PS4

Battlefront 2’s next big update delivers a throwback to Republic Commando

Clone Commandos are coming to Star Wars Battlefront 2 next month. Electronic Arts and DICE teased the arrival of the characters on Wednesday at Gamescom when they rolled out the content roadmap for the rest of the year. But here we get a good 10-minute look at them in action — in the game’s new co-op PvE mode, too — and they are dead ringers for the good ol’ Republic Commandos of 2005. Vode an!

The Republic, er, Clone Commando comes outfitted with the DC-17m repeater and that classic grenade launcher that flips into place to bomb the holy bejabbers out of Battle Droids and Droidekas. The commando’s two other abilities are new — a repulsor blast to stun enemies and “Battle Focus,” which adds a damage protection aura and refills the player’s health.

But look at that wrist dagger! So useful for shanking Geonosians back in the day. Look at that crouch walk!

Unfortunately, there is no ultra-cool first-person visor view, with the electro-wipe clearing bug guts off your grill. (Base classes have first-person views, but heroes and reinforcement classes do not.) Nor will I be using the D-pad to tell Scorch and Sev to form up.

EA and DICE laid out co-op’s terms in a forum post on Wednesday, calling the mode “a large scale PvE adventure.” It’s set in the Clone Wars era and takes place on their five maps — Geonosis, Kamino, Kashyyyk, Naboo, and Ryloth. Players may fight as either the Republic or Separatists, but they’ll be taking on AIs, so it’s a more casual, longer-playing shooter experience that lets players rack up big kill streaks.

Alongside co-op will be a solo-player Instant Action mode that harkens back to the single-player offerings of the original Battlefront series. It’s a variant on Capital Supremacy, except everyone other than the player is an AI. Capture three out of five command posts and hold them until the team score hits 100 percent to win the round. This mode will be available on maps where Capital Supremacy currently plays — Naboo, Kamino, Kashyyk, Geonosis and Felucia.

These three big features — co-op, Instant Action and Clone Commandos — all join the game in September, and that’s plenty enough to drag me back with them. Earlier this year, LucasArts dropped two of Battlefront 2’s ancestors on Xbox Live Games with Gold — the original Battlefront 2 and Republic Commandoand that made for a nice trip down memory lane. But getting their gameplay and characters in a modern shooter is very appealing for old heads like me. I feel like I’m getting a new disc from GameFly or something.

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