Star Wars Battlefront II is a fun game to play… for a few hours. I mean this literally, as the main campaign only took about six hours to complete on normal difficulty. While it was a fun campaign to play through, it was laughably short and unfortunately left much to be desired. So I did not have incredibly high expectations for the extended campaign. But after playing through Resurrection, and although it features more of the same from the main campaign, the extended campaign is definitely a step in the right direction with improvements to the storytelling and mission objectives.
The main campaign storyline is obvious right from the first mission; idealistic protagonist blindly follows orders until they realize they are working for someone evil and then switch to the good side to help bring the evil-doers down. The story doesn’t offer anything new, which is fine since the game was not marketed or advertised, or cynically – even made, for it’s plot points. Regardless, when playing a campaign, the player should feel connected to the story and invested in it’s characters and sadly I found that aspect lacking.
Stories do not have to be long in order to be fulfilling, but they do require substance and it was hard to grab on to anything and feel attached when the main campaign missions were so short and you were constantly switching between characters. The player is forced to complete several missions as an assigned hero and although it is a welcomed feature to be able to play as a hero doing hero-specific missions, it is poorly integrated into the main campaign. Instead of focusing on Iden Versio and her story, I am occasionally blindsided into doing a side mission with a character I do not care about who is trying to accomplish something I do not care about. When the mission is over in fifteen minutes and I forget about them entirely once I start playing as Iden again, then ultimately it creates a disconnect with the story as a whole.
The Resurrection campaign’s story played out much better. Although there are only three missions compared to the main campaign’s twelve, there are much more detailed and thoughtful objectives that it took me about three hours to finish the extended campaign. The main campaign never really gives you an ultimate goal to work towards, other than half-way through when you join the Rebels and are now tasked with, along with every other rebel, the vague notion of bringing down The Empire. With no concrete end-game, it feels as though almost every mission is the same: Fight to this specified location and either escape or destroy something. In Resurrection, however, the story and missions are more relatable. You play as Iden the entire time, there are more detailed and thought out objectives, and from the opening scene there is a clear, tangible end-game goal – kill Hask. This allows the player to become invested in the game because instead of checking in with her every other mission and missing out on some character development, we are with her every step of the way and know at all times what she is thinking and what she is doing. Iden’s daughter, Zay, is introduced in the Resurrection campaign and the Duros soldier Shriv returns as Iden’s companion.
They help to add more relatability to the story because they have their own unique traits and are actually quite interesting, especially Shriv who adds comedic relief at all the right moments and I would love to see more of him and Zay in future games or movies. Also, the missions are longer so we have time to flesh out the characters and the objectives actually mean something to Iden. Instead of “Blow up this random weapons factory”, it is “Find and protect your daughter”. Finally, I want to see what happens between Iden and Hask. Everybody knows that the Galactic Empire falls; when Iden joined Leia and Han and the rest of the rebels, there was only one outcome and it had already been written. In Resurrection, there are new characters, new dynamics, and a new story. Anything could happen.
Comparing the storylines of both campaigns, Resurrection is the clear winner. Other than that, not much else is changed. Combat is still incredibly easy with the AI intelligence being subpar compared to today’s standards ( I played the Resurrection campaign on ‘special forces’ difficulty and had completely forgotten I changed it until I was reminded at the end of the game). All the weapons are still the same and there is no added or different gameplay mechanics. Although Resurrection is a well-executed extension, there is just not a game-changing difference to justify nine hours of very beatable, single-player gameplay at the current retail price. However, given that there is online multiplayer and other single-player modes, such as Arcade, I would happily pay $30 for the game and walk away satisfied. My final grade for the main campaign is a 5/10 due to the short length and easy gameplay and my final grade for Resurrection is a 7/10 for improved storytelling and lengthier missions.