EA's (Electronic Arts) Star Wars: Battlefront II
Alright, before I get started, I have to admit this is my first ever written review. I've done quite a bit of research into what makes a good critique worthy of being read, and will hopefully be successful enough that I could do it again. With that in mind, I'd like to give a bit of my background in the gaming world. I am a dedicated Xbox fan, I have been since the first model came out. But, I have owned and played on every console man created. That's right, I even played Pong and Space Invaders.
Nowadays, I'm strictly Xbox, going by the gamer tag wickedwisdom66, simply because I can't afford all the others at the same time. I have a massive collection of games, somewhere around forty or so, that I often play (maybe too often if you ask my wife). And now, knowing I get to do the reviews on games, I get to tell my better half I'm working, not playing. So, for my first go at this, I chose a game I am intimately familiar with, EA's (Electronic Arts) Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Battlefront II is a massive online multiplayerfocused action game that was released on PC, Xbox 1, and PlayStation 4 in November of 2017. The game, for all its hype, met with plenty of mixed reviews with its launch. The first "controversy" was the player's ability to purchase loot crates via microtransactions, which would ultimately give players who could afford to buy them gameplay advantages over those who could not buy them. EA decided to remove the microtransaction option, which also caused hell, mostly for myself and my other colleagues who worked for the video game store I did. We found out that the purchased loot crates were being pulled the day of the release, and had to contend with the customers who had already preordered them. It was a mess, and I've never worked customer service since.
So, on to the good and the bad. I'll start with the good. Battlefront II took significant steps forward from its predecessor that was released in 2015, deciding to offer all DLC's for free, whereas before you had to pay to get them. Giving the number of maps and different scenarios you can play, things would get awfully expensive for the hardcore fan. And, with that in mind, they update fairly often to either fix issues or add new content. For a long time now they have been adding in various Clone War era maps and characters, as well as the latest game mode Galactic Supremacy, which reminds me of the older versions of Battlefront as you have to capture command posts while fighting the opposing team.
There are ten multiplayer modes such as Galactic Assault, in which two teams of twenty fight as either attackers or defenders. The above mentioned Capital Supremacy, which again is twenty vs. twenty but each side also has 12 AI teammates as well. Heroes vs. Villains, where players can be their favorite "hero" characters (such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker or Boba Fett just to name a few) in a four on four battle. There are also smaller versions of ground battles which one can play, such as Strike, Blast or Extraction. Plus one of the newest modes, Ewok hunt, where players can be either a Stormtrooper hunting the fuzzy little Ewoks (I'll admit I tried this mode and found I didn't much like it, although many musthave since they made it a permanent play mode).
One other new feature Battlefront II offers that its predecessors did not are the starfighter assault modes, which are my personal favorite. Much like the ground battle modes, starfighter lets you fly iconic ships like the AWing intercepters, YWing bombers or everyone's favorites, the XWing and Tie Fighter. There is also a hero starfighter mode which allows one to pilot ships such as Luke's T65B XWing, Boba Fett's Slave I, Poe Dameron's T70 XWing, Or Darth Mauls Scimitar, just to name a few (these hero ships are also usable in the Star Fighter Assault mode). Through every scenario, a player who completes an objective, or kills an opponent, are rewarded with battle points. These points can be used to unlock heroes or special soldier classes. Which, ultimately brings me to the things I dislike about this game.
First, if you are not a seasoned multiplayer gamer (which I am not), racking up kills to earn the hero characters is not an easy task. By the time I get the 4000 points needed to unlock a hero, they are usually taken already, and I rarely get to use them. Also, it's been my experience that once I do gather the points and luckily get to play a hero, I'm annihilated seconds after I spawn in, while other players somehow spend the entire match as a hero. So, naturally, I've become good at the four distinct classes, The Officer, Specialist, Assault and Heavy.
Another issue that needs some sort of fix takes place in my favorite Star Fighter battles. Some players tend to do what's called spawn camping. They sit in the area where the opposite team spawns in and kills them before they can blink. This is considered poor sportsmanship among the many, but many continue to do it.
Two other issues that make the game hard to like sometimes is the matchmaking system and the EA servers that run the game. The matchmaking system is just as it sounds and sometimes takes a long time to find an open room (match) to play in. Sometimes, it even brings you into a game that ends seconds after you spawn in. It gets frustrating when you end up waiting for a match longer than you actually get to play in one.
One last issue I want to point out is that the EA servers often times get overloaded and one either lags out badly, or the system crashes and kicks you from the game. I've been in matches where I was right at the top of my game, holding onto to first place only to have the game kick me out. This has to be an EA issue and not (in my case) a players internet causing the crashes. Speaking for myself, I run 600+ Mbps, which is faster than the Xbox can handle, and yet I have encountered these troubles on more occasions then I care mention. All said and done, I would give the game a solid 6 out of 10. There is a lot to like, but some of the issues the game has does steal the fun at times.
There you have it. My first game review. I know I did not cover everything, but hopefully, I covered enough to give a decent idea on what the game has to offer and some insight into the problems that arise during gameplay. Battlefront II is the game I hate to love, but one that I can become obsessed with. I am, after all, a true Star Wars fan.