Why The Original Star Wars Battlefront 2 Is Worth Playing in 2021
By Jonathan Wayne Yelenic
The original Star Wars Battlefront 2 may be an old game, but now is a better time than any to jump into this important, vintage Star Wars title.
The Star Wars franchise has played host to several memorable games throughout the past few decades, many of which serve different niches. Titles like Knights of the Old Republic and the recent Jedi: Fallen Order both fill fans’ cravings for a Jedi role-playing experience, while Squadrons aims to simulate the series' intense space dogfights. Meanwhile, the Battlefront series has always been more focused on the “war” part of the Star Wars name. At the time, these titles were the closest one could get to actually playing out film-accurate firefights, and that’s one reason why 2005’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 is fondly remembered as a high point in Star Wars games.
The original Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now 16 years old, and has since seen worthy follow-ups in EA’s reboot of the series. However, that’s not to say the title doesn’t deserve attention nowadays — Disney certainly didn’t think so when it helped restore Battlefront 2’s multiplayer servers. While some aspects of the game are undoubtedly antiquated, this vintage Star Wars title still has some unique qualities that certainly make it a game worth revisiting in 2021.
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Battlefront 2’s Campaign
The omission of a campaign was a big deal in EA’s 2015 reboot of Battlefront, in large part due to how fondly Battlefront 2’s campaign was remembered. Before The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch popularized stories about the clones themselves, Battlefront 2 featured a narrative centered around the clone army’s 501st legion. An unnamed clone veteran recounts his experiences fighting for both the Republic and Empire, and his account of events casts the clone soldiers in a different light compared to their personality-filled, fan-favorite counterparts seen in modern Star Wars media.
In Battlefront 2's campaign, the clones are cold, heartless, and unwaveringly loyal to their cause, but it wasn't always that way. The unnamed clone narrator’s first recollection of his time in active combat expresses fear and uncertainty about his situation, which are certainly justifiable feelings given his inexperience with war.
"My first day as a member of the 501st... it was hot, it was sandy, chaotic. Nothing at all like the simulations on Kamino. Of course that's pretty much the way it was for all of us, wasn't it? All that breeding, all those years of training... doesn't really prepare you for all the screaming or the blood, does it? Frankly, I'm still amazed we ever made it through the first hour, never mind the first day."
But as the events of the story unfold, the soldier becomes more and more comfortable in combat. Unfortunately, that comfort is accompanied by detachment and desensitization. This is demonstrated best when the story catches up to Order 66 — the purge of the Jedi. The narrator's words prior to assaulting his former allies are particularly haunting.
"What I remember about the rise of the Empire is... is how quiet it was. During the waning hours of the Clone Wars, the 501st Legion was discreetly transferred back to Coruscant. It was a silent trip. We all knew what was about to happen, what we were about to do. Did we have any doubts? Any private, traitorous thoughts? Perhaps, but no one said a word. Not on the flight to Coruscant, not when Order 66 came down, and not when we marched into the Jedi Temple. Not a word."
From this point forward, the soldier expresses a callous demeanor towards his unit's murderous and oppressive actions, regarding them as means to an end; he celebrates the apparent crushing defeat of the Rebels during the Battle of Hoth, believing order has been restored to the galaxy. While The Clone Wars sought to humanize the clones, the original Battlefront 2uses them as a cautionary tale to warn of the dangers of unwavering loyalty — a mindset capable of twisting one's worldview in such a way that one cannot recognize the notion that they or their allies might be doing harm. It's a truly haunting, heartbreaking, and compelling tale.
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Galactic Conquest in Battlefront 2
Among the Battlefront series' most prominent features is Galactic Conquest, which, funnily enough, is missing from either of EA's entries. It's effectively a turn-based strategy game where the objective is to take over the galaxy. Of course, it's not entirely turn-based; who controls planets is determined by ground battles and space warfare.
Galactic Conquest is debatably the defining feature of the early Battlefront games, and the way in which its conflicts are strung together allows players to craft their own narratives about how any one of the four factions (Republic, CIS, Empire, Rebels) conquered the galaxy. It's essentially the video game equivalent of using one's Star Wars toys to imagine epic battle scenes that may or may not be accurate to the films, but are still a blast, nevertheless.
