Star Wars Battlefront II comes ahead of the movie series returning to the big screen with Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi next Thursday, meaning EA have released their Battlefront sequel in time for Christmas and the launch of the new movie much like they did with the first game and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
This time around you have a single-player campaign, which the first game didn’t, have and the large-scale 40-player multiplayer battles (40 player on 1 of the game modes).
The single-player campaign sees you taking up the mantle of Iden Versio, an Inferno Squad elite soldier working for the Empire. You will know the squad from seeing them in the movies: they’re the characters which look similar to Storm Troopers, but dressed in all-black uniforms and fly the Tie Fighters. The first few missions will have you escaping from your cell and causing no end of problems for the Rebellion. Of course, with Star Wars being the way it is, Iden realises that a new plan to obliterate planets after the fall of the second Death Star on Return of the Jedi is just plain fiendish. From here, Iden and one of her squad mates need to escape from the clutches of the Empire and start helping the Rebellion come up with a plan to stop the new planet-destroying capabilities.
The campaign, itself, is kind of a ‘Best of Star Wars’ featuring many locations from the original trilogy as well as their prequels, plus The Force Awakens. Han Solo, as an example, on one level has to talk to an informant at Maz’s Castle on Takodana. You then head out after locating the informant to search crates which just happen to be heavily guarded by Storm Troopers. Once you have the intel, you’ll go to the Millennium Falcon and, while Chewbacca gets the ship ready, you’re tasked with holding off enemies. Another level sees you play Princess Leia and have to defend Del (the other defector with Iden) and keep him safe while he hacks various points on the map.
Lando makes an appearance sabotaging a robotic factory which builds AT-AT Walkers etc and so on. These levels basically introduce some of the heroes and their special abilities that you will use in multiplayer and arcade game modes. There are also quite a few space-based missions which put you in the numerous ships available (again playable in multiplayer), these will have you defending against bombers, taking out the planet-destroying satellites and numerous other tasks. I must admit I was getting a little sick of the space flight missions towards the end of the campaign as they are all very similar.
All in all, the campaign is a roller-coaster ride and worth playing through. My only gripe with it is that it can be cleared in around five hours start to finish. There are collectibles hidden away on each level and finding them all does reward you, but it feels like ‘busy work’ to add a bit of padding.
Multiplayer has five different game modes: Blast, Strike, Heroes Vs Villains, Starfighter Assault and Galactic Assault:
- Blast is your standard Team Deathmatch with 20 players total going head-to-head on a variety of the smaller maps. It’s a good way to get used to the mechanics of multiplayer.
- Strike is a team-based objective game with up-to 16 players, and on this mode, you’re given objectives to accomplish while the other team tries to stop you. Again, the maps aren’t really big ones to keep the flow of the game going.
- Heroes Vs Villains puts a team of 4 heroes from the Empire & Resistance against each other, with characters like Luke, Yoda, Lando, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Bobba Fett etc all going head-to-head. scoring on this mode is taking out a marked player before your marked player is taken down. It’s a fun mode as all heroes have specific powers to use and the maps are quite contained to keep things on point.
- Starfighter Assault sees up-to 24 players battling in space in the various ships like Tie Fighters and X Wing Fighters, and like Strike, you are given an objective where you will be attacking or defending. It is a decent addition if you like the space combat that was introduced in the first game and are familiar with flight from the Battlefield series.
- Galactic Assault is the 40-player objective based scenario, and this mode again sees you attacking or defending. The way it works is if you are defending and you fail on first part, then you fall back and try and defend another section, and then again a third time if you fail… it is like a huge tug of war!
With the multiplayer I have mixed feelings. You get a lot of people camping, spamming grenades (much like Battlefield 1) and sniping from a distance. I have found I enjoy playing third-person over first-person and feel it captures the Star Wars feel better. I love it when a team works well together, while at other times, I absolutely hate it as I keep getting killed after spawning with high level players picking off new players.
Now the elephant in the room here and it does need bringing up: Loot boxes. NEWSFLASH! If you don’t agree with them, as Dreamcast Guy in the video below who was happy when they were cancelled for this game, then don’t buy them with real world money. You earn credits in-game which allows you to buy them. Another thing that needs mentioning, with regards to loot boxes, is that Call of Duty: Black Ops III had them two years ago, as does the new CoD game this year, but I don’t see anyone complaining about those so why pick on Battlefront II?
Another thing that people seem to be forgetting is there is no Season Pass. Much like last year’s superb Titanfall 2, all future content will be free. I logged onto the game today and have picked a faction to side with, which runs until the launch of The Last Jedi and then there will be content from the new movie added free.
You can’t beat something down and then NOT mention a positive. Yeah, there are faults but EA and Dice are rectifying them to create the best experience for their users. I wonder if Activision would remove the real world money loot boxes from the CoD franchise after complaints from the community?
Star Wars Battlefront II is a decent game. I feel it isn’t quite as good as the prior games (inc. the original Battlefront 2, which has online again, after many years). It has a decent campaign and no season pass, which is great as the season pass split the community up into groups depending on what you owned on the first game. The multiplayer does have a few issues but they are slowly getting fixed. There is an amazing game crying to get out and only a matter of time will repair it and hopefully get it the credit it deserves.
I would say it is worth investing in now alongside the excellent Destiny 2.
Also check out my Facebook album full of screenshots from this game!
- Developer: Dice
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Players: Single player, co-op and multiplayer
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!