Spec Ops: The Line lead narrative designer Walt Williams split from 2K Games in 2014, which was noteworthy because "narrative" is what Spec Ops is all about. He said at the time that he'd still be working in games, "but in the background," and that there wouldn't be a "next game" for awhile—a span of time that came to an end over the weekend, when he revealed that he's been working on Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Excited to finally reveal what @MitchyD and I have been working on for the last year. Can't wait for you to meet Inferno Squad. #StarWars https://t.co/J4qJlWMmxHApril 15, 2017
Williams made the announcement alongside the big Battlefront infodump EA unleashed on Saturday, including a trailer revealing that the game will be playing from the perspective of an Imperial special forces unit—Inferno Squadron—and that it will begin in earnest following the destruction of the second Death Star.
As we noted in our breakdown of everything we know about Battlefront 2 so far, rooting the story in one of the Empire's greatest losses allows the writers to subvert what is generally regarded as a moment of universal celebration: The Emperor dead, Darth Vader redeemed, and the Imperial fleet broken and scattered.
As with Spec Ops, it's a really interesting idea (and will hopefully come out just as well) but it's not entirely original. Star Wars: TIE Fighter did the same thing 23 years ago when it built a credible, and even sympathetic, story around a heroic Imperial pilot. And it wasn't one of those tales where the lead character realizes the error of his ways halfway through and switches sides: The Empire brings peace, order, and good government to the planets it rules, and the pilots of the Imperial Navy selflessly put their lives at risk every day to protect their citizens.
Williams was joined by Mitch Dyer, a former game journalist who left IGN in April 2016 for a mysterious gig in Montreal. Consider that mystery solved, too.
.@MitchyD His talent & passion made our story soar. Not lying when I say @MitchyD is more than the best co-writer ever; he's also one of my best buds.April 15, 2017
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is scheduled for release on November 17. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, now's a good time.