Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is a game mired in controversies. And it has passionate haters and very ardent defenders.
So, is this game as bad as the haters say? Or is it worth your time to pick up a blaster and give it a go?
The first Battlefront game by EA provided a very engaging multiplayer experience. However, it was missing something many players were expecting: a dedicated campaign mode.
Fortunately, the sequel fixes this by adding a campaign focusing on Inferno Squad. This is an elite Imperial unit who must make important decisions as galactic conflicts begin boiling over.
In a world crowded with Star Wars movies, shows, comics, and games, this campaign stands out as a genuinely fun and involving story. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into this campaign; however, the multiplayer remains the clear focus of the game.
It’s a bit shallow, but I’ll go ahead and say it: this is a very good-looking game.
There has never been a better-looking Star Wars game. For the first week or so, you might find yourself simply gaping at the detailed characters, vehicles, and locations that Battlefront 2 has brought to life.
This combines with the top-notch sound design to create a fully immersive Star Wars experience. Whether players keep coming back will largely depend on how much they like the multiplayer gaming.
More of the Same
This sequel has added many improvements, characters, game modes, and more. However, the heart of the game still plays very much like the original Battlefront by EA. Simply put, if you didn’t like the first game, this game isn’t going to suddenly convert you into a fan.
Arguably, the primary multiplayer mode is Galactic Assault. These matches are broken down into several parts: for example, part one may be keeping droids from getting far inside Naboo’s capital. If they aren’t stopped, the next two steps involving keeping them out of the capital building and then keeping them from the throne room.
Players are rewarded for playing well with access to better units. Basically, you have points that build up as you play, and these points can be redeemed so you can spawn as everything from a starfighter to a hero unit. Spawning as the right unit in the right place can turn the tide of the battle, and it can be a nail-biter figuring out if you want to spend your points now or save up for something better later on.
I liked this kind of narrative multiplayer experience, and it makes each match feel very epic. The downside is that matches take a long time to play— if you’re short on time, you may prefer some of the shorter modes (more on this below).
Land and Sky
In the 2005 Battlefront 2, reviewed here, players could enjoy a starfighter combat mode. However, I didn’t really like the mode: the combat felt stiff and unengaging, and a good chunk of the matches were still on foot as players tried to breach capital ships and destroy them from the inside.
The 2017 Battlefront 2 has a much better Starfighter mode. Dogfights feel appropriately intense, and you spend all of your time in the cockpit where you belong. This still isn’t my favorite mode to play, but it’s a fun alternative to those long matches of Galactic Assault.
Loot Box Controversy
There is a lot to love in Battlefront 2. However, when it first came out, this game was mostly known for its loot box controversy.
Many shooters have integrated loot boxes into the games, including megahits like Overwatch. However, that game and most of the others only included cosmetic upgrades (such as new skins, voicelines, and so on).
When Battlefront 2 first came out, the loot boxes included bonuses that could improve characters and impact gameplay. Many players interpreted this as a “pay to win” system in which those who spent more money on the game would have unfair advantages during multiplayer.
After six months of controversy, those character enhancements were removed from loot boxes, and they now contain only things like credits, emotes, and character poses. While this was a much-needed improvement, many gamers remain salty to this day about the loot box cash grab at the beginning.
A Redemption Story
Star Wars has always been a story of redemption. Even characters as evil as Darth Vader are able to turn back to the Light Side and help save the day.
Since it came out, Battlefront 2 has had a redemption story of its very own. After the loot box debacle, the developers threw themselves into offering more and more free content for the game. This has included everything from new skins to new heroes, maps, and gameplay modes.
This may go down as the bittersweet irony for the ages: after turning countless players away with the loot box system, the game ended up offering an amazing experience and an even more amazing value. And that’s why reaction to this game is, to this day, so very divided.
Many Modes of Play
I focused a lot on Galactic Assault, Starfighter Assault, and the Campaign. However, there are many more ways to play!
Arcade mode lets players practice basic skills and gameplay. Heroes vs. Villains pits iconic Star Wars characters against each other. Extraction is a typical “escort the cart” style mode, while Blast provides a simplified multiplayer that hearkens back to the original Battlefront games. And the Strike mode provided games with a variety of Star Wars-flavored objectives.
There are even more modes, too, like Ewok Hunt. While not every mode is created equal, there is something here for just about everyone.
Is Battlefront 2 worth buying? You bet!
It had a rocky start, but Battlefront 2 offers tons of gameplay and an amazing value, especially for the current price. It’s worth that for the campaign alone!