Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a difficult game to review. First of all its star wars so you already have a very passionate audience and then to top that the game is full of 2017 most controversial features microtransactions and loot boxes. But underneath all of that, there is a more refined and more complete shooter than 2015s Star Wars Battlefront that still is sadly lacking a strong narrative.
First thing is first yes this game definitely has loot boxes and yes the balance of the game has been altered to try and get you to spend money. The question of how much this affects your enjoyment of the game depends on your susceptibility to the lure of the loot box. They are used to unlock character upgrades for multiplayer that will offer an advantage and they also give you credits to unlock new characters quicker. If like me you find it perfectly ok to grind a bit to unlock a character then it’s not that bad if you are the type of person who spends a large amount of money in mobile games to avoid waiting too long then if your wallets not in great shape you might want to give this game a pass.
The game itself is split into three game modes Story, Arcade, and Multiplayer. The single player campaign is a linear affair following mostly Iden Versio an Inferno Squad but also features missions that put you in the boots of some of Star Wars big names. The arcade mode is a selection of short missions (mostly about defeating waves of enemies) that have different difficulties and must be unlocked in order to play them all, they instantly reminded me of the spec ops mode in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 but sadly for me at least did not keep me interested for nearly as long. The multiplayer is split into the following
- Strike – Small team objective mode.
- Blast – A team deathmatch mode for smaller teams
- Starfighter Assault – Objective based battles in Space (funny that)
- Heroes and Villains – Heroes only fights
Galactic Assault – A mode familiar to anyone who played Battlefront 2015 this is an objective based battle of multiple stages that has vehicles, starfighters, and heroes.
Your mileage with these modes will vary depending on your taste but for me, Galactic Assault and Starfighter Assault are the main ones to play to get that great Star Wars experience and the others are good if you need a bit of a break but are nothing you have not seen before.
The game itself will feel familiar to anyone who has played either Star Wars Battlefront or a recent Battlefield game. The game can be played from either a first-person or a third-person perspective with the exception of when you are controlling a Hero character then you must be in third-person, while not unsurprising for multiplayer in the single player an option to experience lightsaber combat in the first person would have been great as I was a huge fan of it back in the days of Jedi Knight Dark Forces II. Speaking of heroes the method in which you unlock them has changed to a point based system in which all of your actions in the multiplayer add up and can be used to play as your favorite characters as well as a few generic but more powerful than standard characters.
The campaign takes us through the journey of Iden Versio leader of crack Imperial special forces unit Inferno Squad from the destruction of the second Death Star up until the Battle of Jakku. The story itself was fairly standard Star wars fare and does not deviate too far from what you would expect which is not necessarily a bad thing. There was a missed opportunity, however, to give a very different experience to anything done previously and make the game stand out but it was sadly not taken as it would have no doubt seemed a bit too risky for an “AAA” release. The story does end with an abruptness but this is explained by the fact they are releasing a new chapter to tie in with the new movie release in December whether or not any of the characters from Battlefront 2 will get a mention in The Last Jedi will be interesting to see.
Fantastic voice acting and some really great sound effects. It’s the most Star Wars as a game Star Wars game could sound.
Need I say more.
I’ve heard about a lot more bugs than I have actually experienced myself. The only major one I had was when an enemy I needed to kill to progress the mission was trapped in the floor and there was no way to actually kill them but eventually, I killed myself with a grenade trying to get them so the problem kind of sorted itself out.
Overall the game has a fantastic Star Wars vibe paired with some really great gameplay mechanics and wonderful graphics but somehow does not end up being and greater than the sum of its parts. With everything from its great voice acting and sound design to its multitude of game modes, this should be a great game that would be a contender for game of the year but unfortunately with all the balancing issues with the pay to win style economy and a story that never rises above “eh” I think the only thing this game will be remembered for by next year is the absolute shit storm it started about loot boxes.