So last week, DICE and EA announced that their shared adopted child, the [Star Wars: Battlefront](tag:2684021) franchise, would be getting the annual release treatment, with a new Battlefront game coming out every year for the foreseeable future.
For fans of DICE's previous outing into the Star Wars universe, this is great news. For fans of the original video game series that inspired the reboot, it's even better. The new Battlefront was, by all accounts, a fantastic game aside from its lack of content. The gameplay was solid, the graphics were a joy to look at and the maps we did get were truly fantastic. However, to some fans, it didn't hold a candle to the classic Star Wars: Battlefront and its infinitely superior sequel, Star Wars: Battlefront II from the mid 2000s.
Unlike many other companies (*cough* Ubisoft *cough*), DICE have listened to the fans and have added a whole game's worth of free content to Battlefront since its release. As well as this, the news of a second game in the series is proof that they want to learn from their mistakes and build an even better game fans of the previous game and the original will love. So, if any of you guys at DICE are reading this right now, I've got a few suggestions for you...
1. More Playable Heroes
The rebooted Battlefront started out by giving us three heroes on each side: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia on one side; Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Emperor Palpatine on the other. Compared to earlier Battlefront games, this was pretty weak. Battlefront II gave the player the choice from dozens of characters, ranging from Chewbacca to Ki Adi Mundi.
If the new Battlefront is only going to change one thing, it better be adding more heroes to mess around with. Of course I want to see Darth Maul duking it out with a swarm of Ewoks! I mean, who wouldn't?
2. Less Focus on the Canon
Now, I love a cohesive story as much as the next guy, but sometimes you've got to let it go to make way for fun. DICE infamously said last year that there would be no maps set during The Force Awakens to preserve the canon, which may have sucked a little bit. In situations like that, it would probably be okay to let decorum slip a little bit.
Battlefront has always been a bit odd in that sense though. It claims to be completely canon, yet allows you to play as Han Solo dive rolling into Emperor Palpatine on Hoth. Maybe loosen up a bit next time, guys, and let us have that Maul vs. Ewoks battle. You know you want to.
3. More Focus on the Canon
"Wait, what?" I hear you say. "Didn't he just... I could have sworn he said..." Yeah I'm contradicting myself big time. Deal with it. While letting Darth Maul whisk through an Ewok tribe like a hot knife through butter is something we all need in our lives, Battlefront felt limited by the lack of anything plot-related that tied it into the wider universe. Give us a free play mode if you want, but please, throw in a campaign too.
Both original Battlefront games had a reasonably solid plot that allowed the player to really connect with the soldiers in the fight. New Battlefront had no such thing, delegating the job of storytelling to the admittedly fantastic tie in novel, Twilight Company. In this day and age, the video game industry is dominated by plot-heavy titles such as Uncharted and Assassin's Creed. Even Call of Duty is giving plot a go, and if Activision are doing it, DICE has absolutely no excuse.
4. More Maps
Now, to be fair, the maps in new Battlefront were pretty awesome already. Hoth, although painfully non canon, gave us a really realistic simulation of the opening scenes of The Empire Strikes Back (spoiler: The Empire always wins) and Endor would have been perfect for mowing down Ewoks with a double-bladed lightsaber (Dude, seriously cut it out with the Maul vs. Ewoks fantasy!)
The issue with the maps came not from their quality, but their quantity. To begin with, Battlefront only featured maps from Hoth, Endor, Tatooine and Sullust. Jakku was added later along with the Death Star and Bespin after a few months. This still has nothing on the dozens of worlds available in Battlefront II, released over a decade prior. When it comes to design, you guys at DICE have got it down to a T, but maybe add a few more next time? Just a thought.
5. Space Battles, Dammit!
One of the weirdest thing about Star Wars: Battlefront was the distinct lack of any warring among the stars. One of my favorite past times in Battlefront II was picking up one of those Imperial transports in space and blasting rebel ships into oblivion before they could take off. It was a lot of fun, though don't expect to win many friends in doing so.
Introducing space battles with current-gen graphics and hardware capabilities seems like a no brainer. DICE were already half way there with their in-map dogfighting and moving the battle to space is the logical path to take. Maybe even spice it up a bit by giving us a whole Death Star to fly around, trenches and everything.
6. More Eras
Say what you will about the prequels, but there's no denying The Clone Wars were a pretty cool time period in a galaxy far far away. Likewise, who wouldn't want to give Poe Dameron a whirl in his custom X-Wing? Sure, you're likely to end up as a red smear across the ground if you were to attempt some of the moves he pulls off in The Force Awakens, but come on, it's Poe Freakin' Dameron!
The canon Star Wars universe spans almost seventy years from the opening crawl of The Phantom Menace to the closing credits of The Force Awakens. New Battlefront gave us access to just four or five of those years maximum. Honestly, it feels like a bit of a waste. I want to see droids get massacred on Naboo and play as Finn on Takodana, clashing blades with his spinny buddy. Which leads me on to...
7. Bring Back the Class System!
What separated the original Battlefront from the rest of its peers was its class system. Rather than picking out a selection of weapons, players were forced to expand their play range to a whole host of different types of soldier. Need to get somewhere fast? Use a Droideka. Need to get behind enemy lines so you can die to bring people information? A Bothan is probably your best bet.
Battlefront gained fame for its system and it would be a shame to let it go now. Also, can you imagine the carnage if everyone charged into battle spinning a riot baton like Nines up there? If you still refuse to give me my Maul and my Ewoks, at least give me that.
8. Better Character Customization
We've all done it at some point. Maybe you've written about it or acted it out with Lego figures or maybe just played it out in your mind, but everyone's pictured themselves in the heat of battle on some forgotten planet in the outer rim. Character customization wasn't bad in the new Battlefront, but it was still fairly limited. However, give us a Skyrim-esque creation system and a decent plot to work with and I'm yours, DICE.
Star Wars has always prided itself on its immersion and its inclusiveness. By letting the player insert themselves, or in my case a really buff, good looking version of myself, into their games, the fans can create their own stories, inspiring another generation of creative minds. Or they could make a dude with a wang for a face, who knows? The important thing is, they have that choice, regardless of how many players will abuse it. Most of them will, honestly.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be released some time around Christmas 2016, just in time for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Needless to say, we'll probably get some tie in DLC which will be pretty awesome, I guess.
Was there anything else you want to see in the new Battlefront? Let me know in the comments!