Star Wars Battlefront II’s latest DLC features an expanded story and new worlds from The Last Jedi. It does its best to reinvigorate the game, but it ultimately falls short.
Battlefront II’s latest collection of DLC continues the story of stormtrooper Iden Versio in an additional campaign called Resurrection. At the end of Battlefront II, Iden had joined with the heroic New Republic to help defeat the Empire. Years later, her husband Del is interrogated by Kylo Ren and executed by former Inferno Squad member Gideon Hask. Resurrection wraps up Iden’s story with a series of missions that place her on a collision course with Hask.
It’s a strong set-up that brings focus to a previously disjointed campaign, but unfortunately, Resurrection largely squaders it. The scenarios are all too familiar: fight off pirates in an asteroid field, blast stormtroopers in an urban warzone, board a Star Destroyer and sabotage the engine. Every scenario in Resurrection is a remixed version of moments from the main campaign in a slightly different setting. Iden is joined by her daughter Zay and snarky alien ally Shriv. The small cast interacts well, and it’s clear the actors are having a fun time, but Iden’s story of revenge and sacrifice ultimately suffers from the same weakness of the main game. Everything moves too fast. The stakes are personal and dramatic but there’s no time for character beats to land before rushing to the next set piece.
Fans looking for strong story ties to the new films will find themselves disappointed. Resurrection’s campaign happens around the time of The Force Awakens, and while there are a few moments from the films such as the attack on the New Republic’s capital and the destruction of Starkiller Base, Iden’s only ever witness to these things and not participant. The largest connection is the discovery of Project Resurrection, which explains how the First Order manages to build up their forces and sheds some light of Finn’s background. The campaign feels like it ends short to set up future content with Zay. There’s nothing here that you haven’t already seen in trailers.
The multiplayer adds the barren planet of Crait for Galactic Assault and D’Qar for Starfighter Assault. Crait is the more interesting of the two, featuring expansive salt flats perfect for vehicle combat between massive assault walkers and smaller gunships. The First Order bears down on a Resistance hideout in a scenario much like The Empire Strikes Back’s iconic Battle of Hoth. Every explosion and blaster shot riles up red dust from the planet’s surface. It’s stunning to witness, although you’ll curse your luck when playing defense on the map. Even after retreating into a series of mines for close quarters combat, it can be difficult to push back against the might of the First Order.
The Last Jedi DLC also adds two new hero characters to use: Finn and Captain Phasma. Finn plays as a cross between an infiltrator and an officer. He can buff nearby team members for a significant health bonus that also removes all weapon cooldowns and has another ability that allows him and a small group of allies to run faster and travel undetected by enemy radar. He might not be the the most dangerous hero, but his ability to bring out the best in others is valuable. Captain Phasma is much more straightforward. She plays as a beefier assault class with a rapid fire blaster, the ability to gain a temporary armour buff, and a nifty retractable staff perfect for smacking unwitting foes. She’s not nearly as exciting to play, but it’s nice to see her kick butt instead of just getting chucked down a trash compactor like in The Force Awakens.
Ultimately, the expanded story content is too brief to help fix any of Battlefront II’s narrative problems, and the additional multiplayer content offers very little change or growth for the game’s online modes. The production values remain as high as ever; everything looks like its leapt right out of the movies. But it ultimately feels perfunctory, a quick tie-in without much heart.