we had early hands on time with one of the most exciting games of the year?

As expected, Battlefront 2 is looking gorgeous. If you’re a Star Wars fan then you are definitely going to want to jump back into this universe to live out those childhood fantasies you had. For people like myself who aren’t that invested in a galaxy far far away, I’d say hold off until we get to see what else they’re bringing to the table.

The first Battlefront looked incredible but I always felt that it was a very bland and generic shooter after getting over its gorgeous visuals and I’m wary of this one being the same. However, I have a feeling the first release was just pushed out the door to give the team the space and time needed to really make the Battlefront game all fans and gamers truly want.

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Last Updated: August 23, 2017

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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