Unlike its predecessor, Battlefront II features a more narrative-based campaign, retelling portions of the Star Wars storyline from the point of view of a veteran Imperial Trooper, reminiscing about his tour of duty in service of both the Galactic Republic and as part of the Galactic Empire. Upon release the game was generally well-received as an improvement over the original. One of the new additions is the use of Jedi and Force powers such as Force Lightning and Force Choke.
Main article: Star Wars galaxy
Like most other Star Wars games, Battlefront II takes place on many of the worlds featured in the films. In addition to visiting locations such as Endor, Naboo, and Hoth, which were seen in Star Wars: Battlefront, the second installment features new locales such as the Death Star, and Tantive IV. The game also travels to locations seen in the last film in the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, such as Mustafar and Utapau.
The game is told as an autobiography, with an unknown clone recounting the adventures of the 501st Legion. Originally, the Legion was part of the Old Republic, and fights against the Separatists across the galaxy, but eventually follows Order 66, carrying out a massacre of the Jedi at their temple on Coruscant, and helping the Empire establish power in the galaxy.
In the beginning, the clone army is leading an attack on the CIS on the planet Geonosis. Later, Chancellor Palpatine orders the 501st to destroy an advanced energy generator on Mygeeto, but secretly collects remaining samples to help power Palpatine’s future space battlestation, the Death Star. Meanwhile, Palpatine himself is captured by the separatists, and the 501st clears the way for Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker to release the Chancellor, while the Jedi received most of the credit for the successful rescue mission. On Felucia, the 501st assists a stranded AT-TE, and eventually destroys CIS defence turrets in the area. Afterwards on the planet Kashyyyk, the clones engage a huge CIS fleet in space, and later defends a vital Wookiee base from a numerically superior enemy army. But with the support from Wookiees and Jedi Master Yoda, the invasion is repelled. In the final mission for the Old Republic, the clones strike a CIS stronghold on the planet Utapau, killing separatist leader General Grievous with the help of Obi-Wan.
Immediately after the victory on Utapau, Palpatine orders the execution of Order 66, and the 501st participate in the destruction of the Jedi Order on Coruscant, and massacre the remaining Jedi knights guarding their temple with the help of a new Sith Lord, Darth Vader. With the newly established Empire in power, the 501st becomes known as “Vader’s Fist”, Darth Vader’s personal army. Under their new leader the 501st executes missions that strengthens the Empire’s power, first, forcing a regime change on Naboo by assassinating the Queen and surviving Jedi knights seeking protection. Shortly after, the 501st are called to destroy a droid manufacturing facility on Mustafar that was reactivated by a Geonosian called Gizor Delso providing the player with the chance to pit the empire against the droids. Next, the 501st is ordered to destroy the cloning facility on Kamino, the very planet where the Old Republic’s army was created (birthplace for all clones)providing the player the chance to pit the empire against the old republic. The 501st battles an altered clone army, but ultimately overcomes the enemy with the help of a bounty hunter named Boba Fett, who knows the workings of the facility.
With the Galactic Empire firmly established in the ashes of the Old Republic, the 501st soon grows bored of the endless tedium, drills and inspection associated with maintaining the empire. Finally, much to the 501st relief, a prison break was initiated on the Death Star, with crucial plans being stolen by the rebels. Now set with the mission to recover the stolen plans, the Legion searches a rebel base on Polis Massa, with the plans still no where to be found. Eventually, the searching leads to the boarding of the Tantive IV. Despite capturing the Rebel sympathizer Princess Leia, the plans are still transmitted, and the Death Star is destroyed with many 501st soldiers still stationed inside. The few surviving members of the Legion attack a rebel base on Yavin IV, taking revenge for their fallen brothers.
In the final mission of the entire campaign, the 501st is pressed into crushing the fledgling Rebel Alliance. The clones trounce the rebels and captures Echo Base, leading to the victory at Hoth. The clone narrator proudly proclaims the Rebellion finished, though the game follows the plot of Episode V, with the Millennium Falcon and Luke Skywalker escaping.
Battlefront II’s gameplay is fundamentally similar to its predecessor’s, albeit with the addition of new game mechanics, units, and vehicles. The general objective in most missions is to deplete the number of enemies to zero. Killing an enemy unit subtracts from that faction’s reinforcements, and likewise the death of the players or allies results in a similar decrease. Besides simply killing enemies, players fight for control of ‘Command posts’, where units respawn after death, which allows players to change character classes. Most command posts can be ‘captured’, by killing all enemies nearby and standing by the command post for a set amount of time. Controlling a majority of the command posts scattered on a map results in the faster depletion of the enemy’s forces, and allows the player to respawn in more locations. If all command posts are captured, the losing team has only twenty seconds to recapture one before the game ends in their defeat, regardless of the amount of reinforcements they have. There are two eras from which to choose; Galactic Civil War, or Clone Wars. Each era features two opposing factions; in the Galactic Civil War the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire vie for control, while the Clone Wars features the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) and the Galactic Republic. While most character classes are similar to classes of the other factions, each faction has two unique classes, which are unlocked gradually.