‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ will be out in November

We already had a face thanks to the leaked trailer; now we have a name, a story, and most importantly a release date: Nov. 17.

As for the rest of it: the hero(?) of our new Star Wars adventure is Iden Versio, who leads the Imperial special forces unit known as Inferno Squad. This elite unit which specializes in both ground and space battles will also be the subject of a book in summer 2017.

The Battlefront II story picks up after the events of Return of the Jedi. The details remain hazy, but it sounds like Versio and her Inferno team manage to escape Rebel forces on Endor and re-connect with their Imperial brethren as the First Order the Imperial remnant forces at the center of The Force Awakens is born.

While Iden Versio is framed as the star of this story, players will also have opportunities during the campaign to step into the shoes of more familiar figures, including Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.

All of this represents a big change after Star Wars: Battlefront, which launched in 2015 as a multiplayer-only game. Battlefield developer DICE is back with an updated version for the 2017 sequel, but the story is in the hands of Motive Studios, another Electronic Arts team.

Multiplayer will hopefully build on the successes of the 2015 game which delivered an exceptionally authentic audiovisual dive into the Star Wars universe while correcting what didn’t. The new PvP mode spans all three movie eras and features locations like Mos Eisley, Yavin IV, and Starkiller Base.

The announcement suggests you can expect a stronger focus in the sequel on character progression. Players will now earn unlocks in multiple categories, including heroes/villains, trooper classes, and vehicles. We’ll probably have to wait until E3 for more specifics.

Battlefront II will also place more of a focus on space combat, with Criterion which handled the VR mission for the 2015 Battlefront leading development on that side of the game.

As the leaked trailer had already suggested, pre-order buyers can expect some bonuses. The previously outed hero pack based on The Last Jedi includes Rey and Kylo Ren, as well as the Millennium Falcon and a new First Order ship.

There’s also a step-up “Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition” that in addition to The Last Jedi stuff comes with upgrades to every trooper class (Battlefront II takes a page from Battlefield here) and three days of early access to the game.

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