What we learned about Battlefront II’s Starfighter Assault mode at Gamescom today
Earlier today, we got our first extended look at Battlefront II’s Starfighter Assault mode around the Fondor Shipyard thanks to EA’s Gamescom livestream.
You can check out the replay of the livestream here, but I’ll go over the main details below. The official Battlefront II website also has a new page up that’s dedicated to the Starfighter Assault mode.
To start, we learned how this mode will function for the Fondor Shipyard map. Elliot from BattlefrontUpdates has a quick rundown of the mode, and I’ve done a summary below that:
The primary objective has the Rebels attacking a docked Imperial Star Destroyer, which they must destroy before running out of a set number of reinforcements. The mode will take place over three phases:
- In the first phase, the Rebels aim to take out two Imperial light cruisers. Occasionally, a bomber run of three Y-wings will aid in damaging the cruisers. During this phase, the Imperials can either attack Rebels ships or attempt to stop Rebel blockade runners (which will play a part in the second phase if they aren’t destroyed).
- For the next phase, the Rebels will focus on blowing up four shield generators inside the shipyard’s space station. If the blockade runners survive long enough, they’ll shoot at and damage the generators.
- In the last phase, the Rebels move onto attacking four couplings holding onto the docked Star Destroyer. Once these are successfully damaged, the Rebels then have thirty seconds to attack the Star Destroyer’s reactor. This process is then repeated until the Rebels run out of reinforcements, or the Star Destroyer’s health is depleted.
If, at any point during the three phases, the Rebels run out of reinforcements, the Imperials win (although the Gamescom build automatically advances to the next phases). There are then also turrets and turbolasers dotted throughout the map which can all be destroyed.
For the Gamescom build, there are four hero ships: Darth Maul’s Scimitar and Boba Fett’s Slave I for the Imperials, and Poe Dameron’s Black One X-wing and Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon for the Rebels. Here’s the BattlefrontUpdates video covering the new hero ships:
- Darth Maul’s Scimitar has stealth drive, target lock, and dual proton torpedoes abilities. The stealth drive definitely is an interesting ability and causes Maul’s Scimitar to go mostly invisible for a set period of time while also being immune to enemies locking on.
- Boba Fett’s Slave I has a seismic charge, ion cannons, and concussion missile. The seismic charge works just like the one from the Attack of the Clones—the charge drops out the back of the ship and then creates a massive explosions (with a very cool sound effect).
- Poe’s X-wing has Black Leader (pings and reveals enemy ships), BB-8 repair, and proton torpedo abilities. I’ll be curious to see how effective Poe’s scan ping ability actually is—in the last Battlefront there never really were any problems finding enemy targets.
- Han’s Millennium Falcon has a special modifications (increases primary weapon damage), afterburner (speed boost), and concussion missile abilities. The Falcon certainly seems to be a bit more difficult to maneuver than the other hero ships, so you might have to play a bit smarter when piloting it.
It’s also worth noting that the hero ships have Star Cards that augment abilities to your liking.
Finally, we got a look at the normal starfighters, which have classes just like the infantry for ground battles. There are three starfighter classes: Fighter (X-wing and TIE Fighter), Interceptor (A-wing and TIE Interceptor) and Bomber (Y-wing and TIE Bomber).
Here’s a quick summary of the starfighter abilities:
- X-wing: Weapon overcharge (increases primary weapon damage), astromech repair, and proton torpedo.
- TIE Fighter: Laser barrage, afterburner (speed boost), and proton topedo.
- A-wing & TIE Interceptor: Target lock, afterburner, and concussion missile.
- Y-wing: Ion cannon turret (auto-fires at enemies and objectives), astomech repair, and dual proton torpedos.
- TIE Bomber: Multi-missile lock (auto-fires three missiles), electronic countermeasures (cancels enemy lock-ons), and dual proton torpedoes.
While each ship has their own unique abilities, Star Cards that augment ship characteristics are the same within each class. This means that all the Fighter-class starfighters pull from the same pool of Star Cards, while the Interceptor and Bomber classes have their own pool of Star Cards.
Overall, I like the fact that (at least the Fondor Shipyard map) Starfighter Assault feels more “alive” than the ship-based modes from the last Battlefront. The abilities offered by ships also feel more unique and creative. However, the gameplay doesn’t seem too tweaked from the last Battlefront—whether that’s a good or bad thing remains to be seen.
Of course, I haven’t actually given this mode a go just yet, so I can’t really be critical either way. We’ll all be able to try it out on October 6, when the open beta goes live to the general public (or October 4 for those who pre-order).