Star Wars Battlefront was a technical marvel. All DICE had to do was make it look and sound like Star Wars, and they killed it. But the gameplay hooks never sunk deep. Sure, it was fun – but it also lacked the longevity other big shooters offer these days.
The shallow gameplay made the lack of a story even more glaring. Motive, a brand new EA studio headed by Jade Raymond, is believed to be the team working to fix that. Yesterday, we saw a glimpse of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 story.
How the hell can you not be pumped after seeing that? Imperial protagonist. All Eras. Maul versus Yoda. I was just talking trash about Battlefield Premium the other day but let’s be real, if EA offers Battlefront Premium – I’m there.
What happens in the moments after the Emperor’s death and the destruction of the second Death Star? The old Expanded Universe touched on it, but that’s been thrown out the window. Motive Studios gets to take a stab at one of the most pivotal moments in the Star Wars universe.
Is Motive Studios working on the story?
I couched this with “believed,” but I’m pretty sure it’s Motive. Three teams are working on Battlefront 2. DICE, Motive and Criterion. At a February earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson had this to say about Battlefront 2 and the three studios working on it (emphasis mine):
“To build a game of this magnitude, we’ve brought together three great studios – DICE, Motive, and Criterion – and aligned their areas of expertise to deliver an amazing experience in the next Star Wars Battlefront.”
DICE is known for multiplayer. Criterion for racing games. Motive is a new studio, but a couple of key hires suggest what their focus will be.
Jade Raymond (founder) served as a Producer for three Assassin’s Creed games, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. All heavy on story.
Kim Swift (design director) played a major role in bringing Valve games like Portal and Left 4 Dead to life. Again, both heavy on story telling.
Motive is the only studio that fits for developing Battlefront 2’s story. And with resumes like that from key personnel, it’s hard not to get pumped. I’m sure each studio will work some across every aspect of the game, but each one will have a primary focus.
EA is promising Battlefront 2 will address the shortcomings of the first. Having a story is a good start. Now, we just need a little more depth on the multiplayer gameplay side of things. If DICE can deliver one of their trademark multiplayer experiences this holiday season, we could be in for quite the treat.
Battlefront 2 and Call of Duty: World War II (still rumored, but signs pointing to confirmed) around the same time? 2017 doesn’t know when to stop.