Star Wars: Battlefront II, also shortened to "Battlefront II", and alternatively abbreviated as "SW:BF2" or "SWBF2" is a first-/third-person shooter video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by LucasArts, and was released in North America on November 1, 2005, for the Xbox, Playstation Portable, PC, and the PlayStation 2. The PC variant comes in two type of disks: CD-ROM, which comes with four disks, and DVD-ROM, which has only one disk.
It is the second game of the highly successful Star Wars: Battlefront Series and a sequel to the original Star Wars: Battlefront. There are several differences between Battlefront II and the original Battlefront, such as playable Jedi characters, two new unit classes, space-based dogfighting, and story-based campaigns. The release date coincided with the release of Revenge of the Sith on DVD.
Battlefront II expands upon the original game's single-player experience with mission-based objectives drawn from Attack of the Clones' Battle of Geonosis to The Empire Strikes Back's Battle of Hoth. It is a story-based campaign told from the view of an unidentified 501st clone trooper; it revolves around the 501st Legion as the unit evolves from the Galactic Republic's Clone Troopers to Imperial Stormtroopers. The plot spans more than 16 new locations, many from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, including volcanic Mustafar and the space battle above Coruscant. Many maps that came from the original Battlefront were edited to fit more accordingly in the storyline, such as the Naboo battlefield, which was originally Plains, but due the clones' lack of action upon the Invasion of Naboo conflict between droids and Gungans, the setting is shifted to Theed. Also included are battles from the original trilogy, such as fights aboard the Tantive IV, Princess Leia's blockade runner shown immediately at the beginning of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Being a successful hit, the game are now considered on the following: Xbox Platinum Hits, a Sony Greatest Hits, Xbox Classics, a Lucasarts Fan Favorite, and Playstation Platinum.
Basics and changesEdit
There are several differences in overall gameplay between the first and second Battlefront installments. The first is an attempt to add realism to missions by adding objectives and changing the way orders are issued. The second group of changes revolves around a point system, which determines which units can be used, special abilities for players, and rank.
In campaign mode, in addition to the basic tasks of capturing command posts and killing enemy troops, certain objectives must be met for a mission to be successful. These missions may include destroying a specific target, recovering an item, or keeping the opposing force from overrunning a position. In these situations, enemy reinforcements are unlimited and will continue to be deployed until the objective is completed.
While controlling troops, one of the most striking differences between the original and the sequel is the method of issuing orders. Unlike the original Battlefront, in which up, down, left, and right on the directional pad each issued a specific command to nearby groups, commands are now issued by using the targeting reticule to select a specific soldier and pressing the up button. The system chooses which command seems appropriate; for infantry troops, the up button toggles between follow me and move out. In vehicles, the commands are either get in or get out. An infantry trooper targeting a vehicle can order it to stop. Although the variety of commands is much more limited and issuing them is more complicated, the new aiming feature allows users to select the exact class of trooper they want to help them, as well as order vehicles to stop from a considerable distance. The number of troops at the player´s command is based on the player´s rank (see squad leader ranks below).
There is a new feature in Battlefront II called the Point System. The point system is vital to being able to play special unit types, such as advanced unit classes as well as heroes and villains. Points can be earned by killing enemies, capturing command posts, or destroying vehicles; they can also be deducted by doing negative actions such as harming teammates. Before the advanced units are unlocked, they will be marked by silhouettes; Heroes and Villains will not be on the unit selection table unless if the player does not choose if they want to be the hero/villain or not.
By accomplishing certain objectives, players will earn medals during gameplay. These medals can assist the player by giving them upgraded weapons and gameplay traits. There are four levels in which the players medals are ranked; Green, Elite, Veteran, and Legendary. Once the player gets a certain medal to Legendary status, the effect will be permanent.
On certain levels, there are three-way battles between the two normal factions and a third, neutral group. Although neutral sides are not controlled by the players outside of Hunt Mode, some of these forces will shift their neutrality in certain game modes.
