SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from both Battlefront II and The Last Jedi. Proceed at your own risk.
One thing that Battlefront II is great at is getting the sights and sounds right. But its singleplayer campaign didn’t live up to the hype, and its multiplayer was so embarrassingly cynical that Disney had to step in.
But EA was saving a chunk of content for the release of The Last Jedi, and as a free download owners of the game can now experience an iconic battle from the movie and witness the ultimate fate of Inferno Squad.
If you want to know all the ways the DLC connects to the movies, go here.
The Resurrection Missions
The DLC adds three “Resurrection” missions, which are intended to flesh out the mention of Project Resurrection at the end of the main campaign. This was part of the Contingency program enacted by Emperor Palpatine.
You come across this plan as Iden Versio while investigating the disappearance of Del Meeko, and you’re joined by your daughter Zay. This first mission is a space battle, which is less a battle and more slowing down your ship to follow and shoot at an enemy frigate for a few minutes. There’s little to no danger, and the game hurls more exposition at you than projectiles. What you find is anticlimactic.
The Resurrection campaign’s main revelation isn’t really a revelation at all. All of what’s happening — Kylo Ren chasing a lead on Lor San Tekka, Iden Versio uncovering the kidnapping of families on Athulla… These were all known story items. Known from two Star Wars movies ago, no less.
In The Force Awakens, Finn’s story is made quite clear. He was stolen as a child, like all his fellow stormtroopers, and made to fight for the First Order. It’s how the First Order collected seemingly unlimited manpower without the use of cloners.
In the Resurrection campaign we see behind the scenes a little bit. We see Protectorate Gleb, who was responsible for training Versio, is in charge of brainwashing the young population of an entire planet. We see how a private military organisation assisted with collecting the families against their will. It’s not quite redundant, but ultimately this is exposition on an already known entity that will disappoint fans looking for true insights.
In fact, the unintentional main revelation here might be the debunking of a fan theory — that Meeko and Versio are not, as some had theorised, Rey’s parents.
At least it does focus on its protagonist’s story instead of getting lost in the “all your favourite characters” mess of the main campaign. The constant to-and-fro between Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker and others felt like an exercise in ticking checkboxes.
The best that can be said about the Resurrection campaign is that it sticks to the Versio family, and provides closure on the ultimate fate of Inferno Squad.
The best that can be said about The Last Jedi DLC as a whole, however, is all about its new multiplayer settings.
As in the main release, the best parts of Battlefront II are its Galactic Assault and Starfighter Assault modes. The Last Jedi DLC adds one scenario to each of these. On the ground we have the Hoth-like battle on Crait, and up in space we have the battle above D’Qar.
Crait is magnificent. It’s everything a triple-A Star Wars game should be, completely delivering on the aesthetic experience of being in one of Star Wars’ most iconic battles.
Not only that, the nature of the battle is a perfect fit for Galactic Assault. In this mode, one side is meant to be more powerful than the other. It’s all about how long you can hold them off, as they steadily advance through a series of objectives.
The wide, open space outside is pocked with a few trenches, and stormtroopers have to use the cover of their own AT-ATs to advance. This eventually turns into a tight, tunnel-based battle where different classes and strategies become more important.
The battering ram cannon isn’t present, and there’s eventually a heated firefight inside the actual base. The battle’s flow is actually better this way. A wide open door provides more angles to attack from.
The Resistance’s light crafts are still present, and serve an important gameplay purpose: The red dirt they kick up behind them seriously hampers visibility. Take that, everyone who chose the sniper class to pick off heads that popped out of the trenches.
We’ve had missions that capture the feel of a Star Wars battle before, but nothing that interpreted the battle’s unique elements into such interesting gameplay.
The Price Is Right
For a free DLC, perhaps it’s harsh to complain. But let’s be honest, Battlefront II disappointed on both the singleplayer and multiplayer side of things, and this was a chance for it to redeem itself.
The six hour main campaign quickly reneged on its promise to deliver a morally grey perspective of an Empire special forces operative. At least the Resurrection missions stick with the Versio family, but it does so with repeated level design, uninspired gameplay, and a story that ultimately doesn’t mean much.
How significant is it that one star destroyer didn’t make it to Starkiller Base in time for it to blow up? How important is it really that Dio held schematics for a dreadnought Leia Organa already knew about? How revelatory is it really that we fight on a planet that had its children kidnapped, when we already knew that’s how it populated its ranks?
A massive bone could have been thrown to Star Wars fans by letting the Versio saga include some element that performed a key role in the Resistance. But at least the game continues to absolutely nail its sights, sounds and settings. The Crait battle alone is worth cranking up the game again to play a few rounds. It’s just a shame there’s no server browser so you can’t actually choose which map to play on.