By: Nick Edwards
I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a Star Wars fan. In a few month’s span we have had The Mandalorian, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Rise of Skywalker. Not too mention everything streaming on Disney +. Chewing through this content has presented me with the grand problem of what to do when you want more Star Wars in your life. Thankfully I became aware of a new, completely viable Star Wars game that people are playing right now, Star Wars Battlefront 2.
You may remember Star Wars Battlefront 2 is that one EA game downvoted into mainstream news media by a disastrous Reddit AMA, forcing changes to the game literally hours before it went on sale. People were upset by the predatory nature of the microtransactions and pay to win features of (at the time) EAs second licensed Star Wars game. And rightly so, hero characters were locked behind a grind system that could see you sinking 30 hours to unlock one playable hero just to find that another player in a match is using the same one. This was two years ago and not being super enthusiastic about DICE’s follow up anyway, I quickly forgot this game existed.
The rumblings on twitter lately is that Battlefront 2 is pretty good now, so with a yearning in my heart and $10 in my pocket I set off to see for myself if it is, in fact pretty good now. Right out of the gate this game still holds up and is gorgeous. It looks and sounds like Star Wars. The first thing I did was investigate the loot box area. I was surprised that they very generously give you your first one free, like a drug dealer I suppose. Upon opening it was just some random cosmetics. The first big fix was removing any characters or support cards from the random boxes. I have yet to be back to this particular menu as the game lets you purchase any cosmetic item you want through the in-game currency you earn by playing it.
DICE and EA, for the most part, seem to be listening to feedback. The biggest complaint with their first foray was the lack of single-player or offline content. Battlefront 2 adds a decently written campaign that attempts to bridge in some events from after the battle of Endor and just before The Force Awakens. Not to get too into spoilers about a two-year-old game but I would have personally liked to see them flesh out the changing sides more. It seems to take place early in the campaign before you really have a chance to get to know the characters. There is also an arcade mode that lets you take on different challenges and play against bots. You complete quests to unlock different weapons for your basic troop loadouts but navigating progress or finding certain goals is cumbersome. If you let the game linger you will find yourself disconnected from online play, forcing you to push a “connect” button when you decide to take your game back online or else you can’t join any online modes. A strange little gripe with a game but it is primarily meant to be played online.
Battlefront 2 is a DICE game and DICE are known for their excellent Battlefield series. Large scale battles, great physics and tight controls. So it should come as no surprise that most of the Battlefront 2 experience feels really solid. Its when you gain control of heroes or ships and vehicles that the game is on less than stable ground. Dice and the notorious frostbite engine really show their rigidness to the FPS genre the minute you pick up a lightsaber or step in the cockpit of an X-Wing. You are limited to block and swing and your player abilities, which all feel a bit sluggish. It’s not to say the experience isn’t a competent or a fun one, but other games have done way better with these aspects. At the end of the day, it feels like a reskin of Battlefield instead of something truly its own even if it looks and sounds like something else.
Reading the flaws of the game it may seem like I did not like it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is still a real solid experience and there is something about playing as one of you favorite characters that elevates the whole thing, even if you won’t be able to pick them every single time. The community is active, so matches where almost always quick to start and did I mention I only paid $10 for it.
Battlefront 2 is like the Phantom Menace of Star Wars content right now, it may not be the best but hey, remember Darth Maul?