Star Wars Battlefront 2 Review: A Game With Two Sides
Star Wars Battlefront 2 remains a hot button topic in the video game industry thanks to EA’s mishandling of the game’s multiplayer modes, but if you do take a chance and play the game, you may find that it has two sides to it. One side features a rather excellent Star Wars single-player campaign, while the other features a multiplayer component steeped in controversy and curious progression tactics. To me, as a super Star Wars fan, I have been able to look past the multiplayer nonsense and derive joy from this game, but for others they feel that it’s a ripoff and undeserving of their time and money. Battlefront 2 will easily go down as one of the most divisive releases this year, but I can’t blame gamers for their feelings towards based on how EA handled the PR mess surrounding it.
With that being said I ask you to check out my full review of the game below, which makes a case for the campaign being worth the price of admission, while also admitting that the game is mostly doomed in the eyes of general multiplayer shooter fans.
May the Force be with you!
Hey now Star Wars fans, Matt Heywood here to review one of the most controversial AAA releases in 2017, Star Wars Battlefront 2, or what I like to call the game with two faces.
One would think that gamers across the galaxy would be more than eager to get their hands on a AAA developed Star Wars game, but that isn’t the case with Battlefront 2, which went through a meat grinder last week leading up to its November 17th launch.
To make a long story short, gamers took umbrage with the fact that Battlefront 2 was going to feature a pay-to-win loot crate system, which clearly would give advantages to players who spent more money on the game’s purchasable currency. Free players would have been at a serious disadvantage in this system, so after major backlash on Reddit last week, EA decided to temporarily remove the paid crates from the game.
While that was an unexpected, yet smart move, the PR damage had already been done, and Battlefront’s 2 allure was forever tarnished for both Star Wars fans and gamers looking for a Star Wars themed multiplayer shooter.
Being the massive Star Wars fan that I am I had never let the multiplayer BS affect my decision to play the game or not, but I 100% support those who did decide to boycott it after EA’s mishandling of the loot crate and progression issues.
What I found in Star Wars Battlefront 2 was an excellent narrative heavy campaign, which features cool little canon-based story nuggets for the franchise, as well as interesting new characters that adeptly left a mark on the franchise moving forward.
The campaign gameplay is mediocre at best, and quite frankly Battlefront 2’s gameplay in general feels a bit clunky and robotic when compared to other AAA shooters like Destiny 2 and COD: WWII, but the story for me completely overshadows the shortcomings in the gameplay.
I found the character of Iden Versio to be very intriguing and utltimately likable, even though she’s a part of the Empire. She just offers new perspectives on the galactic conflict we’ve mostly only seen from the perspective of the Rebels, so I found her story in general to feel fresh and interesting.
On top of Iden’s journey you also get to check-in with some of the franchise’s most iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and even Lando Calrissian. Each one of these missions also provided a few more insights into the state of the galaxy post the Battle of Endor, and how the heroes of the original trilogy were getting along with their plans to vanquish the Empire for good while also establishing a New Republic.
The campaign’s story was good enough for me to make me feel like Battlefront 2 is worth playing, especially if your a die hard Star Wars fan. We aren’t getting AAA developed Star Wars video game content anywhere else at this point in time, so the fact that Battlefront 2 actually featured a competent and enjoyable campaign was enough to get me behind it.
Although, when it comes to multiplayer, I do feel like Battlefront 2 has a ton of content and modes to explore, but at the same time it just doesn’t feel that fun.
To me, multiplayer shines with Battlefront 2’s Arcade mode, which offers single-player and/or local co-op modes against the AI. You can face off against Dark and Light side battle scenarios that allow you to sample some of the main hero and villain characters as you play through objective-based modes such as taking out a required number of enemies before the clock runs out.
The arcade modes I had fun with, because they didn’t feel stacked against me, but that’s not the case with Battlefront 2’s traditional multiplayer modes.
Some are hard to even get a match going at this point, so I can’t comment on them all, and unfortunately my favorite competitive mode that pits hero characters against villain hero characters is one of the hardest to get a match in, so you’re usually left with playing the 40-player Galactic mode, or the Starfighter Assault., The Starfighter component is a rather excellent ship-to-ship mode that unfortunately requires a ton of grinding to be competitive in, while Galactic feels like a never ending race to be killed mode, so neither offered much fun for someone like me who lacks the skills needed to compete in today’s online shooter landscape.
That’s a shame because the multiplayer mode, like the single player campaign, appears to have been given plenty of attention and thought. The game looks fantastic across all modes and is very detailed and crisp looking on the Xbox One X. The sound design is naturally awesome because it draws upon the massive library of Star Wars sounds and themes that have existed for decades. And there are plenty of different maps to wage war on, but for me the multiplayer feels a bit off, especially if you’re someone who can’t invest multiple hours per day to increase your rank and chances for better gear to use.
Even with the temporary removal of the paid loot crates, Battlefront 2’s progression system still feels off, so considering that I’ll have limited time to invest into it to rank up and try to be more competitive, I will probably avoid it altogether because I don’t want to spend the few precious gaming hours I have these days getting utterly destroyed by players who have better gear.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 truly is a tale of two different games. On one hand you have a very well crafted single player campaign that most Star Wars fanboys will love and consider it to be worth the price of admission, but on the other you have multiplayer-centric gamers who see it as a money grabbing scam that is designed to fleece more dollars from gamers. That’s a shame and completely on EA, because when it comes down to brass tacks this game has what it takes to be an excellent addition to the pantheon of AAA Star Wars games. But due to the mishandling of its multiplayer modes, it will mostly be hated and not even considered as worthy to play by many gamers.
Therefore, mostly for its campaign and the fact that this game did improve upon its predecessor by leaps and bounds, only to screw itself hard in a PR sense with a pay-to-win system or grinding heavy progression, Battlefront 2 gets a 7 out of 10 review score from Team EB. For Star Wars fans the campaign is definitely worth experiencing, but you will have to decide if its 5-8 hour length is worth $60. It would be to me when you factor in the cost of a movie ticket these days, and you do get plenty of replayability from the multiplayer modes. For others though the price may be too high if they place value on the BS EA pulled with loot crates and now the time heavy grinding to rank up and be competitive.
You’ll have to look inside yourself and use the Force to guide you on this one my friends, because Star Wars Battlefront 2 is without a doubt a game of two sides in more ways than one.
Thanks for watching, this is Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided an Xbox One code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.