For those who purchased Battlefront‘s Season Pass, the first expansion (“Outer Rim”) is available now. With it come new maps, Jabba’s Palace and what can best be described as a Sullust smelting factory, a new Extraction mode, and Heroes Greedo and Nien Nuub.
The expansion also includes all new Bounty Hunter Contracts. Offered by the great Jabba the Hutt himself, these contracts block access to the game’s newest weapons. Contracts require completing certain objectives and feats like getting X number of Blaster Streaks or Blind Y enemies with a Flash grenade. Contracts cost credits but you won’t need to pay additional funds for when the weapon is unlocked. I have to give DICE credit, this mode got me to try out weapons that I normally wouldn’t even bother with. Also, it got me playing modes other than Fighter Squadron, which define the majority of my play sessions.
Extraction is only playable in the Outer Rim’s newest maps. It is a contest involving a slow moving shuttle filled with “supplies” that the Rebels need to get to the end of the map while the Imperials do whatever they can to halt the advance. The round is over if the Rebels get the cargo to the extraction point or they fail to do so in the time allotted. I really like extraction and it gets more fun and frantic the closer the cargo gets to the end point. You’ll see some real aggressive play from both sides as the clock counts down. It’s much more fun and interesting than the previous addition, Turning Point.
The new maps are pretty good as well. I really like Jabba’s palace as it favors both close quarters combat and long range action. The map is pretty big too and includes iconic locations like the Rancor pit, Jabba’s throne room, and the droid torture room. With Sullust, I need more time to get the lay of the land. It’s a visually intense arena with a lot going on the background that can obscure targets. There are also a number of errant environmental obstacles that can chip away health if not paying attention.
Beyond the gameplay additions, DICE has made some nice changes to its menus and interface. Content has been lumped together in groups now, making it easier for people to jump into 40-player, 12-player, or Hero-centric game types. I also noticed that in Fighter Squadron, kills are no longer separated by players and AI bots.
Outer Rim is a nice addition to Battlefront‘s growing game. I love the maps (and they’re gorgeous, just like the rest of the game) and I like the Contracts more than I thought. It adds a nice challenge to the practice of pew pew-ing people.