The universe has found peace. No wars against the stars. The Rise of Skywalker has been unleashed into the world, leaving a battle cry in its wake. After catching it myself, I felt the need to get a bigger Star Wars fix in my life than just on the big screen. 

Trading in the cinema seat for a sofa instead, I found myself diving back into critically divisive Battlefront reboot series that arrived on the scene by in 2015. I’d been occasionally jumping back onto Battlefront II here and there since PSN reduced it drastically on their 2018 Christmas sale. On its original arrival, the second instalment to the newly revived franchise suffered from fan backlash in regards to how its post launch content would be dealt out over the coming months. As opinions grew and blood boiled, it probably felt like these complaints were falling on deaf ears. 

Unless…someone was listening behind the scenes. Dice and EA had been keeping a close eye on what their audience were discussing amongst various forums, comment sections and threads. The time for a makeover was here and the fanbase was going to know about it, albeit slowly over time. No longer would players have to purchase a digital currency or climb frustrating level progression systems. 

A rare word in the state of modern gaming was thrown into the equation: free DLC. Going forward, any and all content for BF II was be released free of charge. Not the odd skin here or there, no, full packs of justified content to win current and new players over alike. That’s where I joined in.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been unwinding after the perils of retail armageddon by manipulating the force in hilarious ways in the seriously addictive “Heroes and Villains” game mode. Intense 4v4 battles of might, courage and rag-doll mayhem to capture the authentic awe of the Star Wars mythos. There’s a certain level of excitement to beat other players in picking your go-to character at the loadout screen. Will I control my Level 27 Luke Skywalker with maximum buffed out powers or will I resort to a meagre level 3 Obi-Wan Kenobi ready to greet players with a friendly hello?

Only the quickest triggers will find out (I’m more of Kylo Ren orientated player myself). Whilst the combat might not be as nuanced as the more recent Fallen Order, its effective enough in tandem with the pleasingly powerful force powers enabled by the bumper buttons. Without fail, every time a force push is unleashed against a full squad of sith, a grin will hit my face. It’s a rag-doll bonanza. 

Admittedly most of my time has been spent almost exclusively within the “Heroes and Villains” mode, sometimes venturing off into the fun “Blast” mode on the plains of Crait and vistas of Naboo. The first person shooter aspect of this reboot doesn’t quite manage to ape its 2005 counterpart but offers enough of a challenging experience to warrant adventures into massive scale conflicts against your favourite locations in the lore. 

It’s refreshing to see developers and players work together to improve their experiences in a way as I’ve seen with Battlefront II. There is still another argument to be had about the state of finished products vs the reality of a day one purchase, which Battlefront II and its predecessor do unfortunately play their part in. Hopefully, this inclusion of improvement will set a notable example in the gaming community. In its current state, I honestly would recommend picking it up, if not purely for the sheer fun of the “Heroes and Villains” mode alone.

With the faithful attention to detail to Lucas’ original vision of galactic conquests soaking the atmosphere with that special brand of Star Wars magic, it didn’t take long for me to get enthralled within the sweeping blaze of lightsaber glory amongst the stars.