What is it?
The latest Battlefront game based within the Star Wars film franchise, packing a relatively short story campaign alongside a fully-fledged multiplayer mode.
Is it any good?
I may not be the biggest fan of Star Wars, but I still admire Battlefront II’s authenticity. It’s clear to see how much effort its developer has put into every aspect of this game’s design: the weapons, vehicles, characters and levels, all look and sound incredible as you’d expect. I’m also glad that this entry has been afforded the time to include a story campaign, unlike its predecessor, however it’s clear that it could have been so much more.
Its 13-part story focuses on ‘the bad guys’ and follows the events that follow after the destruction of the Death Star. It’s an interesting switch around, moving from the heroes to the villains, but it would have been nice to have the campaign split into two sections: Heroes and Villains. More content is planned via the game’s obligatory season pass, though Battlefront’s main pull is its multiplayer and whilst there are quite a few negative points to note, it still offers a fair bit of fun.
Anything bad to report?
It’s no secret that EA has messed up big time by introducing loot boxes that offer a pay-to-win advantage. In short: Battlefront II online lets players unlock Star Cards to buff their chosen character’s powers and abilities, you can either unlock these by playing the game normally (something which will take A LONG time to do) or, alternatively, you can purchase ‘Crystals’ to then obtain loot boxes that will give you a bunch of cards from the get-go. Despite EA turning off micro-transactions indefinitely, the inclusion of Star Cards makes progression in multiplayer incredibly confusing and overly complicated. It also mean’t that when I jumped into my first match, I felt underpowered and a bit out of my depth.
Its story campaign also feels a little by-the-numbers and I wish EA would have taken some risks in innovating gameplay. Instead, players are asked to perform the usual tasks: sneak through this bit, kill these soldiers and hold back incoming enemy forces. It’s the usual slog through stuff most people have already done to death, and yes its story makes for an interesting take and it looks beautiful, but I can’t help but wonder about the possibilities if EA weren’t stuck on focusing most of their efforts on multiplayer. Add the fact that the company recently cancelled their ‘linear’ single-player Star Wars game and it doesn’t look like a rosey future.
Should you buy it?
Even my friends, who are big Star Wars fans, have yet to buy this. They’ll probably get it as a present, but EA’s mis-step with loot boxes and multiplayer has turned off a lot of people. By the time you’re reading this, Electronic Arts are trying to claw their way back to success by altering in-game progression. Still, they have a long way to go.
So I guess the only real question you should be asking yourself is: how big of a Star Wars fan are you?