Battlefront II Beta Verdict – Before You Buy

This last weekend, the Star Wars Battlefront II Beta opened for everybody, giving the chance to essentially try before you buy. Now that the dust has settled and Lightsabers become sheathed, it’s time to ask ourselves what we really thought about the Beta. Of course, this is by no means a true reflection of the final game, but it gives us a rather good taste of what may be to come.

The first Battlefront game came under some rather heavy scrutiny. Most of this was justified in my opinion and the game we eventually got felt rather half-baked. The original Battlefront games offered so much more variety and game modes and what we got from DICE last time was an incomplete game where DLC was a must to have the intended experience.

I’m pleased to say that the developers have promised Battlefront II will not follow that model and that DLC will be free. So far my initial feelings are that this game is a much better attempt than the first Battlefield game. Yes, I still have my issues, which I will get onto later, but for a Beta test, it’s a case of so far, so good.

The first thing to note, again, is just how beautiful this game looks. The developers cannot be faulted for their attention to detail. Star Wars is a franchise dear to many and it’s a game that needed a lot of love and care to bring it to life in the correct and accurate way. It’s clear that a lot of time has gone into perfecting both animations and aesthetics of the world and once again it’s paid off.

The audio in the game is also one of the best for any video game based on a movie franchise. The laser and vehicle sound really do a great job in immersing you in a world that’s probably very familiar to you.

As far as improvements on Battlefield I, it’s hard to tell completely at this stage, but there are a few things that I have already noticed. For a start, space battles are finally here. One of my favorite modes from the original Battlefield games has returned.

I have to admit how surprised I am that this mode is actually good. Not only are the flight controls vastly improved from the first Battlefield, but there are also bots included. There’s a couple of reason why these changes are so important and have already made a huge impact on how the game feels.

By including bots in space battles, not only does it make you feel like an absolute badass, but also it varies your encounters and makes those with players feel that extra bit special. The second thing is that flying in a spacecraft is much more user-friendly and accessible than the last game. It could sometimes feel like a hindrance on Battlefield I and by choosing to pilot a craft, you could feel slightly out of the game.

So far the small gameplay improvements and a promise of Free-LC has me paying attention for Battlefield II and it’s making me actually consider pre-ordering the title – something I rarely do.

As far as the criticism I have from this Beta, it comes down to a couple of things. Thankfully these can be easily rectified and I hope they will be before the game’s full launch.

My first issue with Star War Battlefront II is one I totally expected to see when I first heard of the games Free-LC promise, and that’s in-game purchases. Battlefront II now has the addition of loot crates. These are crates that provide either scrap, which is used to purchase and upgrade weapons or cards to upgrade your player in various ways.

The issue I have with these crates is not the loot that drops, but more their function. It offers the chance for players to abuse the system by purchasing a lot of crates. Currently, we don’t know what their cost will be, but I can imagine them being around the $0.99 - $1.99 price. You might say this is an acceptably low cost for an in-game purchase, but when the title itself will cost you around $60, there shouldn’t be any need for them.

The reward system is also slightly broken within the Beta and this is something I’m really hoping changes. At the moment it doesn’t seem to matter how bad/good you do in these online multiplayer matches. I’ve played with friends in games where I have gotten 3 kills in that match, compared to their 20 kills. They finished top of the leaderboard, more than doubling the score of the person next in line, and we still came out with the same reward at the end of the game.

This aspect of Battlefront II needs fixing before launch, as currently there is no incentive to actually perform better than other players, apart from personal pride. I’m sure this will be fixed by launch; it’s just worth noting down for now I feel.

Battlefront II feels better than I expected it to. This Beta has done nothing short of impressing me. There is a lack of content for sure, but that’s to be expected from a Beta. There are currently only two guns per class, all with upgradable parts, but again I can’t see this being the final count.

That’s what most of this game feels like after the Beta weekend. It’s a little taste of what we can expect, with the hope that they add more. It’s really over to the folks at Dice to impress us now. You have our attention, but for how long? Well, that’s up to you.

For all of you who loved the Beta, Battlefront II releases on November 17th on PS4, Xbox One & PC.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
BeepWee