After 2 years, DICE has finally given us a much improved sequel to Star Wars Battlefront (2015), with new game modes, stunning graphics and much expanded maps, Battlefront 2 is proving itself to be a great contender in the Star Wars game franchise.
On the forte of graphics, Battlefront 2 fully utilizes its Frostbite 3 engine and has definitely upped the ante, making everything look so smooth, detailed, and so god damn gorgeous, constantly leaving you in awe with all the small details like the flora and fauna of each planet as well as NPCs in multiplayer maps.
This is by far the most beautiful Star Wars game yet, and you can tell the developers took no shortcuts when it came down to the minutest details and it is paired with such fluid and polished gameplay that everything just moves like clockwork.
Learning from its predecessor’s mistakes, Battlefront 2 has an all new 4-5 hour campaign mode that takes place in period between Episodes VI and VII. You play the all new character Iden Versio, a commander of the imperial forces commando unit inferno squad who has just recently lost her leader (Emperor Palpatine) on a quest to somehow quell the rebel forces.
Normally, we are always to seeing the rebellion as the good guys, but taking it from Iden’s perspective, Star Wars Battlefront 2 puts you in the shoes of someone who was brought up under Imperial rule and to Iden, the Empire are the true heroes (much like any communist country). This was definitely a very fresh take on the series albeit a bit short and doesn’t have much impact on the universe as a whole, though I still loved every aspect of it from start to finish.
Once you’re done with the campaign (or you skipped it entirely), you’ll move on to the main event, multiplayer mode. Multiplayer in Battlefront 2 is definitely more polished than its predecessor and has a new mode called Starfighter Assault which was developed by Criterion Games (Need for Speed and Burnout).
Multiplayer modes also include Galactic Assault which is a 20 vs 20 mode with vehicles, walkers and Starfighters being piloted by players as well as troops on the ground trying to gain total domination, as well as your basic TDM and Objective based modes.
Your basic troopers consist of your Assault (All rounder), Heavy (Hard hitters but slow moving), Officer (Support) and Specialist (Playmakers) classes and throughout the duration of each game you will earn battle points which you can then spend on to respawn as a pilot, elite trooper or even a Hero/Villain depending on how well you do as well as how much you’re willing to save during the battle.
Galactic Assault is similar with 3 basic ship classes which are Fighter (All rounder), Bomber (Hard Hitters) and Interceptors (Speed runners) with the same option of saving your battle points to buy elite ships or even Hero/Villain Ships, Kylo’s TIE Silencer being my favourite. The main objective of galactic assault being to decimate the enemy team.
However, multiplayer had a very big flaw – micro-transactions that actually help you get much further ahead in the game. Battlefront 2 has introduced a loot box system that’s not filled purely with cosmetic items. It’s filled with upgrades and items called Star Cards that help boost each class and characters level.
That effective meant that characters don’t level through play time anymore. Abilities, weapons, Starfighters, as well as helping to unlock new weapons and secondary equipment are all available through these loot boxes. While the Star cards do add a whole new way of customization to suit any players play style,
Grinding for these items can take hours as each game only gives you a certain amount of credits depending on how well you do throughout the round and only after saving enough credits can you buy loot boxes, whereas people who don’t mind spending cash will have much earlier access to these loot boxes and all the upgrades inside.
On top of all of this, micro transactions can help you unlock iconic Hero and Villain characters much earlier, as loot boxes give you credits as well, which in turn will speed up the process of saving for them and using them in multiplayer to completely instill fear in any foe’s eyes.
All these factors made the multiplayer mode very unbalanced as the players with the greater upgrades are bound to have more characters and greater skills to completely annihilate players who don’t. This alone was a huge upset for me as I believe that a games progress should solely be based on the amount of hours you pour in as well as your skill at the game itself.
The one saving grace was the completely free DLCs for all players. Which mean everyone who purchased the base game will be entitled to new content and challenges every week starting from the 5th of December 2018.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 seems to be following the trend started by Titanfall 2 (an FPS also under EA) which is great in a time where most, if not all, games have some kind of micro transaction for content that was already developed but not put into the final product for purely money-making reasons.
However, that’s changed now with this update from Oscar Gabrielson, the General Manager of Dice, to all fans:
We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.
We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our progress.
Overall, I would say that Battlefront 2 is the best Battlefront game or even the best Star Wars game, only because the game breaking option to buy loot boxes has been removed. It was a feature that just put you ahead of other players who have to grind for hours for even one loot box. We like pay-to-play and not pay-to-win. So kudos to EA and DICE for reconsidering what we imagine would have been a huge cash cow for them. Not many would make such a change so quick.
If you’re a huge Star Wars or FPS fan, you should totally pick up Star Wars Battlefront 2 as it is an enjoyable shooter at its core, and an amazing Star Wars game.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now available on PC via Origin, PS4 and XBOX ONE.