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In Review – Battlefront 2

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It’s been no secret since launch that Star Wars Battlefront II comes as an unfortunate disappointment to many after what had seemed to be a promising pitch from publisher Electronic Arts. A single-player campaign based around the ashes of the Empire following the events after Return of the Jedi. Seasonal content updates with the provision of no season pass. Deeper and more immersive Star Wars multiplayer experiences across not one, not two, but all three story eras from the Skywalker saga. It truly leaves many, myself included, to consider the masterpiece this game could have been.


Following the backlash from Battlefront (2015) lacking content for players to experience outside of multiplayer by themselves, EA approached _ to craft Battlefront II’s widely anticipated campaign. Early speculation had always indicated we would expect to see something between or during the waning events of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire, furthermore suggesting a possible tie in to the origins of the First Order. When EA confirmed these rumours and heavily marketed an Imperial campaign from the perspectives of Commander Iden Versio and Inferno Squad I along with many Star Wars fans were very much hyped. Before the game’s launch I remember reading through the tie-in novel ‘Battlefront: Inferno Squad’ and immediately warming to Iden’s character as well as her loyalty to the Empire. Her fellow squad members – Del Meeko and Gideon Hask – also established themselves as promising companions for the upcoming title.

So, as you could well imagine, after arriving home from picking up the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition I was more excited than an Ewok on coffee. This excitement only intensified during the first four missions – namely oboard a Rebel capital ship, Endor, above the Fondor shipyards and finally on Iden’s homeworld of Vardos. As a fan I was particularly immersed in experiencing the destruction of the second Death Star from an Imperial perspective; the raw shock of the Rebellion’s victory and the subsequent haste to regain some form of control that followed was a nice touch to the story. From there on in however it became your average tale of discovery, defiance and redemption. At this moment I can say I was more confused and hacked off than your casual gamer would be – as having read the novel that came before the game made Iden’s defection from the Empire stand against everything established in the book. I was genuinely thankful though that Del Meeko received a more believable or some could say consistent character development arc. In the end there was a nice dynamic between Iden and her father – Admiral Versio – who oversaw the Emperor’s contingency plan referred to as Operation: Cinder, as well as another between Iden/Del and Gideon Hask who had remained in service to the Empire despite the defection of his two squadmates.


What struck me the most about the campaign however was that EA had the nerve to end it on a cliffhanger and serve as a lead in to the first free singleplayer DLC. Following the final moments the player is able to play as Iden the plot fast-forwards a decade to put us in the era of the First Order’s rise to power. Playing as Kylo Ren, you are able to interrogate and search the memories of Del Meeko after his capture on Pillio in a bid to find the map to Luke Skywalker which would later become the focal point of The Force Awakens. Here you discover that Iden is indeed alive, married to Del and has given birth to a daughter (Zay) who will be featured in DLC later. The game ends after a cinematic revealing Hask survived the Battle of Jakku where he was presumed dead after Iden shot his Tie Interceptor down, and now serves as a high-ranking officer within the ranks of the First Order. Hask eventually murders Del and intends to bait Iden into a trap to find her lost husband, setting the stage for Decembers Last Jedi themed DLC.

For the most part, the campaign was an enjoyable experience and welcome in the CANON Star Wars universe (an aspect that might later have further implications for the upcoming films). What annoys me most was the campaign had the potential to be EAs exclamation mark – their way of reviving the faith in Star Wars games and paving the future for more story-rich content. Furthermore I’m disappointed how much of the campaign was actually experienced from an Imperial perspective given the marketing practices engaged before launch – not enough to say they had been misleading, though enough to question whether there was a backflip at some point in development on the story EA had originally intended to tell. Mission structuring too felt on occasion more of a chore than it did a groundbreaking experience, with a ton of ‘go here, shoot this, do that, now go here’ fluffing about that seemed a little too structured for what the developers were trying to make you as the player experience. Had the game adopted a more relaxed style to mission progression like for instance seen in Halo: Reach, where it was more a sandbox game as opposed to something linear and scripted to the letter, perhaps it would have presented itself a bit better.


On a brighter note, the in-game cinematics and cutscenes were consistently well polished, always feeling carefully edited to create the all too familiar Star Wars experience you’d get from watching one of the many films. Voice acting and animation also deserves to be commended for what was in majority very solid performances from all cast members. I was especially pleased to see that iconic characters such as Leia, Han, Lando and Luke were all re-casted and modelled in the sequel – drastically improving on the cringeworthy and somewhat careless performances from EAs first title.

