It’s been a little quiet around here lately. I had planned to fill the gaps with reviews for the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, but by the time I got round to writing the season six review, I’d forgotten what exactly had happened in that season (like, I remember the events, but where did the lines between seasons five and seven end?) and so now I’m in the process of rewatching that.
But never fear, because Battlefront II has come to save the day, as the long-awaited new game mode has rounded out the second half of The Clone Wars updates.
So with three new updates since the arrival of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Battlefront II, there’s a lot of new content to unpack.
A year on from the game’s release, and the excitement in the fanbase has been restored somewhat. At EA’s conference earlier in the year, it was revealed that Battlefront was to get several new content drops around the years end. These new additions would include the planet of Geonosis, the heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and the villains General Grievous and Count Dooku, as well as a new game mode (Conquest).
In the lead up to these drops, EA continued to show seeming incompetence at the handling of the property, as the drops were continually pushed back, despite the fact Grievous, for one, had been being worked on since launch. As you can see from the ‘released’ section at the start of this DLC review, ‘Winter’ was the timeframe of release, with Anakin Skywalker later revealed to be being released in February of 2019. Many were contemplating taping out, as it seemed that after this final, drawn out push, the game would finally die.
And that may still be the case. But the first two updates of this ‘season’ have been released as of the time of writing, and so far, they are enjoyable enough to warrant sticking around to see how things play out.
General Grievous is a menacing force in the game, and very popular, I’ve noticed, despite the fact that on release his abilities didn’t all work (this is a common reoccurring theme with this game – new content or fixes are released, and two other things break as a result). But his fix came around quickly, along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, who may be my new personal favourite hero; the perfect mix of Jedi defensive powers and offensive force attacks.
Similarly, Geonosis, like Crait before it, is a welcome addition to the game. It’s vast, expansive and has another unique take on the Battlefront experience. The addition of free roaming AT-TE’s is very cool, and the fact that the battlefield is essentially just open plains makes it feel more like an actual war and less like an awkward tactical strike on a city.
I’m excited to see Anakin and Dooku enter the game, and from the way the developers are talking about things currently, the various new content drops that are to be released next year. I won’t hold out too much hope though, just in case this really is the end.
All-in-all, as of November 2018, I give Battlefront II + the Clone Wars ‘Season’:
I clocked a lot of hours in both Star Wars Battlefront I and II, before finally taking a break when I swapped consoles. But when the Black Friday sales popped up, and with the ‘Clone Wars Season’ imminent, I’ve jumped back on to the Battlefront.
RELEASED: November 17th 2017 DEVELOPED BY: EA DICE PUBLISHED BY: Electronic Arts
It’s been a year since Star Wars Battlefront II came out, and since then I’ve put a silly amount of hours into playing this game. I remember, back when the game was announced, how excited both I and the community as a whole were for the game. The first Battlefront of the modern era, while fun, was very much lacking when the base game was announced. By the time the four DLCs had been released, the game had been sufficiently bulked up, but it was a bit ridiculous that you had to essentially pay £90 or so for what should have been offered at the original price.
The sequel promised to do away with all of that. It would feature a ton of content from the beginning, and then be treated as a ‘live-service’ game, wherein you would continue to get updates at no extra cost.
RELEASED: May 19th 2005 DIRECTED BY: George Lucas WRITTEN BY: George Lucas PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum MUSIC BY: John Williams STARRING: Ewan McGreggor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Peter Mayhew, Temeura Morrison, Matthew Wood & Jimmy Smits
The final entry in the Star Wars saga under the purview of George Lucas, Revenge of the Sith was presented with the unenviable task of rounding out and redeeming a less than stellar trilogy.
The film follows Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the waning days of the Clone Wars, as they are called back to Coruscant after the kidnapping of Chancellor Palpetine by the new droid commander General Greivous. Reunited with their allies and loved ones, Skywalker and Kenobi must make efforts to end the war as decisively as they can, as the dark side of the force grows increasingly stronger.
Revenge of the Sith is definitely better than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but it’s not without it’s problems. For one, it’s an incredibly bloated film, as it feels as if on top of rounding everything out from the previous two films, it also is once again setting the majority of it up, as the last two films did such a poor job and this film is trying to make amends in every way it can.
RELEASED: May 16th 2002 DIRECTED BY: George Lucas WRITTEN BY: George Lucas & Jonathan Hales PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum MUSIC BY: John Williams STARRING: Ewan McGreggor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Temuera Morrison & Christopher Lee
After The Phantom Menace reignited the Star Wars franchise in 1999, Attack of the Clones continued the story of young Anakin Skywalker three years later, with Star Wars mastermind George Lucas still taking writing and directing duties, this time accompanied by Jonathan Hales, who co-wrote the screenplay.
The second chapter in the prequel trilogy sees Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, now a Jedi Padawan, reunite with Padme, who has finished her time as Queen of Naboo, and become a senator in the Galactic Republic. When her life is once more put in danger, the Jedi duo split up; with Anakin acting as Padme’s bodyguard and Obi-Wan tracking nefarious bounty hunter Jango Fett, which leads him to a discovery that could bring the entire Republic into a devastating war.
With The Phantom Menace being as mediocre as it was, you would think the prequel trilogy could only get better, but in terms of writing, you’d have thought wrong. Somehow, the scripting in this film is even worse than that of the previous entry, with shockingly awful dialogue, and characterisation that paints Obi-Wan as condescending, Padmé as someone with hybristophilia and Anakin as a total psychopath.
“I killed them. I killed them all. They’re dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I HATE THEM.”
– Anakin Skywalker, hero and Jedi Knight
RELEASED: May 19th 1999 DIRECTED BY: George Lucas WRITTEN BY: George Lucas PRODUCED BY: Rick McCallum MUSIC BY: John Williams STARRING: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGreggor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson, Oliver Ford Davies, Hugh Quarshie, Terrence Stamp, Silas Carson, Keira Knightley, Ray Park & Peter Serafinowicz
After a sixteen year absence, Star Wars finally returned to the cinemas with The Phantom Menace, the first film directed by George Lucas in 22 years. And unfortunately, that shows. However, before we discuss the problems with this film (and there are several), we should first look at some of the great aspects that Lucas did bring back with him from his hiatus.
The film follows Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as they are assigned by the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic to resolve a trade dispute between the Trade Federation and Queen Amidala of the Naboo. In this adventure, they meet the clumsy Gungan Jar Jar Binks, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO and Anakin Skywalker, a boy whom Qui-Gon believes to be ‘the chosen one’.
Just looking at that synopsis, you can see that one thing The Phantom Menace does right is build up Star Wars lore exponentially. Whereas in Episodes IV-VI, we got a vague idea of how the Galaxy worked, for the most part, the focus was just on Luke, Han and Leia’s adventures. Here, we get to see everything: the Galactic Senate, the Jedi Council, the Outer Rim areas where Republic influence doesn’t reach. We get to see leisure activities like pod-racing, and inter-species relationships between the people of the Naboo and the Gungans. Flora and fauna is also shown in abundance. And (for a nineties film, anyway) it’s all pretty beautiful.