If anyone knows me at all, you know I love Star Wars. I’ve been getting excited about this game for over a year, having hope that “It would be different.” That this would be a modern day equivalent to the 2005 release. However, due to the best star card in this game being the credit card, I’ve never been so disappointed. I’m sure everyone is aware of all the recent Reddit controversy and we’re all caught up on that. But to put it quickly, EA got the most down-voted comment in Reddit history. Now I know there are people out there who don’t care and are having fun, well cool I’m glad you are. But I can’t sit back anymore and just let the industry become a shit show of microtransactions, as we turn “players into payers.”
Right from the start, Battlefront boasts a bigger game than the 2015 release. It contains more eras, more maps and an actual single player campaign. Amazing to have in a £50 game right!? While on paper it looks like more content, the quality takes some heavy fire and doesn’t deliver to the hype. First of all, lets take a quick look at the campaign. You take control of Iden Versio, a special forces Empire trooper who kicks off her journey at the battle of Endor. While it begins with some interesting narrative points, such as dealing with the destruction of the death star, it quickly becomes predictable and boring for a Star Wars story. The average player will score around 4-5 hours worth of gameplay here. Providing an average story that fades into the background after playing a few missions.
Now that the 5 hour campaign is out of the way, that’s already a whole half of the marketing campaign out the window. We all know that most people are buying this so that they can have their multiplayer fix. I mean its not like there’s any other game out there right now where you can shoot people. But I guess people want to have that Star Wars branding for a premium price. So lets see if this multiplayer has anything to set it aside from a typical shooter besides the Star Wars skin.
First of all you’ve got the main mode which is called Galactic Assault. This is likely going to be the only game type you want to play out of the choice of 5. Galactic Assault is your typical DICE fashioned match where you have a defending and attacking team who must complete around 3 sets of objectives. Feeling like a mix of Rush and Conquest from Battlefield. There’s a few different maps that take place from many eras so there’s a different set of visuals for each occasion. While the teams appearance obeys the laws of the era, you can however play as any hero from any point in Star Wars. It’s not really a huge problem but I know it annoys some people to see Rey fighting battle droids of all things.
Starfighter Assault is the smaller space counterpart of Galactic Assault and shares equal space on the menu. It’s two teams shooting each other for a range of objectives. Amazing innovation. It’s modes like this which really makes me miss the original game more, who didn’t love boarding an enemy ship, destroying the insides and running around with a squad of friends. Unfortunately this game feels too similar to the 2015 edition and could even be considered a DLC. This is a huge disappointment as space battles have always been my favourite, but it’s boiled down to an uninspired mode of chasing players down for sport.
Heroes Vs. Villains makes a return from 2015 and becomes a hunk of junk. The heroes in this game don’t feel as satisfying to play as they should do. Even inside the normal game modes, heroes aren’t fun but they are objectively better to pick so it becomes a chore to play as someone you love from the series. The other two playlists feel like generic arcade modes which were put there to fill up the menu space. That’s also a huge problem with Battlefront 2, it feels like an arcade shooter. Battlefield 1 has a more developed sense of gameplay that feel exciting to play. In this shit show, everything is done to earn credits to fund your characters and on and on and on.
It’s easy to have fun in an arcade game like this, some of the maps have really fun areas with interesting choke points. But the rest of the game tries to throw as much at you to make it feel worse. After 10 hours of gameplay you feel like you’ve played and seen everything. Some people will look past this, but if you’ve played any other FPS this year then you’re going to get fatigued almost immediately as there is nothing special going on here.
My only real positive comes from the visual and sound design. Star Wars is a visually interesting series and it shows in the environments in this game. A lot of prequel and sequel maps are given a beautiful look, after being shunned to the side in 2015. Soundtrack wise It’s Star Wars so while you can’t really complain about it here, you can’t give too much praise to the game just because it downloaded a few popular MP3s and put them in the game.
Now lets move onto the real issue. Progression in this game feels like a god damn insult to the gaming industry. ‘Star Cards’ are a type of unlock-able in this game that give you upgrades to your classes, ships and heroes. Now these cards can be crafted at their base level for a few crystals. However they can be found at higher levels from the loot boxes. In order to upgrade the base cards you also need to reach a certain star level. Which is determined by how many cards you own for that class. So already the game is encouraging you to get as many loot boxes as possible. Not only can you skip the progression of trying to grind and earn a higher level card, but you can earn an unfair advantage over someone who has just started out.
Thinking of the original Battlefront and then looking at this “Purchase more crystals” page today makes me sick in the stomach. Loot boxes are a disgrace and they are ruining the industry as we know it. I don’t care what you think, these things are a growing problem and if people don’t speak out about it then it’s going to make its way into every game we see from now on. If EA can get away with it then why can’t everyone else? While someone could be “okay” with the ones in Overwatch, they still encourage more people to put them in games.
Overall this game does not earn my recommendation, in fact for the same price as Battlefront 2, here are other Star Wars games that are much better. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005) for £6.99, Jedi Academy £6.99, Knights of the Old Republic £6.99, Empire at War £14.99, Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga £14.99. All these games add to a total of £50 and a few pennies, and I guarantee you will only be half way through one in the same time you’d have gotten tired with Battlefront DICE 2.
You have a uninspired campaign that boils down to a predictable and boring waste of 5 hours. A multiplayer mode that feels too arcade-based to last longer than a 1 hour sitting. Then you have the loot box system locking players out of the classes they want to play and encouraging the customer to spend money so that they can feel “a sense of pride and accomplishment”. If you came here wanting an exciting Star Wars story then get out, because this game is not worth the money. Instead of spending a one time payment for a game you are expected to put down more as you keep playing.
Battlefront 2 Scores a 3/10, making me ashamed to be a Star Wars fan.