Following the highly anticipated but disappointing release of “Star Wars Battlefront” in 2015, “Star Wars Battlefront II” showed much promise, as demos and other press releases made gamers believe that this was going to be the definitive Star Wars virtual experience. But while there are several changes, “Battlefront II” is just shy of being the perfect gaming experience promised by EA.
When compared to its predecessor, “Battlefront II” provides some drastic improvements such as a single player campaign mode introducing a new original story, and reintroducing iconic battles from the prequel saga, both integral factors from the first two “Battlefront” games but surprisingly missing from the 2015 version. DICE studios has done a fantastic job yet again of bringing some of the best graphics ever seen in a Star Wars game, breathing new life and exquisite detail to each map, ship, and character model. The mechanics of “Battlefront II” are similar to the original, and similar to many other first person shooter style games, but while nothing new is really added in terms of ground combat, the vehicular combat and space battles have been greatly improved upon. With a larger selection of ships and battle maps, these sequences are immersive and fast-paced, allowing the player to control iconic vehicles in some of the franchise’s most iconic locations.
The first “Battlefront” in 2015 introduced the heroes vs villains mode where players could control some of their favorite characters from the original franchise, but “Battlefront II” has greatly improved the character selection, offering 14 characters to choose from compared to six in the original. These characters are derived from all three trilogies and more are expected to come through the release of DLC in 2018.
But “Battlefront II” has a big problem that lies in its content unlocking system. Originally EA incorporated the use of required micro-transactions in order to unlock specific items and characters within the game, but since Disney owns the rights to Star Wars, they made EA remove microtransactions from the game, threatening to revoke all rights from the developer. Now while that may seem like a good thing on paper, EA compensated for this by drastically reducing the credit reward system by almost 75 percent, and by also implementing a frustrating loot box system. Now, while this system doesn’t require the use of micro-transactions, it highly encourages them, offering upgraded weapons and star cards for a price instead of offering them as rewards for progression.
In many retrospects, “Battlefront II” feels like a complete version of what was supposed to receive two years ago. The core gameplay is there and “Battlefront II” is a worthy entry in the “Battlefront” series, possessing many factors that make the game an enjoyable Star Wars experience, but it’s unfortunate that the greed of a developer has made progression incredibly difficult and tedious throughout many hours of gameplay, and inhibit the game from being something truly great.
Joey Menendez // Editor-in-Chief