The Limitless Potential of Battlefront 2’s Mods
Obviously, this benefit of playing Battlefront 2 nowadays is most applicable to the PC version. Fortunately, unlike the new Battlefront 2, the original game isn't a graphical powerhouse; it can run fairly well on lower-end PCs, meaning that more people than ever can enter the wonderful world of Battlefront 2 mods.
While EA's Battlefront 2 is in no short supply of mods, the modding scene is nowhere near advanced as the 2005 title. The Battlefront community has taken it upon itself to add new characters and maps from multiple eras of Star Wars, including elements from The Clone Wars or expanded universe properties like Republic Commando.
If one is looking for an entirely new experience, there's a host of impressive total conversion mods to check out. Star Wars Battlefront 3 Legacy is one such in-development mod that seeks to use recovered assets from the cancelled Battlefront 3 to effectively patch together an unofficial version of the unreleased title.
Other notable mods include Battlefront: Halation, which turns the game into a Battlefront-style Halo game, and Mass Effect: Unification, which does virtually the same thing but for the Mass Effect series. If one is yearning for a new content update after EA's Battlefront 2 had its final one last year, then it might be worthwhile to take a quick gander at the original game's massive ModDB and NexusMods pages.
Given the impending end of EA's Star Wars game exclusivity deal with Disney, it remains to be seen if another Battlefront game will hit store shelves anytime soon. In the meantime, fans ought to check out one of the titles that laid the groundwork for the modern Battlefront games. Even after 16 years, Battlefront 2 is just as good as it was at launch; maybe even better thanks to the consistent fan support it receives.
Pandemic's Star Wars Battlefront 2 is out now for PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox, and playable via backwards compatibility on Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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Star Wars Battlefront II - PlayStation 4
Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II
Embark on an endless Star Wars™ action experience from the bestselling Star Wars HD videogame franchise of all time.
Rush through waves of enemies on Starkiller Base with the power of your lightsaber in your hands. Storm through the jungle canopy of a hidden Rebel base on Yavin 4 with your fellow troopers, dispensing firepower from AT-STs. Line up your X-wing squadron for an attack on a mammoth First Order Star Destroyer in space. Or rise as a new Star Wars hero – Iden, an elite Imperial special forces soldier – and discover an emotional and gripping single-player story spanning thirty years.
Experience rich and living Star Wars multiplayer battlegrounds across all three eras: prequel, classic, and new trilogy. Customize and upgrade your heroes, starfighters, or troopers, each with unique abilities to exploit in battle. Ride tauntauns or take control of tanks and speeders. Down Star Destroyers the size of cities, use the Force to prove your worth against iconic characters such as Kylo Ren, Darth Maul, or Han Solo, as you play a part in a gaming experience inspired by 40 years of timeless Star Wars films.
You can become the master of your own Star Wars hero’s journey.
HDR: HDR functionality available with supported games and TVs.
Xbox One X Enhanced: Enhanced features for Xbox One X subject to release of a content update. Games information at xbox.com/enhanced.
Star Wars Battlefront II
Embark on an all-new Battlefront experience from the bestselling Star Wars game franchise of all time. Become the hero and play as a fearless trooper, pilot a legendary starfighter, fight as your favorite iconic Star Wars character, or forge a new path as an elite special forces soldier through an emotionally gripping new Star Wars story.
A New Hero, a Story Untold
- Jump into the boots of an elite special forces soldier, equally lethal on the ground and space, in an emotionally gripping new Star Wars campaign that spans over 30 years and bridges events between the films’ Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The Ultimate Star Wars Battleground
- A Star Wars multiplayer universe unmatched in variety and breadth where up to 40 players fight as iconic heroes, authentic-to-era troopers and in a massive array of vehicles on land and in the air – as battle rages through the galaxy.
