Star Wars Battlefront II – Initial Impressions

Battlefront 2 isn’t exactly a well-loved EA game, is it?

With a massive (justified) furore surrounding its release and the awful practices with regards to lootboxes and grinding for in-game gear. You could argue notoriety more than anything else.

So, I’ve held off, eventually not really being too fussed about giving it a go. Sure, the fanbase got some major victories and got EA/DICE to change the systems in-game, but it isn’t exactly an appealing way to sell a game to me.

Beyond that, the first (third) Battlefront was fun, but ultimately quite hollow and didn’t quite live-up to the fun of the original games in the series.

Lots of negative press, loads of EA-related drama and a lukewarm initial re-entry for the series. Hardly an enticing prospect.

Still, I’ve kept it in mind, with a view to getting it cheap to have some online fun. Next to nothing in terms of expectations, just looking for a justifiable price to buy it at.

It was £5 in the Xbox Live EA sale last week. I think that makes it “worth a punt”, right? Right.

Quick-take

Admittedly, I’ve not played a great deal (hence the “initial impressions”), but I had to get something up about it as soon as I could, because within 30 minutes of playing I’ve found myself really excited about this game.

Battlefront is a series known for big battles, set in the Star Wars universe. Sometime re-creating famous scenes in the movies, and letting you play as storm troopers, rebel troops, Jedi masters etc etc.

Big chaos, loads of fun and great minute to minute action.

So, to start the “campaign” I was expecting a similar set-up to the first next-gen Battlefront. Essentially tutorials on how to use the mechanics.

How wrong was I? There’s an actual campaign, with cinematics, a story and main characters. Damn! I had no idea.

As it stands, I’m working my way through this story and really enjoying it. Having no expectations obviously helped, but this is actually pretty decent.

I’ve not committed any time to the online portion yet, but if the standard set by the campaign is anything to go by, I might actually be in for a treat. Particularly with all of the positivity surrounding the Starfighter Assault mode.

The excellent visuals, the familiar sounds of the Star Wars universe, and some actual story being told? What a treat.

Perhaps, under the scummy cash-grab mechanics of loot boxes and micro transactions, there’s a half-decent game to be had here! Who knew, eh? It certainly looks to me like EA/DICE have been working hard to make Battlefront 2 more than it was at release.


Next steps

I’ll be reading-up on the reviews surround the release, to see if everything was just overshadowed by the drama. Or to see if, perhaps, Battlefront 2, well over a year after initial release, has been updated and polished to a solid state, now.

All I know so far, is that there’s more substance here than there was in the first Battlefront (third), so far. Let’s see what else it has to offer.

If I get a decent campaign for a few hours, at the cost of a fiver. I can’t complain. But if it turns out to be short-lived with lacklustre online features, I could absolutely see where the vitriol came from for those that paid full price.

No doubt a lot of people are Battlefront 2 naysayers now, and EA have lost the good faith of many. But if there’s enough of a player base to get match-made into games, then there must be some people that like it, right?

Full review to come in due course, but so far I’m pleasantly surprised, and excited to get stuck-in!

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