All in all the campaign should last you around 4 to 5 hours if you’re taking your time with collectibles and not rushing through encounters. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend immediately starting it as the first thing you do if you indeed purchase the game I wouldn’t completely avoid it either, as even for casual fans there is something that can be found to enjoy.

EDIT: Reactions Post “Resurrection” DLC

As mentioned in this review prior, Battlefront II has received free singleplayer DLC continuing the main quest of the campaign. The DLC takes place during the events between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi focusing on Iden’s journey through a First Order occupied galaxy. Reuniting with familiar faces from the base game’s campaign such as Shriv and Leia Organa, Iden and daughter Zay search for the missing Del Meeko who unbeknownst to them was killed at the mercy of former Inferno Squad member Gideon Hask. The expansion adds only three missions which essentially follow the same structure and gameplay of the base game, a little disappointing given that these were held for a post-launch release. At maximum you'll get an extra hours gameplay here with only two unique locations (not counting the recycled Vardos map), which for Star Wars fans will pass more easily than the casual gamer.



Right off the bat let me address the elephant in the room – yes, Battlefront II’s progression is the most flawed piece of nasty you could ever expect to find within a video game by utilising randomised loot box rewards – however unlike many reviews previously this will not be the element my review is based around. It will get a small section all to itself aside from the gameplay, mode, design and sheer mammoth effort DICE has gone through to make this game look utterly gorgeous; something I feel way too many reviewers don’t give enough credit for when reviewing a game. That’s not to excuse that EA, the party in majority responsible for the implementation of such a system, doesn’t deserve to be absolutely grilled for its decision to mess with the one fanbase you just do not mess with. Star Wars is (along with millions of others) my metaphorical child – EA has not only shaken the cot, but kicked a hornet’s nest here.


In terms of gameplay Battlefront II provides a more fluent and balanced package in comparison to the first instalment. Rarely will players find moments where one team has a game-winning advantage over another influenced by either map design or objective placement, resulting in each encounter being largely determined by player skill. The sheer variety of maps we’ve been given at launch certainly lived up to EAs promise of more depth in multiplayer and developer DICE has for the most part mixed these into a rotation that encourages players to return as opposed to serving up the same map every 2-3 matches. Similar to what people may have experienced in Destiny 2, each map has numerous weather and lighting variations. These range from day/night cycles to rain/clear/sandstorm cycles with more to be added later as part of The Last Jedi Season DLC.

Now that The Last Jedi Season in indeed underway I stand surprised about how the map rotation has become fresh once more. With the addition of the Battle of Crait and space battle above D'Qar there's no shortage of new objective gameplay to enjoy. Also added in the season was two DLC heroes - Finn and Captain "Chrome Dome" Phasma - who are unlocked to all players right from the get go. Developer EA has also rolled out periodic updates to balance weapons and perks, as well as changing the dreaded things called loot boxes to be 'more rewarding'. As much as I can hammer them in all honesty these changes are pretty welcome. Crates will now be easier to afford given the boost to post-game credits received and also yield higher quantities of crafting parts for players to upgrade star card perks (changed from 45 crafting parts to a random roll between 75 and 120).

It's no secret I absolutely disgust hiding progression behind loot crates, irrespective of whether you can no longer purchase them with domestic currencies, but I'll refrain on writing copious amounts on the topic as it has been largely covered by every website known to gaming. IGN and Gamespot in particular have excellent shakedowns of the system, but I'll leave AngryJoe's review below as he is very informative about the progression and game as a whole:


Star Wars Battlefront II had the potential to be an amazing game, but much to the disappointment of many fell well short of expectation. Evidently EA aren’t about to abandon the game like Mass Effect Andromeda with more seasonal DLC instalments promised into 2018, however the microtransaction controversy at launch will significantly continue to hurt sales and confidence of the Star Wars community (by extension gaming community as a whole) for many years to come. EAs reputation as a company furthermore has been adversely affected, losing almost $3.2 billion in stock value since launch.

Putting everything together, here are the final scores I’m giving Battlefront II as it stands:

Graphics and Gameplay
Sound Design

Posted Jan 2, 18 · OP · Last edited Jan 2, 18
x 5
x 5
Level 2
"... I was more excited than an Ewok on coffee" or as excited as a Jawa on Java? :lol:

Awesome review! I'm actually considering getting the game now.
Posted Jan 15, 18 · Last edited Jan 15, 18
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x 2
Level 1
I am too but only for the story. Multiplayer was okay in the beta, but im not so sure i would enjoy or really have the time to play multiplayer.
Posted Jan 17, 18