It’s a pretty great time to be a Star Wars fan right? The movies are brilliant, there are tons of incredible books and supplement material. And of course, the video games. 2015’s ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ is easily my most played game on my Playstation 4. It was such an incredibly rich world with a fantastic online experience that kept me hooked for years. Now with ‘The Last Jedi’ in cinemas, it’s time for the sequel with ‘Battlefront 2’. But can it build on the successes of the first or is there truth in the rumours of a complete cock up? Find out all you need to know in my review of Star Wars Battlefront 2 here.
Okay, so the first thing I want to talk about is the single player mode. The lack of one in the first game was a big oversight so not only am I glad that there is a single player mode here but it’s also great fun. It follows the story of Iden Versio, a special ops Stormtrooper stationed on Endor during the battle of Endor as seen in ‘The Return of the Jedi’. You follow her journey in the days and weeks after the events of Episode VI right up to the battle of Jakku. It’s a great story to follow with some fantastic voice work from Janina Gavankar as the resilient Iden Versio.
It’s just a bit gutting that the story is so short. I completed the whole thing including the DLC in one day. It was all a bit too fast paced with Versio going from devout Imperial loyalist to joining the Rebellion within the space of 4/5 levels. Regardless, it’s the best part of the whole game and the games industry needs to focus a lot more on rich storytelling as opposed to just online multiplayer.
For most people though, it is all about the multiplayer and this is where Battlefront 2 soars but also falls apart. On loading the multiplayer, it feels like there are less modes? No ‘Supremacy’ mode, no ‘Walker Assault’ mode – it’s simply ‘Galactic Assault’ for planet based gameplay and ‘Starfighter Assault’ for space battles. There is fantastic variety in the challenges with each map but building the game this way makes it feel…smaller.
Starfighter Assault is where I enjoy the online game most. Developers DICE have listened to the complaints from the first game and built huge sprawling maps for you to fly around. It’s not just about shooting down enemy Tie Fighters or X-Wings, you can take on Star Destroyers, fly inside battle stations and more. And the vehicles you can control all feel pretty evenly matched so there is much better balance this time round. I get such a rush jumping into an A-Wing and taking down Ties while defending Rebel Cruisers. It’s the main thing I’ve always wanted in a game. And it looks incredibly stunning. I honestly do not know how it could look any better on future consoles.
And then there is ‘Galactic Assault’ which could be absolutely incredible but is completely ruined by some ridiculous decisions. Here’s the thing, I get the idea of ‘star cards’ and unlocking better weapons and abilities as you level up. But that only really works if you’re put into matches with other players at the same level as you. More often than not, I am killed within 10 seconds because another player has much more powerful weapons than me. And it’s really frustrating. It takes the fun out of the game. Sure, I know what you’re thinking – ‘Maybe you just suck at the game Liam’. That thought did cross my mind but I was really good at the first game so there should be no difference here. The overall gameplay is the same.
There is a great variety of new heroes included in the game including Rey and Kylo Ren alongside the classics such as Vader and Yoda. However, they seem to take forever to kill with some matches being completely dominated by these heroes. For example, during the Naboo map, it was literally impossible for my team to break through because the other team had Chewbacca! So many times I’ve almost rage quit because it just wasn’t any fun to play. It’s incredibly frustrating because the maps are incredible but it’s almost unplayable, for me at least.
I can remember playing the Beta for the first Battlefront back in 2015 and I was wowed the entire time. And since then, I was obsessed with the game. It fulfilled most of my Star Wars nerd dreams. Battlefront 2 has so much potential but is mired by a system so imbalanced and designed to rip off players with micro transactions. Can they fix it? I’m not sure as the system is part of the game’s foundations. Whatever happens, I hope that DICE will learn from these mistakes and learn their lessons for future titles. But as it stands for Battlefront 2 just now, it’s a huge disappointment.