Galactic-Scale Space Combat
- Space combat has been designed for Star Wars Battlefront™ II from the ground up with distinct handling, weapons and customization options. Join your squadron and weave in between asteroids fields, fly through Imperial Dock Yards and take down massive capital ships as you pilot legendary starfighters in high stakes dogfights with up to 24 players and 40 AI ships.
- Team up with a friend from the comfort of your couch with two-player offline split-screen play*. Earn rewards, customize your troopers and heroes, and bring your upgrades with you on the online multiplayer battleground.
Master Your Hero
- Not just an iconic hero- your hero. Master your craft with customizable character progression. Equip ability modifiers, unique to each hero, trooper class, and starfighter. Use these ability modifiers to adapt and modify your character’s core powers, either as lethal active effects on your opponents, helpful status boosts, or tactical assistance, to counter any opponent on the battlefront.
*split-screen co-op only available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Conditions and restrictions apply. See www.ea.com/games/starwars/battlefront/battlefront-2/disclaimers for details.
Front 2 battle
STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II: Celebration Edition
STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II: Celebration Edition
There are lessons of brilliance in Star Wars Battlefront 2, not just the drama
Star Wars Battlefront 2, it turns out, is really quite good. I've been playing - the new one, this is - a little obsessively over the last week, an obsession launched about three-and-a-bit years too late as far as poor DICE is probably concerned, and one which I feel a little guilty about, not least because I got it for free.
Battlefront 2 was handed out for free for about a week on the Epic Games store in January, you see, and it's also bundled in with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, thanks to the recent inclusion of EA Play with that, too. The result has been a late, but seemingly quite sustained second wind. Servers are full, and quite nicely balanced, with the end-of-round scoresheets showing everything from max-level players with 60-plus kills to low-level newbies holding their own. On PC at least, people are quite chatty, via the in-game feed, in that very Battlefield kind of way, and unlike Battlefield it's quite chill, as far as multiplayer shooters go - because Battlefront 2 is quite a chilled game.
"Quite good" and "quite chilled" - I feel like I'm underselling it. Battlefront 2 is ace. It's a proper just-how-I-remembered-it job, building the big, headliner multiplayer matches around the beats of silliness and exaggeration: choke points, rockets, obscene amounts of lasers. Total, joyous, balanced carnage. There's a trick borrowed from an unexpected source here, in the way Battlefront 2 is set up to win you over not with nostalgia, which can be cheap, but by evoking actual, specific memories or specific emotions you last had in childhood. It's all about recreating the schoolyard role-playing games you might have played, the silly felt-tip drawings of massive, droid-army battles, the fantasies of heroism, inspired most vividly by the prequels, purposefully childish themselves. This is Hitchcock. For him it was using tricks of light and shadow to make some fear come to life, like the innocuous toy on the bedroom dresser that seemed so spooky in the night. Or it was using the conceits of plot to mimic the thrills of hide and seek. Using the grand, imaginative fear of the unknown. It's not the same, obviously - but also it kind of is. It's the same trick, used another way, and it works. Hitchcock! In Star Wars Battlefront 2!
Maybe that's a bit much, but even if we talk about it using all the pre-approved language of video games - how "deep" it is, how "visually stunning", how "immersive", how nice the "gunfeel" is, how "well-supported" it's been by the developers at DICE, Criterion and Motive - it's still a cracker. All of this is great. Immaculate, actually, across the board. There are way more maps than I expected, having last played the slightly limited first (new) Battlefront at launch - apparently it now covers at least one location from every Star Wars film that's come out, an ageing dev-blog tells me, trickled through with dutiful regularity in the many years after launch.
The best modes mirror the best of Battlefield, too: the giant, multi-stage objective chasers, that have you pushing through entrenched defences or picking away at the armour of AT-ATs on Crait and Endor; driving forward from the beaches of Kashyyyk to transport ships in the jungle to a fight on a huge battleship in the skies above; or along a simply vast linear road on Geonosis to a wide open battlefield at the end - a sweeping reimagination of that map that would, I think, have caused my 12-year-old brain to simply melt apart had it seen this at the time. And again, those choke points, evocative of classic (old) Star Wars Battlefront maps like Coruscant and classic Battlefield ones too, like the bridges and staircases of Battlefield 3's Seine Crossing on Rush. It's all exaggeration, all tension, all a means of - sorry, another Hitchcock reference incoming - taking something mundane and making it into drama.
