I personally enjoyed EA’s first Star Wars Battlefront game that came out in 2015, it was lacking in certain department but neither the less I still managed to have tones of fun on it. So why is it that in Battlefront II I find myself getting really bored and not enjoying the gameplay at all? It has more to offer in terms of a single player campaign, space battle and some arcade modes. Yet doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Battlefront II feels somewhat different to that of the first game and I can’t say that I particularly like it. We see big named characters such as Darth Maul, Yoda, Kylo Ren and a few others characters but it doesn’t seem to give you the same buzz and feel like the original Battlefront II did back in 2005.
The concept for the game is simple and identical to the previous one. A third or first person shooter game set in the Star Wars Universe. Featuring maps and character from the current trilogy and having previous characters such as Darth Maul join the fray. This game welcomes a single player campaign, offline arcade mode as well as an online multiplayer that is mostly made up of scenario based gameplay.
The campaign mode was pretty fun to begin with but ended up losing most of it flare. It started off with very strong characters and plot, but along the way just lost it and become a rushed mess. The story wasn’t really needed as it was set between Return of the Jedi and The force awakens but didn’t really do it well. We see some familiar faces in the campaign like Luke, Han and Leia but you mainly play as Iden Versio who is one of the new characters made up purely for this game. The campaign takes you around the galaxy doing a number of different objects but you don’t really know why you’re doing them, you just get told to. It mixes in space and ground battles which help change the gameplay and the flow of the levels. I loved the little Droid that Iden Versio has, it comes with its own skill that allows the player to stun and kill people. I came across a massive bug in the last mission of the campaign where you play as Kylo Ren. I fell off the map and had to restart the mission in the settings as I just kept falling. Though the last mission to me, just seemed to be put in to try and tie in the game into The Force Awakens. Overall it was nice to have a campaign but ultimately it was very short and disappointing towards the end.
The offline Arcade mode however was a different story. It allows you to play on your own or with friends in spilt screen and is broken down into three areas. Solo, Co-op and Versus, you then get given the choice of battle scenarios or Custom Arcade. Battle scenarios are pre made objects that you play through and try and achieve the task at hand. You can play through the light side missions or the dark side. These are really fun and I found myself playing through the scenarios, trying to earn three stars on each mission. You do get a tutorial mode too but that is only under Solo play in the arcade. Custom arcade is what it says on the tin, customise your own game modes. Choice the location, type of map and all the different setting to really make it your own. If you only want to use the jedi you can, want to make it so there are 999 troops available so that a game lasts ages, no sweat it all can be done in here.
It was really nice to have the option this time round for single player elements, though the only one I found myself enjoying was the Arcade mode as the story sadly wasn’t brilliant.
The multiplayer this time round feels broken and boring, the only game mode I personally find myself playing and enjoying is blast, which is the Team Deathmatch mode as it’s simple and easy to do. Galactic Assault, Starfighter Assault and Strike are object based and if you don’t have a team that wants to play the object it’s not enjoyable at all. Finally you have Heroes and Villains which, if you are like me and only have a few heroes is really pointless as other player will have better heroes or villains that will just do you over. I mean come on how is pitting Lando against Kylo or Darth Maul fair? Starfighter Assault was nice to see as space battles were truly missed in the first instalment but it doesn’t compare to the space battle from the 2005 version of Battlefront II. The different game modes offer battles that range from 40 player down to 8. Though for some reason I still find it hard to find games or when I do find a game I’m stuck in lobbies or loading screens. I really wanted to like this game but it’s so hard to as it feel so unbalanced and broken when you have players that seem to have all these skill cards but you only have starter ones.