Battlefront II features a total of nine units for each playable faction, with four regular units, two space units, two advanced units, and one hero or villain.
- Standard Infantry - This includes the Clone Trooper (Republic), Super Battle Droid (CIS), Rebel Soldier (Rebellion), and Stormtrooper (Empire). Equipped with a blaster rifle, blaster pistol, and thermal detonators (with the exception of the Super Battle Droid, which is equipped with a wrist blaster, tri-shot blaster, and wrist rockets). This is the most common unit seen on the battlefield.
- Assault Trooper - This includes the Clone Heavy Trooper (Republic), Assault Droid (CIS), Rebel Vangaurd (Rebellion), and Shock Trooper (Empire). Equipped with a rocket launcher, capable of vehicle lock-on when targeted, blaster pistol, mines, and thermal detonators. Used for demolition and sabotage.
- Sniper - This includes the Clone Sharpshooter (Republic), Assassin Droid (CIS), Rebel Marksman (Rebellion) and Scout Trooper (Empire). Equipped with a sniper rifle, blaster pistol, thermal detonators, and an automated blaster turret. Used for larger scale maps.
- Engineer - This includes the Clone Engineer (Republic), Engineer Droid (CIS), Rebel Smuggler (Rebellion), and Imperial Engineer (Empire). Equipped with a shotgun, fusion cutter, detpacks (remote explosives), and a health/ammo dispenser. Used for rebuilding and repairing vehicles and turrets and slicing into enemy vehicles, as well as supplying fellow teammates and destroying both structures and vehicles.
- Command Units
- Unique Units
These units are only available in space battles, each having their own useful trait.
- Pilot - The Pilot is equipped with a blaster pistol, fusion cutter, and time bombs. This unit has an auto-repair ability when flying a starfighter.
- Marine - The Marine is equipped with a blaster rifle, rocket launcher, and thermal detonators.
Jedi or Sith HeroesEdit
Heroes and Villains are playable in Battlefront II after achieving a certain amount of points. Unlike regular units' health, the heroes and villains' health will slowly drain if they do not find enemies to kill. Dying will cause the hero or villain to retreat and depending on the game mode will be selectable again after a peroid of time has passed.
Battlefront II features three classifications of ships: planetary vehicles, starfighters, and capital ships.
For ground vehicles, the four factions come equipped with various models of scout vehicles, medium assault vehicles, assault walkers, command transports, and mounts. Scout vehicles are quick and have little armor, whereas medium assault vehicles have superior armor and firepower. Assault walkers are more powerful than the medium assault vehicles, but slower. The command transports, however, are the most powerful vehicles in the game (only available as the Republic´s AT-TE and the Empire´s AT-AT). Additionally, players may use mounts and special craft, such as the tauntaun and the snowspeeder. All vehicles except the Tauntaun and scout vehicles have a critical hit area. A hit in that area will much more damage than a normal shot.
Each faction (Rebels, Empire, Republic, CIS) features four different types of starfighter; bombers, fighters, scout craft, and transports.
- Bombers are heavily armed and armored, but have extremely slow-firing weaponry which is ineffective against the swift-moving starfighters, however one hit from a bomber´s primary weapon will usually inflict tremendous damage to a starfighter.
- Starfighters are medium sized all-purpose ships with a mix of firepower and speed. They are effective in attacking other small vessels, but can be used effectively against fixed targets, frigates and capital ships. They are all extremely similar and all feature proton torpedoes as secondary weapons (even the TIE Fighter). They lock on slowly but pack more of a punch against ship systems or frigates than the lighter rockets carried by scout fighters.
- Scout craft, or interceptors, are fast, fragile, lightly-armed dogfighters. They feature missiles which lock on quickly but do not hit hard, and their rapid-firing lasers are best used against multi-role fighters.
- Transports act as mobile command posts, allowing players to spawn when the transport is landed. All transports have more armor and have a remote rocket position.
