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Does Battlefront 2 Still Suck?

VO: Andrew Labelle WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now a little over a year old. A lot of people dropped this game after only a few hours, or outright dismissed it. There were a lot of serious issues with the game at launch but has it improved to the point where it is worth your time? Here is our one year review of Battlefront II.
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Does Battlefront II Still Suck?



It’s been one year since loot boxes were exposed as the predatory features they can be. It’s been on year since the public made its stance on pay-to-win mechanics. It’s been one year since the disastrous launch of “Star Wars Battlefront II”. What was supposed to be an apology for the lackluster “Battlefront” reboot in 2015 became one of the biggest controversies in gaming history for its unbearable grinding, disappointing story mode, and, of course, it's manipulative pay-to-win system surrounded by loot boxes. Whereas most players have up and left, I had the morbid curiosity of reinstalling the game to see how much has changed since “Battlefront II” initial launch. Here’s what I found...



Upon booting up the game, players will find that “Battlefront II’s” main menu has drastically changed. Whether it is better or worse is up to you. The original game set the main menu in what appears to be the landing area of a space station, and character models and objects would be shown in a grainy, blue hologram, just like in the movies. The newest version of the game ditches the landing area and looks like it’s in the hallway of the Death Star. Characters and objects now appear in incredible detail and render fairly quickly. You can even move the camera to observe all of the little details on characters. The same applies to the respawn menu.



Speaking of which, respawning in battles is significantly different this time around. Before, you chose what unit you’d want to spawn as, and you’d jump back into the fight on one end of the battlefield. DICE has added a new element that allows you to choose your respawns more carefully. You can opt to spawn behind one of three teammates. This adds another element of strategy as you’ll have to figure out whether spawning next to a teammate is more beneficial than spawning in the default area. You might find someone about to enter an intense firefight, or maybe there’s a teammate shooting for an objective, but is alone. On paper, it sounds like a minor addition, but it actually changes up how you might approach an objective.



What about Hero & Villain characters? While DICE and EA haven’t done much to shake-up Hero & Villain characters, it’s worth mentioning that there’s no longer any “pride & accomplishment” BS. Every player has almost every character. The only exception is Lando’s version of the Millenium Falcon, which requires 35,000 credits to unlock. However, it’s hard to complain about this when there’s already two other versions of the Millenium Falcon to pilot. Also, DICE is hard at work to include more and more Heroes and Villains. Finn and Captain Phasma joined the roster when “The Last Jedi” hit theaters. More recently, General Grievous joined the fray and is a riot to play with, and Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku are planned for release in the future.


One of the most damning flaws of “Battlefront II” was in its poorly designed Star Card system. Certain combinations of Star Cards and their top tier versions made the game feel unfair, especially when lower-level players could buy enough loot boxes to acquire these early on. This is no longer the case, as Star Cards aren’t a part of loot boxes anymore. Instead, they’re built around a legitimate progression system. As you continue playing matches, you’ll earn XP for the units you play as in every match. Ranking up a unit will earn you a Skill Point, which can be used to upgrade a Star Card by 1 level. However, the different grades of Star Cards also require a specific unit level in order to upgrade. You can’t save up on Skill Points and upgrade a single card in one go. You’ll need to rank a unit up to Level 35 if you want to hit the top tier version of a Star Card. This encourages you to try out some of the other Star Cards and upgrade those while you save up Skill Points for others. In other words, “Battlefront II” is now a video game!



“Battlefront II” also boasts a few new game modes. While these are much smaller in comparison to Galactic Assault and Starfighter Assault, they offer up a less overwhelming experience and quicker matches. However, the only one worth talking about is Ewok Hunt. This is a limited time game mode that has recently been made permanent, and delivers a pretty engaging experience. One or two players are Ewoks while everybody else are Stormtroopers awaiting their extraction. If an Ewok manages to eliminate a Stormtrooper, the eliminated player becomes an Ewok. The game ends when all players have become Ewoks or if the Stormtroopers manage to survive long enough for extraction. Oh, and the whole match takes place in the dark, with both teams having limited visibility. So, tensions might be high!



And now we get to the bad bits of “Battlefront II”. For starters, we found a number of bugs have still gone unresolved. Tell me, how can the game acknowledge I’ve completed twenty-six Multiplayer challenges, yet still tell me I’ve only completed twenty-five? On top of that, there are some occasional character model freak outs, like Chewbacca having a bad hair day or a Stormtrooper rapidly wiggling his elbows.



Weapons are still a pain in the ass to unlock, too. The milestones to unlock weapons and their respective mod parts are too big! An average player would have to play a few hours day just to unlock these in a reasonable amount of time. Why do I have to get 400 eliminations just to have this one weapon when I’ll have to unlock the modifications as well? What if I get this weapon and hate it? I’ll feel like I wasted all that time hoping for something good and ended up getting garbage! They should have just unlocked these at the start or brought back the Jabba challenges.



While we’re on the subject of earning content, loot boxes now give players credits and, on occasion, crafting parts that can be turned into a free Skill Point. However, loot boxes are primarily used for nabbing cosmetics like emotes and alternate costumes. It sounds like a good deal until you see just how many outfits each unit has...which is not many. Units feel like the biggest rip-off as costumes where your unit is a different species cost significantly more than unlocking average-looking soldier number two. Why would I waste 20,000 credits on a mere head? Why would I waste credits on another skin that doesn’t look any cooler than the default? Getting alternate outfits should be exciting, but the minimal wardrobe leaves much to be desired.



This may sound nitpicky to some people, but its too glaring of an issue for us to ignore. “Battlefront II’s” game size has increased dramatically in the past year. At launch, the game was only about 60GB, which is average for a AAA game such as this. Now...it’s 91GB!! I played this on a standard 500GB PlayStation 4, which means this game is taking up nearly TWENTY PERCENT of my storage space! The game size has increased by at least 30GB, and what makes this worse is that there aren’t too many significant additions to the game where this feels justified. Granted, we’ve never developed a game ourselves, but is there any way to compress some files? There are other games on our systems that we’d like to have access to.



Does “Battlefront II” still suck? We’ll admit that there’s a few reasons to give the game another go, but there’s enough here for some of us to not come back. It’s a game that takes up WAY too much storage space, still has some of the same bugs from launch day, and still forces players through a grind for certain unlockables. And it really doesn’t help that it has taken a year to get the game where it is now. In the end, “Battlefront II” is at the mercy of the user. If you’re having a good time and don’t mind the issues we’ve highlighted, then great. Unfortunately, we’re still sour towards “Battlefront II”, and that’s ignoring the controversy from last year.
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