Right, so the main thing with this game is its Loot box system. When it comes to online you can get emotes for character, different skill cards, credits and get materials to craft cards. You get loot boxes every day through a daily one, but to get more you have to earn them or buy them with real money. Now recently there has been an update to the game to balance out these loot boxes and what they give you, though personally I hate the idea and think it has ruined the game. The skills cards I understand as they worked in the first battlefront but I don’t like them in Battlefront II. It’s hard to say why but I feel like they are locked away and you don’t really have the customisation freedom that the game says, not unless you a pro player and become top in every game and earn them credits. I found myself playing the Arcade to earn my credits just to buy more Heroes/Villains to make my online experience more fun.
The game allows you to play in first person but by doing so really ruins the way the game flows. You can tell that the game is made for third person mainly, as rolling in first person and aiming down sight with some of the blasters didn’t sit well. Though like most players, I’m sure we all loved that third person action.
Then we have the weapons, like the first game they can overheat though I found myself losing out in combat most of the time to overheating guns or weird reload saves that still take ages to reload you gun. But if you have the reduce skill card it’s quicker but of course you have to “Earn” that one if you get what I mean.
Heroes and villain seem far too easy to get and on top of that seem to allow loads of them in battle at once. I was playing one game and the enemy team had Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and Maul and we had some heavy trooper thing, you can guess who won that match. Battlefront II (2005) did it better in the sense that limited amounts of Heroes and villians were allowed on the field at once. Whereas this version has just broken it and made it unbalanced. You also have hero and villain Starfighter ships like the Millennium falcon, Boba Fett’s Slave 1, etc but again need to be unlocked via credits and when in a game have to earn enough points to be able to use them.
Controlling vehicles in the game is simple just like in the first one so the space combat was fun and easy to pick up the only thing I would say is it can get very disorientated when flying around and trying to chase other ships/players online.
Fans of the series will continue to love this game because it keep all the sound tracking and noises from the films and implements well into the game. Everything from the iconic theme to the noise of the X-wings, Tie Fighter and many more. It helps truly immerse you in the world of Star Wars. There is nothing like doing Galactic Assault on Hoth but hearing all the AT-ATs and blasters going off around you but then having dramatic battle music playing over the top. This simply put is one of the game’s best selling points to any star wars fan.
Just like in the first Battlefront game in 2015 it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the graphical side of things. Naboo, looks stunning, Starkiller base from The Force Awakens look practically identical and when moving round the maps you get a sense of “I’ve seen this place before” or “this is the part in the film where…”. You can tell that a lot of effort has been put into making the levels really stand out and like the locations they are taken from. It’s not just the maps though it’s everything, the Droids, blasters, Stormtroopers, lightsabers you name it. They’re all picture perfect when it comes to the on screen design.
There is a sense of replay value in the game, with the arcade mode allowing you to customise you own modes and it having multiplayer which I’m sure appeals to other. Though I find myself picking up the controller wanting to play it for long period of time only to be stuck in loading screens or lobbies waiting for actual game play. The story is like 6 hours long max and once completed is no point in really playing again. Not unless you want the collectables and challenges/trophies.
Star Wars Battlefront II for me was a must get and was something that I thought I’d enjoy for hours and without fail. Though due to a poor campaign, unbalanced online and the issues I keep having where I disconnect or get kicked from games is really taking me away from the game. I thought we might see a modern Battlefront II (2005) where I would be on it for day on end and having massive space battles where one minute I’m in a ship and the next I’m in a space ship shooting its core but sadly that wasn’t the case, it has some good character’s but when you see Kylo Ren running around Naboo you start to question why they didn’t make it so that certain heroes and villains weren’t just on certain levels, I mean that would make sense right? Personally for me the loot box system in this game is its biggest downfall. Many games do it now days and I don’t agree with them one bit. Take it back to the days of achieving something then being rewards it instead of making me buy it with money or credits. Star Wars Battlefront II will probably be a good game if you are:
- A Star Wars Fan
- You have played previous ones
- You’ve never played the old Battlefront II (2005) and trying to compare
It is a shame to say that 10 years down the line and the better game was the original but let’s hope that future games learn from thier mistakes.