In space battles, capital ships such as Star Destroyers are present. Each faction has one capital ship. The capital ships can be attacked from the outside and the inside by destroying several vital points throughout the inside of the ship. Capital ships of the Galactic Civil War era are larger than those of the Clone War era. There are smaller ships around capital ships (how many depending on the map) called frigates. Frigates of the Clone War era are larger than those of the Galactic Civil War era.
There are many game modes in which players can play offline and online.
The most basic game mode. The objective is to capture all command posts or deplete the enemy until all of their numbers are gone. Whichever team accomplishes this first wins the round. This was the most popular mode.
1 Flag CTFEdit
This is Capture the Flag, but with one flag and both teams fighting for it. Whoever captures the flag and returns it to their command post for a certain amount of times wins.
2 Flag CTFEdit
This is Capture the Flag, but with two flags: one in each base. The players must take the enemy flag and bring it back to their respective base a certain amount of times to win the battle, whilst simultaniously defending their own flag.
It is essentially like Conquest, but the main objective is gaining points. Whoever gains the most points available first wins the round. This game type is seen more during space battles, as Conquest usually rules it out on land battles.
There is a special type of Assault mode on Mos Eisley, where the player can battle it out with Heroes versus Villains. Each kill counts as a point towards their team.
Hunt is a game mode where players can battle with factions that aren't normally playable, but played a major part in the Star Wars movies. Some factions that are playable in normal game modes are playable in Hunt, but only allow specific units.
XL is a game mode similar to Assault except you have to kill 350 units to win the game with a lot of units spread throughout the map. XL is only available on Geonosis, Hoth and Kashyyyk due to their larger size. XL is mostly available on custom maps made by modders, although it's only available on PC by default.
The 501st Legion is an elite Clone Trooper/Stormtrooper unit who worked under the command of Darth Vader. They can be seen marching into the Jedi Temple as part of Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. They soon become known as "Vader's Fist". The campaign portion of the game puts players in control of the 501st, from their second battle on Mygeeto through the Battle of Hoth. (The 501st's first battle on Geonosis is the subject of the game's tutorial.)
Clone Wars MissionsEdit
Chapter 1: Fall of the Old Republic - This chapter takes place during the Clone Wars, as the 501st Legion attempts to defeat the Separatist droid armies and strengthen the Republic's hold on the galaxy.
- Part 1 (Revenge of the Sith): Mygeeto - Amongst the Ruins: The 501st must destroy a Separatist power plant and steal the power crystals for use in the Death Star. General Ki-Adi-Mundi is their commander and hero.
- Part 2 (Revenge of the Sith): Coruscant Space - A Desperate Rescue: The 501st is pressed into space combat during the Battle of Coruscant, and must destroy a Separatist cruiser to clear a path for Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to rescue Chancellor Palpatine.
- Part 3 (Revenge of the Sith): Felucia - Heart of Darkness: The 501st is called in to find a lost battalion on Felucia, and battle the CIS with the help of Aayla Secura, their hero.
- Part 4 (Expanded Universe): Kashyyyk Space - First Line of Defense: The 501st are sent on a seemingly suicidal mission to relieve forces on Kashyyyk. But first, they must fight their way to the planet´s surface.
- Part 5 (Revenge of the Sith): Kashyyyk - A Line in the Sand: With the help of Yoda, the 501st defend Kashyyyk from CIS forces in the Battle of Kashyyyk.
- Part 6 (Revenge of the Sith): Utapau - Underground Ambush: The 501st is sent with General Kenobi to defeat the CIS forces and General Grievous in the Battle of Utapau.
- Part 7 (Revenge of the Sith): Coruscant - Knightfall: The Great Jedi Purge has begun, and Darth Vader leads the 501st to clear out the Jedi Temple of traitors.
Galactic Civil Wars MissionsEdit
Chapter 2: Rise of the Empire - The Galactic Republic has fallen. Emperor Palpatine has created a new Galactic Empire to rule in its place, and Darth Vader has taken command of the 501st, replacing Republic uniforms and equipment with Stormtrooper armor and weapons.