Mind, there is also, just slightly, a whiff of death to it all. Infamously, Battlefront 2 (back to the new one again now) launched to a chorus of loot box drama, with some messy - or predatory, depending on your reading - microtransactions leading to government investigations and apologies and all the rest. All the in-game monetisation is actually completely gone of course, now. Long gone. But weirdly so too, for most of its new players - and therefore probably most of its current players full stop - is all of the non-monetised progression as well. The version EA chose to give away so kindly is the Celebration Edition, the one where all progression in the game is automatically unlocked.
What's left, after a slightly forlorn farewell from the developers in the spring of 2020, is a seemingly automated rotation of in-game events - bonus XP, cheaper in-match progression and the like - and just a slight sense of abandonment. A tinge of Last Days of Rome, everybody running about with their Legendary Han Solo skins or their event-cheapened elite Super Battle Droid characters just blasting away with abandon at everything in sight. It's the last embers of society, people still playing to the objective long after there was anyone left in charge. The last day of school and the teachers have already gone. A sense of get-it-in-now, have your fun while you can, and a sense of crushing irony too: that now, with a surge of popularity, nothing about the game can be monetised to help keep the servers live.
It's also a sense of sadness, really, and in my case at least, of massive frustration. Frustration at myself to have missed Battlefront 2 at its peak, whenever that was, and frustration at how it probably never had a real peak - a peak it deserved - even if its core players have remained dedicated and lively throughout. Above all its frustration at just how easy it seems to be, in the world of video games, for something so good to be so swiftly and contemptibly undermined. Playing Battlefront 2 feels like playing a version of every other flavour-of-the-month disaster, a what-could-have been for Anthem or Shadow of War, Lionhead and Telltale, Battleborn, or whatever Amazon or Google does next - or (whisper it, because it's still the hot topic) Cyberpunk 2077. All games or studios or ideas that are or were actually in their own ways quite good, barring that one tiny catastrophe of a decision that pulled them apart.
The medium's hardly unique, in this ability to self-defeat with such remarkable efficiency, but there does seem to be an uncanny knack for it - just as there's the knack for all the magic of Hitchcock, and the power of drama, and all the purest of childhood joy. I feel obliged to say that Battlefront 2 is a reminder of the former, of games getting in their own way. But actually, no. I'd rather not. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a reminder of the magic.
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Star Wars Battlefront 2 System Requirements
Can I Run Star Wars Battlefront 2
Check the Star Wars Battlefront 2 system requirements. Can I Run it? Test your specs and rate your gaming PC. System requirements Lab runs millions of PC requirements tests on over 8,500 games a month.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 game details
Enjoy endless Star Wars action experience from the best-selling Star Wars HD video game franchise of all time. You can easily upgrade and customize your starfighters, heroes, or troopers - which ever one you choose. Each character has unique abilities to exploit in battle. Take control of speeders or tank or even ride tauntauns. Use the Force to fight your favorite characters like Kylo Ren, Darth Maul or even Han Solo. You will make your own Star Wars experience. Leverage multiplayer battlegrounds across all 3 eras in the Star Wars universe - prequel, classic and new trilogy. Or you can become the new hero and create a new single-player story spanning thirty years. May the force be with you.
Here are the Star Wars Battlefront 2 System Requirements (Minimum)
- CPU: AMD FX-6350 or Intel Core i5 6600K.
- CPU SPEED: Info
- RAM: 8 GB
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
- VIDEO CARD: AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
- PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
- VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
- SOUND CARD: Yes
- FREE DISK SPACE: 15 GB
- DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 2048 MB
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Recommended Requirements
- CPU: AMD FX 8350 Wraith or Intel Core i7 6700 or equivalent
- CPU SPEED: Info
- RAM: 16 GB
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
- VIDEO CARD: AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
- PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
- VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
- FREE DISK SPACE: 15 GB
- DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 3 GB (4 GB AMD)
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