Last summer, during the EA Play media briefing, DICE’s Dennis Brannvall announced an exciting and more engaging new multiplayer mode for Star Wars Battlefront II. Brannvall explained, “We’ll be delivering a large-scale multiplayer sandbox experience focused around capturing command posts and attacking and taking out capital ships.”
As explained by Jeremy Milliner at en.softonic.com, here’s the ins-and-outs of Capital Supremacy in all of its glory:
The biggest news has to be the Capital Supremacy mode that’s now available in-game. Right now you can only access it from the top menu; it’s not in the multiplayer menu yet. Just click on the banner for it right on the opening screen and you’ll get sorted into a lobby. The game mode itself goes between two separate maps, with some slight variation in objective. The mode is Clone Wars era and takes place on a new area of Geonosis (a hilly, semi-vertical map called Pipeline Junction West) with the second phase taking place in the interior of a capital ship.
Phase one is a non-linear objective of five capture-and-hold territories that will look pleasantly reminiscent of the original 2005 Star Wars Battlefront II a nostalgic nod that we were happy to see. During this opening phase, you and your team must capture command posts to be granted with more reinforcements. Whichever side wins the tug-of-war first gets to embark to the enemy capital ship, where phase two begins.
The location and objective of phase two will depend on which side won the first phase. It’ll either take place in a clone ship (which looks very similar to the one on Kashyyyk final phase), or a new droid ship which looks familiar to the ones from the opening scenes of “Phantom Menace” or “Revenge of the Sith.” You’ll either be attacking or defending two locations in a king-of-the-hill type scenario.
If the offensive team succeeds, the match is over and they win. If the defensive team succeeds, the match returns to the ground, and both sides get another shot for redemption. As a word of warning, these matches can go on for a long time if both teams are equally skilled and obstinate, so it’s not a game mode to do when you’ve only got a few minutes of lunch break.
Capital Supremacy features two teams of twenty going head to head, but one of the best things about it is the addition of AI-controlled units running around next to the players. There are 12 AI-controlled units per team to make the mode feel busier and more hectic. In EA’s own words, “We made the decision to include AI because we wanted to capture the scale of the Clone Wars while not diminishing your odds of playing the iconic heroes. This is similar to how we use AI within Starfighter Assault to add to scale and the feeling of heroism as you cut through them.” We’re happy to finally see their inclusion, and are hopeful to see it implemented in the game’s other modes.
Capital Supremacy also introduces two new reinforcements, available so far only in this mode: The BX Droid, and the Arc Trooper, each available at 2,000 battle points.
Best explained through DICE’s own words, the Arc Trooper is “a gung-ho attacker that rushes into battle wielding his trusty DC-17 pistols. This unit can dual wield pistols and fire them independently, effectively doubling his rate of fire.” They’re fast-firing powerhouse units with extra health, more devastating firepower and abilities that are a mix of various hero abilities: Power Blast, Shock Trap, and Helmet Scanner. The Helmet Scanner and Shock Trap are best employed defensively and in tandem to set off deadly ambushes for enemy heroes and infantry, while the Power Blast is used to close the distance between you and units that are too far away, similar to the secondary fire on Leia’s pistol.
The BX Droid has a more accurate, slower-firing version of the default assault weapon favored by the B1, and this alteration makes him better-suited for mid to long-range engagements. Like the Arc Troopers, the BX Droid has abilities reminiscent of ones from hero units: A Smoke Screen(like Lando), Sinister Strikes (like Phasma), and Thermal Vision (like Rey). The Smoke Screen and Thermal Vision are best used together to eliminate enemies who cannot see you, while the Sinister Strikes are best used as a last-ditch means of surviving CQC encounters.
Both Infiltrator Reinforcements come with an array of new Star cards to increase their survival, allow more frequent use of abilities, or enhance their recon and scouting abilities. They’re worth giving a try at 2,000 battle points; those points come very easily in this mode, and there are fewer heroes to save up for; the mode only allows for in-era heroes, so there are fewer options available. However, all the heroes are priced at 4,000 battle points making them slightly easier to unlock than in Galactic Assault.
The final change coming with the update is the much-discussed improvements to how the game handles lightsaber combat. Lightsaber combat has been a complaint about this game since launch, and EA and DICE have given the issue thought and changed saber combat significantly. DICE plans to gauge community reactions to the update, and says there are more changes en route.
Stamina and Stagger
The biggest difference is the way stamina is implemented in lightsaber combat – attacking with a lightsaber will now drain stamina, and when depleted, heroes will no longer be able to attack until it regenerates. Blocking will also reduce a hero’s stamina, meaning that if they get swarmed by units opening fire on them, their survival chance is pretty low.
On the flip side of the coin, heroes who attack with a lightsaber will no longer be staggered by an opponent’s block. This means that you can chain longer attacks together, breaking down an enemy’s stamina until they can no longer defend themselves. Opponents at zero stamina who are hit will be staggered, and take full damage from the hit. Accordingly, Darth Vader’s Focused Rage and Rey’s Insight will no longer grant unlimited stamina, but rather a 50% reduction to stamina cost. Darth Maul’s attacks will now have a stamina cost, too.
New Combat Mechanics
There’s also some new terminology that the game will be using to better explain how specific heroes stack up against each other; not everyone uses stamina the same way, which makes heroes uniquely equipped to better handle specific scenarios (which we think is a good thing). It goes as follows:
Melee cost: How much stamina it takes to hit with a saber
Blaster deflect cost: How much stamina is reduced when deflecting incoming fire
Melee deflect cost: How much stamina is reduced when blocking hits from other saber-wielders
Regen delay: How long before your depleted stamina begins to regenerate
Regen speed: How quickly your stamina regenerates
Deflect spread: How accurately you’re able to reflect shots back at the enemy
DICE shared a couple of charts to better convey these specific differences that vary from hero to hero:
These changes will have a big effect on when and where certain heroes will be preferred (unless you prefer the blaster heroes like Han, Leia, or Boba Fett; they’re unaffected). Vader and Obi-Wan will be better at reflecting blaster shots than Grievous or Maul, but will inflict less damage than heavy-hitters like Kylo Ren or Count Dooku.
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Almost every day, I play Battlefront II. Sure, it’s not the perfect Star Wars game, but I like the ingenuity and adaptive game-play it brings to the table. As a matter of fact, I was able to try out the new Capital Supremacy feature within the past week. Not only is it fun, but it brings back memories of playing multiplayer Capture the Flag on Jedi Outcast many years ago. It has its similarities and it has its differences. However, its differences is what makes it unique from any other Star Wars game.
Capital Supremacy is available now via a free game update if you’ve already purchased the game.
Let us know you’re experiences with Capital Supremacy on Battlefront II by commenting below!