- Part 1 (Expanded Universe): Naboo - Imperial Diplomacy: The 501st, newly-dubbed Stormtroopers, must effect a regime change on the Emperor´s home planet by killing Queen Apailana.
- Part 2 (Expanded Universe): Mustafar Space - Preventive Measures: Gizor Delso, a surviving member of the CIS, has reactivated a droid army. To prevent the Clone Wars from starting up again, the 501st is sent in.
- Part 3 (Expanded Universe): Mustafar - Tying up Loose Ends: The 501st must stop the production of new Battle Droid prototypes, kill Delso, and destroy his factory.
- Part 4 (Expanded Universe): Kamino - Changing of the Guard: The cloners on Kamino are raising a legion of clone troopers to use against the Empire. Boba Fett leads the 501st to quell the uprising.
- Part 5 (Expanded Universe): Death Star - Prison Break: A dull assignment on the Empire´s new battle station turns bloody when a group of Rebels breaks out and steals the station´s plans.
- Part 6 (Expanded Universe): Polis Massa - Birth of the Rebellion: The 501st, reassigned due to the breakout, attempt to track the stolen plans to a Rebel outpost on a faraway asteroid. The Galactic Civil War has begun.
- Part 7 (A New Hope): Tantive IV: The 501st is sent to recapture the plans from Princess Leia Organa. The battle reenacts the opening battle of "A New Hope".
- Part 8 (Expanded Universe): Yavin 4 Space - Vader's Fist Strikes Back: With the destruction of the Death Star, the remnants of the 501st fight to prevent the Rebels from escaping.
- Part 9 (Expanded Universe): Yavin 4 - Revenge of the Empire: The 501st is sent to exact revenge for those lost on the Death Star by killing the Rebellion´s high command of Bothan Spies.
- Part 10 (Empire Strikes Back): Hoth - Our Finest Hour: The 501st fights in the Battle of Hoth to crush the Rebellion once and for all. This is the end of the game and the only level that has movie cutscenes in it during gameplay.
Cross-era story missionsEdit
The missions Preventive Measures and Tying up Loose Ends are Empire vs. CIS. In these two missions a rogue Geonosian called Gizor Delso has reactivated the Droid control beacon on Mustafar, and the 501st must go to the planet, shut down the droids, and kill the Geonosian engineer. These are the only missions that are Empire vs. CIS
The mission Changing of the Guard is Empire vs. Clones. In this storyline Kamino has been secretly growing a new Clone Army to help the Rebels fight back against the Empire. Darth Vader hires Boba Fett for his knowledge of the inner workings of the Clone Facility, and sends the 501st to Kamino to destroy the Cloning Facility and growing cylinders.
The PSP has 3 exclusive campaigns focusing on different areas of combat. The player has no allies on the battlefield but has unlimited lives. Each campaign has 4 missions, in which heroes can be used.
- Imperial Enforcer - The player must eliminate native species on the battlefield such as the Gungans on Naboo within a certain amount of time . It is similar to Hunt Mode in that it focuses on the use of Snipers.
- Rogue Assassin - The player must eliminate key targets (commander units) on the battlefield within a certain amount of time. In this campaign the player gets to use the jet trooper with a rapid-fire blaster rifle that is similar to enemy troopers´ in the Changing of the Guard mission on other formats. The missions focus on overall combat.
- Rebel Raider - The player must steal vital technology from the enemy and bring it back to a certain location within a certain amount of time. This mission type is similar to Capture the Flag.
The player will start off as any main faction in the game and will have to progress around the galaxy claiming planets by winning battles. Along the way, the player can buy units to deploy on the battlefield, as well as bonuses, such as deploying a hero or enhancing blasters. The player will have to conquer every planet to win and will face an AI, if not another player.
The Training mission is the tutorial on how to play Battlefront II. It is the unofficial first level to the Rise of the Empire campaign, but can be skipped without taking anything away from the Rise of the Empire story. It is played on Geonosis and is displaying the Battle of Geonosis, the first battle of the Clone Wars. Doing this will have no effect whatsoever and can be played any time.
