Star Wars Battlefront II’s Capital Supremacy update is terrific – though there are a few concerns

Last week, the long-awaited new large-scale game mode dropped in Star Wars Battlefront II!

This mode, called “Capital Supremacy,” puts you into the heart of a battle that feels plucked straight from The Clone Wars, and that feels a bit more familiar to the Star Wars Battlefront that so many fans loved over a decade ago.  It genuinely is a breathtaking experience, and it’s just the latest reminder of what Battlefront can be.  After a disappointing and devastating launch, Battlefront II has slowly but surely improved significantly in the past year, and this mode is the biggest update of them all.

The basics of Capital Supremacy are this: you are battling on the planet Geonosis for control of five command posts.  As you capture command posts, you’ll begin earning tickets that, upon reaching 50, allow you to board transports and travel to the enemy capital ship.  Once you board, you must first breach the doors before fighting your way deeper into the ship to plant charges at two key locations.  If you successfully arm and defend these charges until detonation, you win the match.  But if you fail at doing this before your reinforcements are depleted, you are sent back to the planet’s surface to re-capture command posts.

And to advertise this mode, they actually got Tom Kane to narrate it like it’s an opening to an episode of The Clone Wars!  It’s pretty great.

All of this is genuinely a ton of fun.  I’m sure that no one who played the 2005 Battlefront can play this mode without thinking of that game, as it feels so similar to that when you’re capturing a command post – and the nostalgia feels good.  The Geonosis map – a new one taking place at the Pipeline Junction – is well-designed and gives opportunities for all classes of soldiers to fight and utilize their respective skills.  It makes for some really great clashes between the Separatists and Republic.  And though these matches can take a long time – I’ve seen players saying they regularly have matches that take an hour and a half, though my longest match is just under an hour – there’s a nice change of pace that keeps it from getting entirely dull, as you’re going back and forth between the planet’s surface to the capital ships (and there are two of them that you can go to, depending on which side takes control on the ground), and there are different objectives to accomplish.  So the mode is a lot of fun, and with the mode came a new reinforcement class of soldiers, the Infiltrator class, which brings the ARC Trooper (Republic) and the Commando Droid (Separatist).  Both of these troopers are really, really cool, and I’ve enjoyed playing with them quite a bit.

So what I’m saying is this: the new game mode is absolutely fantastic, and it’s getting so much closer to what I’ve always hoped these new Battlefront games would be.  I’m having a lot of fun playing it, but at the same time I have a few concerns.  These concerns, again, aren’t because I don’t like the mode but rather because I want so desperately for this mode to be the best it can be.  So I have some concerns about the mode that hopefully will be addressed sooner rather than later, because I wonder how long the momentum for Capital Supremacy will keep up otherwise.

  • Only one map.  This is probably the biggest concern I have with Capital Supremacy: it’s currently available on only one map, the Pipeline Junction on Geonosis.  This map is great, but I doubt the momentum for this mode is sustainable with only one map.  After a while, playing the same map over and over again will get old – and this will probably be especially true for a mode that can last an hour for one match.  To be entirely honest, it’s baffling to me that the developers could spend a year working on this highly-anticipated mode… and only release it on one map.  If this game mode is to continue to thrive, it will have to be available on a wider variety of maps.  I’d love for this to expand to more Clone Wars era stuff (as that might be easier to do since the interiors of the capital ships are already designed), but there’s zero reason why it shouldn’t and/or couldn’t be a part of the Galactic Civil War and sequel trilogy eras as well.  I’d love to see this mode feature multiple maps, and ideally feature maps from each era to give an even greater variety in the experience.
  • No AI.  The game mode is 20-vs-20, featuring a total of 40 human players facing off against one another.  But for the ground phase, the original plan and implementation was to have additional AI soldiers per side that added to the battle.  But shortly after the release of this game mode, the AI were taken out temporarily as the developers realized that they were causing problems.  But while the game is still fun even without the AI, there’s a noticable difference and it’s not as great.  Often the AI can be better than some human players, and the AI also can be especially pivotal in helping to defend command posts.  But now, they’re not in it any more.  It sounds like this is only temporary (which is a good thing), but it’s easy to tell that the game is missing something when on the ground phase without them.  On a larger level, though, the AI is just the most noticable example of a number of bugs that have shown up since the release of this mode – though the bug where you literally couldn’t join a game was the most annoying.
  • Anakin.  If I’m being entirely honest, I would very much prefer this game mode to have zero heroes available, and there’s only one reason: Anakin.  He’s an incredibly overpowered hero, and while that’s obvious in any game mode, I think it actually shows up most prominently in Capital Supremacy.  The heart of this mode is capturing and defending – capturing and defending command posts, and then capturing and defending key points on the capital ship.  If there’s a player who is even somewhat competent with Anakin, he can pretty much lock down a post all by himself.  The ability to deal mass damage to all enemies around him is crazy, and it makes it very hard to have any sort of success in capturing a command post when Anakin can just charge in and almost single-handedly take it over.  I know that the developers have said they’re aware of this and will be tweaking things, but at least for now, I’d much rather have no heroes.  That would give it a true battle feel that is evenly-matched.

So anyway, there are some concerns I have about the mode that will hopefully be ironed out a bit more in the coming months, but it’s a terrific start for Capital Supremacy.  It’s a great mode, and if you’ve held off on giving Battlefront II a chance because of its launch fiasco, perhaps it’s time to check it out, because it’s gotten so much better.

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