Maveritchell's The Dark Times II: Rising Son is to Battlefront modding what Beethoven is to writing symphonies. It is the culmination of months and years of work, constant diligence, and lots of experience. This is pretty much the pinnacle of modding achievement, and I've never seen a mod that comes anywhere close to what this one brings to the table.
This mod essentially includes sixteen new maps, a total of 105 distinct missions, lots of new units, new weapons, new heroes and Force powers, and a brand new Galactic Conquest mode that serves as a campaign. While this alone may seem like a lot, it also includes a few brand-new game modes, a full campaign on par with the shipped Battlefront II one, and the entirety of the original Dark Times mod. This is to say, you do not need the original to play this edition.
Due to the fact that this mod is much too big to cover every facet of it in a single review, I will do my best to break it down into categories and review each of those with a paragraph or two.
The Dark Times II includes sixteen new maps. These include Raxus Prime, Taris, Dantooine, Nar Shaddaa, and a bunch more. The maps are all very good- they have all the hallmarks of a well-polished map, like planning, even terrain, and it is obvious that large amounts of work were put into them. They are all well done, and the multitude of different ones assures that you will have no shortage of fun maps to play if you are just looking to play Conquest. I noticed nothing bad about any of the maps.
The Dark Times II features a campaign mode of sorts- in actuality, it is just Galactic Conquest with objective maps. This is not to say that it isn't fun- on the contrary, it is very fun. The storyline focuses on a unit of Rebel forces led by Luke Skywalker in their fight against the Empire. There are ten primary missions with a few side missions that you can branch out on should you elect to do so. The campaign is fairly linear, but the side missions offer a bit of a break from the normal progression. The campaign maps themselves are rather fun, though somewhat challenging. While the missions themselves encompass the normal objectives- go here, capture this, bring this here, kill this unit, et cetera- they aren't boring and in fact are something that you look forward to playing.
NEW GAME MODES
The original Dark Times had a new mode called Wave. This mode makes an appearance here as well, and it is essentially a one vs. all battle. You are a hero unit and must defend against waves of common enemies and some hero units in order to win the battle. There are both space and land editions. In addition, there is a new mode called V.I.P. In this mode, you are placed on a side to fight against enemies. Each side has a hero unit, or VIP, to kill in order to recieve points. You must keep your VIP alive in order to have a better chance against the opposition. The final new mode is called Control Mode, where there are several secondary control points to capture in order to recieve bonuses upon your team. You don't have to capture them to control the entire map, but you should do so in order to recieve the benefits that they offer. All of these modes are quite fun to play and offer a lot of variety in your gameplay. I personally enjoyed Wave mode the best, as it's essentially just an opportunity to kill a lot of AI without any teamkilling possible.
NEW LIGHTSABER COMBAT SYSTEM
Gone is the old saber system of the past. In is the new. In the Dark Times, you don't have the standard three-move combo and block move. Now, you have two types of attacks: light or heavy. Light attacks are done by tapping the block key, and serve both as a means of causing damage and blocking incoming attacks. However, they drain energy, so you have to use them sparingly. Heavy attacks are done by clicking as normal and cause damage- more than the light attacks, but they lose the ability to block incoming attacks. Heavy attacks can also do a Force Finisher, which is essentially a powerful attack done by right-clicking after the third attack with a full energy bar. Each type of attack can be chained together infinitely. This type of combo system is nice, but it does have some minor drawbacks. I prefer it to the standard combo system though.
As I stated in my introductory paragraph, this mod is essentially the pinnacle of modding achievement. The amount of content it adds to a game that didn't have enough of it to begin with is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Much like the Conversion Pack, this mod is one of those that should be installed on every single computer running Battlefront 2. It's really that good. Don't believe me? Well, I strongly suggest you download and play it for yourself. I doubt you'll be able to stop.
Thanks for downloading Dark Times II: Rising Son. In this download you should see four files. This readme.txt file, a folder containing all the documentation for the mod, an installer for the v1.3 patch (you can ignore this if you want) and an installer file called "RisingSon.exe."
To install your copy of Rising Son, you will want to extract the installer and run it. If your Star Wars Battlefront II folder is located in the standard install location (...Program FilesLucasArtsStar Wars Battlefront II) then the installer will automatically point to that directory and you may use the automatic install. If your Star Wars Battlefront II folder is located in some other location, you will want to browse to that folder ("Star Wars Battlefront II") and point the installer to that directory. Then you may proceed with the automatic installation.
Please be aware that the installer may take a little bit of time before it starts up. If you doubleclick the installer and it doesn't appear to be doing anything, please don't repetitively click the installer - it is likely working already and clicking it more than once will just duplicate the process and bog down your machine.
If you have the original "Dark Times" mod, you may delete that copy before installing if you want - this does not require the older version, and if you do not delete it, this will simply overwrite the older version. Everything from the older version is included in this download.
If you would like to do a manual install, more detailed instructions can be found in the documentation folder.
As mentioned above, there is an installer for the unofficial v1.3 patch included in the download. While installing the mod will also install the 1.3 patch, if you wish to change the basic settings for the 1.3 patch, you may use this installer to re-install the patch with new settings.
The 1.3 patch that is automatically installed with the mod has these settings:
-1.2 patch HUD ON
-Disabled awards' graphical effects
You can change these by simply using the 1.3 patch installer to reinstall that patch. If you are okay with these settings, you may simply ignore that file.
Any questions not answered in this readme file or in the documentation, please feel free to address to me at:
When posting comments, you must follow these rules:
No "Yay I got First Post!" posts, no exceptions and no matter what other content the post has!
No Pornographic Material. Any sexually oriented imagery or links to such content will not be tolerated.
No Warez or Illegal Software. This includes linking to software, posting about it, and suggesting to get it.
No Cursing or Swear words. We encourage you to use our comment sections as a forum to debate files, news, etc., but please use proper adjectives to express yourself. We will not tolerate abuse upon another member or author.
No Attacks / Retaliation of any kind against a member, or group of members.
Please do not advertise for other sites or forums here.
Maximum of 3 smileys per regular member.
The high interactivity of this site should be considered a luxury, not a right. If you cannot follow these simple rules, you can and will be warned or banned from the comments, site or the entire network for any period of time. Now enjoy yourself and behave!