Battlefront 2 is a larger step than Battlefront 1 in engulfing the Star Wars fan completely into the fandom of that galaxy far, far away.
The single-player campaign is very well done, bringing the player across multiple planets in the Star Wars universe.
The multiplayer side does a great job in putting you and your friends in action with blasters and lightsabers, X-Wings and AT-AT’s in an all-out galactic war — good against evil. You can easily feel like you’re living the movies and acting out all those lightsaber fights you had with your brother when you were little.
One of the breakout differences from Battlefront 2 and 2015's Battlefront is the new single-player campaign.
The story of the campaign is set after the "Return of the Jedi" film. In a change of pace from the usual Star Wars game, the story centers around an Imperial officer named Iden Versio.
Focusing on character development of the seemingly personality-less empire rank and file officer is definitely new. However, it would seem the story, while technically canon in the Star Wars universe, is a little underdeveloped.
Gamers can play mostly as the commander of a squad as you try to enact a dying command from the Emperor Palpatine. You travel from planet to planet, trying to fulfill this command out, fighting the rebels along the way. Throughout the missions, you drive an array of vehicles, from AT-AT’s to TIE fighters, sometimes multiple vehicles in the same mission.
For the most part, the campaign provides you an excellent adventure touching on almost all aspects of this Battlefront Star Wars universe. It prepares you to enter into the multiplayer mode where you pick what you want to experience, be it playing the heroes such as Yoda or Darth Vader, lights up your lightsaber or piloting your TIE fighter above a planet while you protect your Star Destroyer from enemy attack.
However, because of that, there’s a lot of content packed into the campaign and doesn’t lend to much to the story arc of the main character. It feels almost like watching one novella in what should have been a whole series. The story pushes you toward training on how to pilot the AT-AT and how awesome you are for doing it, and not any significant character development, to which single-player games should rely heavily on.
The multiplayer arena
The true meat of the game can be found in the playing against other people. Multiplayer mode supports five different modes.
Galactic Assault is kind of the baseline mode. It features up to 40 players, 20 on each team, either defending or attacking a certain objective.
You are allowed a single trooper to pick four different classes of troopers: Assault, Heavy, Officer, or Specialist.
- Assault trooper is your baseline trooper, with speed, accuracy and mediocrity all rolled into one.
- Heavy Troopers are there to support the frontline and move really slow, especially when firing.
- Officers have the advantage to call in support from other vehicles and also buff their troops with things like health and auto turrets.
- Specialists are kind of like the spy of the mission. They’ll set traps and snipe and you'll never see them coming. After gaining enough points by fighting as any one of these troopers, you’ll have enough to activate a hero. You can start to have an extreme advantage with whoever you've unlocked, as one of these heroes can take many many troopers at once, just watch out so you don’t get overwhelmed, even they are not invincible.
Other modes include Star Fighter Assault, a 20 vs. 20 mode where everyone is in a starfighter and TIE Fighters and X-Wings battle for objectives and protecting their capital ships.
In a similar mode, score enough points and you can send them to become the Millenium Falcon or Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter and dominate the battlefield.
Another mode that is quite popular and fun is the Heroes vs. Villains mode, which allows a four-on-four team battle with, you guessed it, different heroes and villains. New heroes and villains are being released all the time, you can play as Yoda, Rey, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa or turn to the dark side and play as Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Emperor Palpatine or Captain Phasma.
It’s a really fun mode, although strictly speaking noncanonical as all these characters were never seen altogether like this, but it sort of an arcade filled living out of all those space battles you had as a kid.
Ever since the release of Battlefront 2, the gaming community has complained about one thing: EA DICE released Lootboxes. Lootboxes, for those that aren’t familiar, are purchasable crates that have certain prizes inside. In the case of Battlefront 2, you are granted new weapon powerups, new heroes and currency to buy new heroes and the powerup cards with. Every time you play a match, you win credits depending on how well you did.
The gaming community banded together against the progression systems because they are not fond of a system that allows people with more money to straight out buy the best gear and overpower the battlefield. EA obviously wanted a consistent revenue stream, so they decided you could either earn these loot boxes by battling in the game or just buying them in sort of an in-app purchase.
The problem? The progression system in the game is horribly convoluted. There are over 600 “Star Cards” to collect, each with a rarity associated with them. Plus the amount of time to “collect” all these cards would take a lot longer than just pulling out your credit card and buying 50 loot boxes to make you an instant force on the Battlefield.
As result, many gamers who bought Battlefront 1 in 2015 have boycotted buying Battlefront 2, and it’s affected EA Stock price, down from a high $121.97 in August to now a $105.83 at time of writing. It’s started a trend among other games, letting these developers know that if they create a pay-to-win business plan for their games, most likely gamers will be turned off by such an economy.
What parents need to know
Parents will be relieved to know that there isn’t much danger in the content of the game. Most of the action sequences and weapons are taken directly out of the Star Wars universe, there was no foul language that gamers will find throughout the game.
Battlefront 2 is visually stunning, a tribute to all the ages of Star Wars, from the prequels to "The Last Jedi" being released this Friday (EA celebrated the event by releasing a gorgeous map based on a ground battle within “The Last Jedi.")
This would seem there plan all along, to release DLC that would fall in line to the current canon within the Star Wars universe, something the developers couldn’t do with the first Battlefront as the Disney deal was still going through at the time.
Kids will have fun with lightsaber battles with their friends or piloting starships together. It really helps you be part of the experience of Star Wars. Hopefully, as the game matures, they’ll find a way around all the criticism through updates and changes, and we can all get back to reimagining that lightsaber fight reliving in our childhood.