Star Wars: Battlefront II Hands-On - Dagobah and More

The G-Phoria awards taping gives LucasArts a chance to show off some swampy new portions of Pandemic's shooter sequel.

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LOS ANGELES--LucasArts and developer Pandemic are throwing all their weight behind Star Wars Battlefront II, the sequel to last year's popular team-based shooter based on the seminal fantasy film series...you know, that one called Star Wars. At G4's G-Phoria awards show taping, we got to take a look at a new build of Battlefront II that showed off some yet-unseen content, and we also got a pretty good feel for the increased scope of this sequel (hint: it's bigger).

The meatiest new piece of content in this build was its Dagobah map, which is set on everyone's favorite swampy Jedi-master hideaway. You wouldn't think Dagobah would provide expanses of the sort you'd need to accommodate Battlefront II's large-scale team clashes, but you'd be wrong. All that fog and swamp foliage actually provides for a lot of nice cover, and it makes for an interesting battle experience since you can't always see your enemies coming from relatively far away. The Dagobah map even featured some nice nods to the film source material, such as Luke Skywalker's sunken X-wing sticking out of the murk, and the Dark Side cave where Yoda sends young Skywalker to confront his inner demons.

Oh yeah, Yoda. You can play as him! Battlefront II is introducing a bunch of playable hero characters, many of whom are Jedi, and on the Dagobah map, we got to see the diminutive old sage hacking up foes with sprightly aplomb. Like all hero characters, Yoda's availability will be based on your battle performance and will be limited by a timer, so you won't be able to tear up the enemy forces nonstop with Jedi action. The game will even keep track of how you play your hero, and if you're not doing well enough, you'll eventually lose him or her for the time being.

As you'd expect, Battlefront II will also feature a healthy dose of Episode III content as well. For instance, there's a new Kashyyyk map on offer that's consistent with the battle scenes in the film, from the wookiee tree houses and sandy beaches to the thundering droid-army tanks. Interestingly, the first Battlefront had a Kashyyyk level, but that was before the films had canonized its look and feel, so now we get the revisionist version of the wookiee homeworld. Some of the hero characters will also be influenced by Episode III. General Grievous will be the bad-guy equivalent of Yoda, and he'll even wield the deadly four-lightsaber combo like he does against Obi-Wan in the movie. You'll even get to play as a saber-wielding Emperor in the Death Star level, though we were told that his offense would naturally rely most heavily on Force lightning.

Battlefront II will be shipping on the same date as the recently announced Revenge of the Sith DVD: November 1st. LucasArts is claiming that the final game will contain roughly four times as much content as its predecessor--and when you add in the new space battles, hero characters, new maps, and a bunch of gameplay modes like capture the flag, hunt, and assault, that figure doesn't seem so unrealistic. Look for more on Battlefront II in the coming months.

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