Star Wars Battlefront II Review

Star Wars Battlefront II to pick up where the first game left off and improve on the foundations in many ways and in some ways it succeeds in doing so. The game yet again looks unbelievable, the aesthetic and attention to detail are everywhere. The sound is immersive and every bit the Star Wars you know and love. It’s also filled with iconic characters from the franchise and even a short story so many fans craved. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of the positivity ends.

Ultimately Star Wars Battlefront II is still a fun game at times, but it really is let down by a few major things that have such an impact on the game, they can’t be ignored. The progression system is one of the main topics, which falls very short of what’s to be expected, but at least we have a story now, right?

Even though the first Star Wars Battlefront had no story, the one we get in the second installment is not the one we wanted. It’s shallow and the pacing is all over the place.

This is a four-hour-long journey that has you follow an Imperial Commander during the time between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. What starts off as a promising tale soon turns into a lackluster story filled with plot holes.

We may have finally got a taste of a campaign, but not the kind we wanted. The Star Wars Battlefront II campaign feels much like a starter and not the main course and that’s disappointing, to say the least. It’s crammed with too much in such a short space of time, which is why the pacing feels off. Yes, there are some nice gunplay sequences and some great starfighter battles but it just wasn’t enough for me.

What Dice delivered in way of a story was a paper-thin Star Wars film that’s cameo-heavy, predictable and characters actions aren’t justified in a meaningful way. Although they got the look right, they failed to have the substance to carry it.

The multiplayer element in Star Wars Battlefront II is likely the reason most of us will be playing this game and in many ways, this is an improvement on the previous game. Blasters and other weapons feel much better this time around. They’re weighty and the sound that accompanies them only adds to the stellar immersion.

The newly added reloading provides an extra level of tactical play that I really enjoyed. Heroes are again much improved and feel so powerful – as they should. Playing as Yoda enables you to be near impossible to hit. Jumping and dodging around the battlefield evading blasters in every direction never felt so good.

I also feel like the starfighter combat has been much improved. Ships are much more responsive and controlling them feels a little easier this time around. All the improved mechanics can add up to some pure moments of joy and I’ve experienced many in my short time with the game so far.

Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of the fun stops. Star Crates have been a highly talked about subject since the game’s release and this style of progression system is one of the worst and most frustrating I’ve experienced in a game for some time.

It all seems a little too randomised for my liking and it doesn’t adequately reward players appropriately. You will usually earn 100-400 credits after finishing a match online. To unlock the most basic crate you will be spending 4000 of those credits. Already you start to see a game that requires some grinding – no biggy.

The problem here is the contents of those crates. Random crafting materials, star cards, and cosmetic items can all be found in these crates, but these might not be any use to you. Because the contents are so randomised you can spend all your time saving up for a crate only to find you receive nothing that benefits the class you are playing.

It can become so frustrating having put all that work and time in for essentially no reward at all. Increased damage, boring emotes all for classes you don’t use were found in abundance during my playthrough and ultimately made the experience with Star Wars Battlefront II’s multiplayer a lesser one.

Even with the removal of paid microtransactions, the system is still very slow and I think needs addressing sooner rather than later. There are not many other ways to describe this system than simply saying that it’s just bad.

There is also the issue of imbalance between people who own the standard version and the deluxe. Those who bought the deluxe will have max level cards, which only adds to a pay-to-win model. It almost feels like the game was spoilt here.

Despite all my issues with the progression system Star Wars Battlefront II is still a fun game to play. There is a good variety of map selection across different environments, with more on the way in the form of free DLC.

During my time with the game I experience a few technical issues, but nothing that was ultimately game breaking. FPS seemed to be an issue in both cutscenes for the campaign and during online play, but I would expect this to be fixed in the next patch or so.

Star Wars Battlefront II is a promising game on the surface but I can’t help but feel that when you dissect it, it’s still all a little shallow. There is no question that this game is indeed gorgeous. It’s as faithful as it gets and surreal in all the right ways, but yet you still feel let down by the progression system and the campaign we wanted is not the one we received.

EA has already made so huge changes to the game, who knows what will be next? It feels a bit like they underestimated the community and again feels like another game they have quite got right. There is an amazing game in here somewhere, underneath all the microtransactions and randomised progression, but I starting to wonder if Dice and EA will ever get this game right? I guess we won’t know until Battlefront III.

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.
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