Star Wars Battlefront 2 Review
The Force is back as EA brings Star Wars Battlefront 2 to PS4, Xbox One and PC, with locations and characters from across three different eras such as Darth Maul, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. The game also fixes one of the biggest problems with the 2015 release, with a single player campaign with an original canon story, with all new characters but it also introduces a brand new problem with microtransactions.
One of the biggest selling points of this game is the new single player campaign, which introduces the Inferno Squad, an elite squadron of Imperial soldiers, who do battle with the Rebellion during the aftermath of Empire Strikes Back and the death of the Emperor in the Return Of The Jedi. We get to play as Iden Versio, with other levels giving us control of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, Princess Leia and Lando. Plus other levels involving flight battles, which are a lot of fun as the controls have been seriously upgraded to be much more enjoyable.
The main campaign takes about 4 hours and is due to be expanded with new free DLC later on, which is a shame as I think EA have done a great job in giving us a solo campaign but it should have been at least 6 to 8 hours long to be in line with other titles like Call of Duty. For me this is one of the biggest aspects to the game and I really enjoyed it, I’ll certainly be going back and replaying it to unlock more items since it’s short enough to do again and I’m looking forward to where the story goes as it certainly got much more interesting once Kylo Ren became involved.
While the last game had some offline modes, this year saw EA increase the content for players who don’t want to go into battle with people, as the Arcade mode, gives us players chance to play as heroes and villains, taking on bots and trying to complete challenges. Throw in a custom option and a split screen option for local play, and Arcade mode really gives casual fans much more replay value. And personally between this and the main campaign, they offered me much more enjoyment as it’s much more forgiving than online multiplayer modes and just let me have some fun with the main characters from Star Wars.
However there is no denying that the online multiplayer modes in this game are the main component, with many different maps from across the areas and different modes, this is where players can lose hundreds of hours in huge battles.
Galactic Assault is the main online mode and having objectives makes it so much more than just taking out countless enemies. The Starfighter Assault mode is a huge improvement over the previous version, the flight controls are much easier and really gives that feeling of doing battle in space with proper dog fights, I’ve lost hours in this mode as it’s so much fun.
My personal favourite modes is the Heroes vs Villains game, which sees 4 heroes take on 4 villains, as this way everyone gets to play the well known heroes but it’s a shame that human characters like Han Solo feel so underpowered compared to the Force welders. It can become a game of kiss chase in the end, but it is lots of fun jumping around as the Jedi or Sith, without having to worry about some sniper ending the experience in a second.
Another new addition is the use of classes, giving players a choice of styles, such as a heavy trooper with a big machine gun for close up damage, or a specialist with a sniper rifle or even a officer with healing abilities. This addition follows many other shooting games in letting players play to their own strengths. Personally I alternate between Heavy and Specialist, as I’m better at staying back and helping, rather than running into battle and being picked off in seconds! This is again another improvement over the last game, showing they have been listening to feedback on some subjects.
And that’s a good time to discuss the biggest issue with the game, microtransactions like Loot Boxes and the paid to win aspect. Between me playing the game in Beta mode, then on EA Access, then in early access before its final release, the game kept changing and evolving, including adjustments and EA temporarily removing microtransactions. Which makes it a hard subject to review, since when I started playing, the idea of putting so many items behind a pay wall of loot boxes not only put me off, hundreds of thousands of fans caused enough of a backlash that have made the game much less predatory.
Since I’m not a huge online player and I personally don’t buy microtransactions and have little interest in levelling up characters, such as getting the best guns etc, I wasn’t originally impacted as much before the fix but the one major annoyance was how many credits I needed by playing to unlock heroes like Darth Vader, which would have been close to 40 hours to get him before the update, is just plan insane. As a casual player, having to put in hundreds of hours to unlock core aspects that are expected and shown in trailers, was wrong and thankfully the changes have seriously reduced the time required. And the idea of limiting credits earned in the arcade mode with mobile style cool downs isn’t on as I shouldn’t be penalised for how I choose to play when I’ve paid £80 for the game.
One of the biggest problems with Battlefront 2 is that EA wanted the best of both worlds, a fully priced AAA game with a mobile free to play model, which just doesn’t work. It also follows the horrible mobile practice of trying to have too many in-game currencies and complicated menus, which I’ll be honest, I’ll probably never even take another look at. Thankfully all of this is completely forgotten once your in battle, since I just want to go out and have fun playing Star Wars.
Overall: Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a great game, easily one of the best Star Wars games I’ve ever played, it looks awesome, it features so many different eras and characters, it has an enjoyable single player campaign and lots of amazing battles that I’ll be playing for a long time. It’s just a shame EA messed up by trying to turning it into a awfully expensive mobile game, which thankfully seems to have been fixed but never should have been implemented in the first place.
Review Score – 8