On December 19, 2005, LucasArts introduced a new downloadable level for the Xbox version of Star Wars Battlefront II through Xbox Live. The upgrade adds a Hero Assault Mode to Kashyyyk, which provides a new alternative to Mos Eisley for the Hero Assault mode.
Another Xbox Live download was made available on January 31, 2006, with two new playable hero characters (Kit Fisto and Asajj Ventress) as well as four maps from the original Star Wars: Battlefront. Each of the new boards (Yavin 4: Arena, Bespin: Cloud City, Rhen Var Harbor and Rhen Var Citadel) has Conquest, Capture-the-Flag, and Hero Assault modes (including the two new characters). Rhen Var Harbor also has a Hunt mode where the native species are Wampas. In addition, Hero Assault modes were also added to the following maps: Coruscant, Mygeeto, and Naboo.
IGN claimed that the game suffers from problems remaining from the original Battlefront, such as a lack of challenging AI characters in single player mode. Computer-controlled opponents and allies tend to run headlong into gunfire, wander off ledges, and walk into walls. IGN felt that this, along with redundant use of planets featured in previous "Star Wars" settings, were problems carried over from the original ´´Battlefront´´.
IGN also noted that the complex controls and graphics of space battles and all-hero battles can make online multiplayer games virtually unplayable. Moreover, IGN felt that Lag times and high ping rates can cause the action to become choppy, objects and players to disappear, and weapons to become ineffective.  A related criticism from Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) is the longer load time needed between boards, which is also caused by more detailed graphics and larger maps than the original Battlefront. For the Playstation 2 version, many have complained about the lack of a patch to resolve most gameplay issues, as well as having a server with large amounts of AI without crashing.
In addition the omission of fan favorite maps (e.g. Cloud City, Bespin Platforms) from the original Battlefront, and the subsequent XBOX Live-only addition of these maps have caused great disappointment among fervent fans of the game with other systems. However, many of the original Battlefront maps are available to download on some fansites. Minor fan complaints also mention the abrupt and inconclusive story ending of the campaign which stops at the Battle of Hoth without at least concluding with Return of the Jedi. A possible explanation, however, could be that since the Imperials historically lose the Battle of Endor, the player would have to also lose in order to conclude the war as it happened. An argument also has been made about the age of the 501st's men around that time, because clones age twice as fast as humans.
Official criticism of the PSP version revolves mainly around the platform´s ability to handle the game, rather than the game itself. Although the graphics were slightly stripped down to improve load times, EGM found ´´Battlefront´´´s controls to be too complex for the PSP´s simple controls. EGM cited further problems with the game´s slowdown in multiplayer mode.. Many players also cited dislike for the PSP version due to its ommitence of the story-line mode from the console versions depicting the Rise of the Empire, and the ability to enter large enemy ships like the Star Destroyer and damage them from the inside, probably due to the technical limitations of the PSP system. A list of differences between the PSP version and others can be found here.
Battlefront 2 was also criticized for its bland textures, lack of popular battlefields from the first game such as Bespin: Platforms, and the AI unit count, which was decreased dramatically.
- Official site
- Official trailer
- An in depth Hero and Villains character study, still updating
- Top Rated Modding Site
- Xbox.com page with details on Kashyyyk Assault download
- Xbox.com page with details on Expansion Pack
- Jedi-Masters Database entry
- A website for active dedicated players that still play the online multiplayer
| Battlefront Series |
|Main Series||Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) • Star Wars: Battlefront II • Star Wars Battlefront (2015) (Expansion Packs include: Outer Rim, Bespin, Death Star, Rogue One: Scarif) • Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)|
|Spin-Offs||Renegade Squadron • Elite Squadron • Mobile Squadrons|
|Other||Star Wars: Battlefront III • Battlefront: Twilight Company • Star Wars Battlefront Companion