“Watch those wrist rockets!”
We’re in no short supply of shooter games trying to mould to the latest trends these days. Fortnite and PUBG rule the Battle Royale scene, with the likes of Respawn Entertainment, Treyarch and even Valve following suite with their own IPs. Whilst not going in the direction of the Battle Royale, even my beloved Halo franchise has gone through some changes; with Halo 5 playing more like Titanfall or Call of Duty, and Halo Infinite potentially setting its sights on open world gameplay. So, thank god for EA’s Battlefront 2.
Sure, it’s weighed down by loot crates and microtransactions, but in the modern gaming climate, that has to be somewhat expected; but it’s emphasis on more retro class-based gameplay in large scale battles is a nice blast from the past. Yes, there are still games like Overwatch offering a class-based shooter experience, and Team Fortress 2 is still going strong with a large player base of its own. However, Battlefront 2 takes the large expansive map sizes one would come to expect in a Battle Royale, fills them scripted events and objectives, for instance, manning an AT-TE and destroying a droid factory.
If you’ve read my previous review of Apex Legends, you may be thinking to yourself “but Ryan, you said large maps make it hard to find other players to kill, and that’s a bad thing” and yes, I did say that; but Battlefront 2’s maps always have a sense of a linear direction. You know exactly where the enemy are going to be and vice versa. So, you’re likely to find it rather easy to charge head on into the heat of combat.
Speaking of maps, there are a ton, and they all play differently. For instance, the open fields of Geonosis and the spread-out platforms of Kamino make it perfect to play specialist and pick off the enemy with your sniper rifle. However, the tight streets of Tatooine lend themselves more to the assault or heavy classes. Maps also offer a versatility of playstyles with maps like Endor going from a large jungle perfect for sniper battles, to a claustrophobic imperial bunker fit for close quarters combat. That isn’t to say that Battle Royale games don’t offer a dynamic range of scenarios in their own maps, Apex Legends being a good example of utilising both expansive exterior spaces, as well as compact building interiors; but the amount of environments at your disposal to play in Battlefront, from the sandy stretches of Tatooine to the snowy surface of Hoth mean that you’ll never feel like you’re replaying the same game over and over again.
One of the reasons I prefer Apex Legends over Fortnite or PUBG, is the different ‘Legends’ that contribute their own unique playstyles to the game. As a massive fan of class-based shooters like Team Fortress and Overwatch, Battlefronts inclusion of classes not only calls back to the original Pandemic Battlefront games, but also adds a more tactical element to the gameplay, with different scenarios, be it the aforementioned diverse battlefields or a specific unit or set of units on the opposing team that requires an effective counter measure.
This more tactical element is missing from the majority of Battle Royale games, with everyone instead being forced to scavenge their own weapons on the battlefield. Whilst this means that every player does start off equal, there is a great deal of luck involved with the equipment you can end up obtaining. Battle Royale games are obviously not alone in this, with games such the Halo franchise, especially the original trilogy, lacking any class-based gameplay or even loadouts and instead leaving the player to find other weapons on the map. Having said that, I feel like that style of gameplay loans itself to the smaller scale maps of a game like Halo rather than the much larger map sizes of the likes of Fortnite or Battlefront 2.
Another thing Battlefront 2 offers over Battle Royale’s is a bloody good selection of single player modes. You’ve got a pretty decent campaign that’ll keep you occupied for a good few hours, and nice catalogue of single player ‘arcade modes’ that’ll have you pitted against bots, either in predetermined scenarios, or battles that you can customise to your own desires.
Overall, there are just so many more reasons to revisit EA’s Battlefront 2 over your standard Battle Royale. More variety in map, lots of different playstyles to experience and master; with the addition of a weapon progression system for each class which encourages you to carry on playing as that specific class. Cosmetics can be achieved through the in-game currency which is earned rather easily if you keep on playing multiplayer, so nothing is locked behind microtransactions. There’s a plethora of single player options if you tire of multiplayer; and the multiplayer still has the huge open environments of your typical Battle Royale as well as some more intimate modes that can see you flying around in space, or even fighting as the ‘hero’ classes like Han Solo or Obi Wan Kenobi.
Whilst Battlefront 2 does cost £25, it’s still being updated, with new heroes and maps added on an almost monthly basis, there has never been a better time to jump in and experience the game. With stunning visuals, an addictive multiplayer and solid gameplay, not to mention that all expansions are free. There’s no reason not to give it a shot, and if you subscribe to Origin Access Basic, which is only a measly £4 a month, or alternative £20 for a year, it’s included for free!