It’s here...kind of. The next season of content for Star Wars Battlefront II has begun, and it is definitely going to ruffle some feathers for lots of those playing the game. On the light side of the force, there is new content such as new skins and voice lines as well as a new mode, but, on the dark side, another map has been recycled from the previous Battlefront game, and I have basically already listed the majority of all the new content in this first half of the Solo Season. But half is an important word here. This is not all of the content in the Solo season, but it is simply the first half of new content for the game. The remaining Solo content will be out in June; so maybe we can expect more substantial content then.
But, enough about rumors and speculation concerning what might come to the game. Let’s get into the confirmed additions. All news that I will be covering will be linked in the description below if you wish to “hear” it straight from the Wampa’s mouth. The first piece of content to mention is a new mode called Hero Showdown. This is different (yet somewhat similar) to the base four versus four Heroes vs Villains mode already in the game (which I have tried in a previous video). Hero Showdown features two versus two gameplay, but each game is played in best of five rounds rather than with assassinations on specific players. When one team bests the other, the winning team must choose a new set of heroes or villains to try. If that same team loses a round, however, they will be able to pick any of the heroes or villains available to them.
I think this mode sounds interesting, but I don’t know if it will be a strong enough addition to keep players jumping in for more. This will definitely speak to those looking for more sweaty, intimate engagements with smaller teams, but I feel like this group will most likely be relatively small in comparison to the remaining players still in Battlefront II. This is fine, of course; it is just that I don’t know if a mode like this is what the game needs right now when it is still missing modes such as Conquest or the Supremacy mode which was in Battlefront 2015.
I also feel that there are a lot of problems with Heroes vs Villains at the moment with unbalanced teams and heroes. It seems that introducing yet another mode that focuses on tight Hero gameplay will just introduce more problems. Time can only tell, I guess. And, who knows, maybe those playing Heroes vs Villains will prefer playing this new mode since you will only have to rely on one other player rather than three. Maybe instead of one joinable game of Heroes vs Villains being available; now we can have two games of Hero Showdown available at any given time. That’s like twice as many available matches!
Moving on, we have the addition of Starfighter Custom Arcade. This will, presumably, feature the Starfighter Assault game mode and maps in a solo environment against bots. And, similar to the other arcade offerings, will be a great place to try out new star cards and techniques.
I honestly didn’t think that this would be added to the game any time soon, but it is cool to see it being added in. I for one find Starfighter Assault to be a bit daunting at times; so maybe having the opportunity to become more acquainted with the ins and outs of the different classes will help me to improve my skills.
The next addition is the Jabba’s Palace map from Battlefront 2015 will be returning to the game in Heroes vs Villains and Blast. This will also be available in the Arcade mode. This map was introduced with the Outer Rim DLC from BF 2015 and was one of the stronger maps in the game, in my opinion. I remember having a lot of cool games of Extraction, Droid Hunt, and Cargo on this map. It is a great map to be added, although I hope the claustrophobic hallways of the palace will get some sort of redesign as they have always favored third person camping and are just a mess to play in.
New appearances will also be added by way of an Epic appearance for Lando and the first Legendary appearance added to the game which will be for Leia. Lando’s appearance will be his palace guard outfit from Episode VI while Leia’s appearance will be her very cool looking Boushh disguise also featured in Episode VI. Her look is not the only thing that changes as her dialogue will be replaced by Ubese lines (the weird Alien language that comes out of her helmet).
There is some level of a hint at more Legendary appearances being added in June, and I think that it is interesting to see that the first Legendary appearance will actually feature different voice lines to what is already in the game for Leia. This may further support my wish that I put forth in my May Season Wishlist discussion where I said that I would love to see an appearance of Young Han and Lando with lines recorded by Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover. Maybe we will see these added in June as the new Legendary skins?
There are also some other quality of life updates with the addition of menu updates. Supposedly the front menu will allow you to jump (and this is a quote) “...into your favourite game modes a lot quicker.”. Now, I feel like it is already easy to jump into certain modes once the game loads since they are advertised on the front screen. But, maybe it will show what game modes that you play the most instead?
Also, the multiplayer menu will be changed and be broken up into three chunks: Assault (which will feature Starfighter and Galactic Assault as well as Strike for some reason), Heroes and Villains, and Operations (which will feature Ewok Hunt, Blast, and any future limited-time game modes).
First off, it seems like an odd addition to have more menus to scroll through, but maybe this will start to make sense as more modes are added. And, besides, the current menu which just has all the different modes around each other with different sized menus can be a bit confusing at first glance. Secondly, I am not sure why Strike is with Assault rather than Operations, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. And, third, Ewok Hunt seems to be staying. It isn’t talked about as a limited time mode in this update. This isn’t too hard to believe as the mode seems to have been a success for the game and rightly so. It is a ton of fun; although there are some changes that I would love to see which I will try to cover in a future discussion.
Continuing on, the holographic effect in the menus will be replaced on May 16th. This seems to be a multi-part update for some reason with the rest of this holographic update being released in June. Not really sure why this has to happen, but DICE will be looking for feedback on the effect to guide them going forward.
Another minor addition is the ability to spend skill points pre-round. I actually didn’t know this wasn’t already in the game; so I am glad to see it added. However, I would still love to be able to claim milestones, claim unlocked weapons, and be able to change my appearance before a match begins. Baby steps, I guess.
And, back to milestones, there will be more added with the addition of Score Milestones for each Trooper, Hero, and Special. Troopers will have three different tiers of milestones while the Heroes and Specials will receive two. It is a little vague as to what this all means, but I assume it is just that each tier is a certain amount of points that need to be unlocked as each class.
This seems to just be something to do for players who have already unlocked all of the previous milestones. Maybe the rewards will be worth completing, but I assume it will just be a few credits or crafting points. I think that this addition is a great example of the band aid maneuver that is still going on with Battlefront II as the developers are still trying to add some kind of content to the game. It’s a nice try, but it definitely isn’t going to be sought after content for the vast majority of players.
And, that is it for the beginning of the new season. For me personally, this update feels very minor in comparison to what I think the game still needs. Not only does the game need new content such as weapons, heroes, new maps, evenly balanced modes, etc., but it is also in dire need of bug fixes, balancing of hero and villain abilities, fixes to over powered and under powered classes, and basic team balancing which is still missing some how. I hope that some of these problems will be remedied in June, but that is yet another month to wait for these changes (some of which should have been in the game from day one let alone more than half a year later).