EA released its first Star Wars Battlefront game two years ago and the game was met with a mixed reception. The graphics and gameplay were great, but sadly the game lacked a single player campaign and any fun offline content.
Fast forward two years later and Star Wars Battlefront 2 is here. Unlike the game two years ago, this sequel adds an excellent single player campaign as well as more content for those that love to play offline. Not to mention the game also adds content from all of the Star Wars sagas. It’s not just original trilogy content like the 2015 game.
Let’s start talking about what is great about Star Wars Battlefront 2 and that’s definitely the graphics and awesome sound design. From the streets of Naboo, temple of Takodana or the trees of Endor, this game looks excellent especially if you are playing on the Xbox One X. It has some of the best lighting effects I have seen all year long.
The character models also look movie accurate as Rey and Kylo Ren look immaculate. The game also excels if you play with good gaming speakers. The roar of TIE Fighters, laser blasts and more truly surround the entire room.
The only time the sound falters is with some of the voice acting for the hero characters. Luke Skywalker’s voice actor does not sound like a young Mark Hamill and Princess Leia also sounds a little odd. Other than that, the sound design in the game is excellent throughout.
The other outstanding feature this game has is the enjoyable single player campaign. The story takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi and you assume the role of an Imperial Officer by the name of Iden Versio. She is the leader of the Galactic Empire’s powerful team called the Inferno Squad.
The Inferno Squad made life hell for the Rebellion, and their quest continues even after the death of The Emperor. Without giving away too many spoilers, you do get a chance to see many familiar faces in the campaign. Not to mention the story has lots of twists and turns and is unpredictable throughout.
I also admire the fact that the single player campaign offers a lot of variety for players. Aside from your standard shooting sections, the first mission allows you to do a bit of stealth. Stealth is not a big part of the game, but the added variety is a nice change.
You also get the chance to pilot many vehicles during the campaign. I don’t want to spoil what you drive, but the first vehicle you get to control is a TIE Fighter. There are lots of fun aerial battles that you can partake in and they take up a good portion of the story missions.
The story is not the longest campaign you will ever play, although I managed to complete it in around seven to eight hours. In other words, the campaign is longer than The Order 1886 and Sonic Forces which is a good thing.
Gameplay wise, Star Wars Battlefront 2 plays similarly to the previous game. I like the fact that you can play the game in both first person and third person perspectives. That said, the mechanics cater towards more FPS players since the game lacks any type of cover system.
However, while playing as hero characters you are always playing in third person. The hit detection is great and the game runs smoothly at 60 fps. It is satisfying playing as characters like Darth Maul and Kylo Ren because they can take down enemies with ease with their lightsabers. The two characters are also super fast.
The flying mechanics have also been improved compared to Star Wars Battlefront 2015. You have more control in terms of doing maneuvers like barrel rolls and more. You can also boost a bit better in order for you to chase down enemy fighters at a faster rate.
The last part of the game that is fun is the offline friendly Arcade Mode. Unlike in online multiplayer, all of the heroes are available from the start in Arcade mode if you pick the “Heroes Only” option in the menu. The three main modes in Arcade Mode are Onslaught, Duel and Team Battle which are pretty much different variations of death matches. You can play Arcade mode via solo, co-op or versus offline.
The other offline mode is Battle Scenarios. This is where you play as the heroes (or villains) killing waves and waves of enemies. You can choose to be either the Light Side and Dark Side and many of the battles take place in famous locations from many of the live action movies.
As much as I like the offline offerings, the game sadly falters when it comes to the online multiplayer mode. This is all down to a controversial progression system that will make it hard for some players to stay competitive. Even with EA recently changing the cost of heroes, there’s still elements of a pay-to-win system.
For example, I was playing the Hero vs Villains mode online and I was getting hammered. Other people were able to be force sensitive characters from the get-go with various abilities. I struggled because I was only allowed to be Boba Fett and Bossk. These two are only bounty hunters and don’t have the cool abilities of Jedi and Sith.
The same thing holds true to the other online modes such as Galactic Assault, Strike and Blast. Many other players have already obtained powerful Star Cards equipping themselves with better weapons and abilities. There’s not an even playing field since upgrades are obtained via annoying loot boxes.
Gaining credits to buy the things you want is also somewhat still time consuming. It’s not as bad as it was before the 75% discount, but it still feels like a grind if you want to max out every character and class type.
The only online mode I actually liked is Starfighter Assault. This mode is a little more competitive and isn’t as repetitive. That said, you still cannot sabotage and land on enemy ships like you could do in the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 game from 2005. It’s just a straight up space battle mode.
Speaking of Star Wars Battlefront 2 from 2005, that game still has more content compared to Star Wars Battlefront 2 2017. In the 2017 game, there are less maps available and there aren’t as many heroes and villains. Some of the characters missing in the new game include Obi-Wan Kenobi (both old and young versions), Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and more.
It’s also sad to report that the Arcade mode is not as feature heavy as the 2005’s game Instant Action mode. In the 2005 game, EVERY mode and map was playable offline. In the new game, you cannot play Starfighter Assault, Heroes vs. Villains and other modes offline. Even some maps are locked exclusively for online only users too. This is odd because bots and every map is included in offline gameplay in the recently released Call of Duty: WWII as well as the aforementioned 2005 video game.
Overall, Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) is still a fun game thanks to more content than it had two years ago and an exciting single player campaign that is actually canon to the Star Wars universe. However, the online multiplayer is still unfair for some players and the Arcade Mode should have more content like the 2005 game did. As a huge Star Wars fan, I love playing this game but the flaws prevent it from being perfect at launch. Hopefully EA improves on the game in the near future via constant updates and patches.
[Editor’s Note: Star Wars Battlefront II was reviewed on the Xbox One platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]