It is easy to rip on the Star Wars prequels. You can picket and cry foul that Lucas betrayed your childhood and that he turned a once revolutionary film series into a sameless Disney style toy template (Oh the irony). However, you should consider all the good it has brought as well. Cool music from John Williams, double lightsabers, awesome new spacecraft and Video Games.
Amongst the heaps of shovelware Lucasarts published during the prequel frenzy there were a bunch of amazing gems. Like Episode One Racer, Knights of the Old Republic, Battle for Naboo, Galactic Battlegrounds and eventually: Battlefront. Based off the Battlefield: 1942 concept, Battlefront allowed players to experience the battles of both the prequels and originals from the perspective of the ordinary stormtrooper or battledroid. It was amazing, but was not enough.
Enter Battlefront 2, the bigger, better and more amazing version of an already amazing game. Fear the day when stormtroopers suddenly learn how to shoot, because that is when you're really playing this game.
In general, the game is split in two different modes: Single and Mulitplayer. In singleplayer you play the tour of duty of the 501st Legion of the clone army, who after defeating the seperatist droid army become the elite troopers under the command of Darth Vader. The whole campaign is a short sequence with random objectives, but the whole is narrated by Temuera Morrison, the actor for Jango Fett and every Clone trooper ever. It adds some legitimacy to the whole romp. The other major single player mode is Galactic Conquest. It is a large scale turn based tactics game where you try to manouver your fleet with troops around the galaxy and subjugate (or liberate, if you're into that sort of thing; you tree sniffing hippie). You can employ bonusses, granted to you by owning certain planets.
On the other hand of the spectum is multiplayer; and this is the reason why we're here. Allowing 64 peeps to take to the field at the same time...that's real warfare. This game was at the frontline of modern FPS development. You'll see many mainstays of modern shooters make their debut here, such as endurance rewards, killstreak rewards and other unlockable perks. Most destructive of the lot are the Jedi units. The ultimate streak reward gives you access one of the saga's heroes and elevates your lowly soldier rank to harbinger of death with a lightsaber. The sheer terror, characters like Darth Maul and Mace Windu inspire is amazing as they cut through swathes of troops.
The real selling point though are the maps. The maps are open and wide to accomodate the massive amount of players. However, each map has a lot of secret passages and corridors that allow for exploration and experimentation. On top of that, the level of detail is amazing. Intricate care was taken to make all the maps look like they came right off the movie screen. You can run around the death star, from the hangar with the falcon, into the prison block, jump into the grabage shute, fight through the barracs, blow up the main laser, pace past the tractor beam generator, kick over the conference table where Vader expressed his opinion about a lack of faith and finally back to the hangar, all in one level.
Along side are the space battle stages. These battles are big, point based levels where you take to the stars in fighters, bombers and boarding craft. You either earn points by shooting down other fighters in dogfights or bomb their capital ships to bits, or you board them and start sabotaging their internal systems. It's a sweet change of pace, although it can be hassle to fly without a gamepad.
It's therefore a shame the game's description on the Steam store reads that all online functionality in dead as of this year's May. Which is pure bantha poodoo. You still get around with some trickery. Even better, at this pricepoint, you might just better off telling all your friends to just buy it and bring their laptop over (it's old enough to run on any potato at this point), and just host a massive LAN party to restore balance to Force once and for all.