Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Review – Spoiler Free
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is the latest in the series of Star Wars Battlefront video games from Electronic Arts. The game offers fans of Star Wars a variety of game options, including a campaign, an online mode and also an arcade section. The main attraction of the game, is the ability to play as all of your favourite Star Wars heroes in a variety of battles and scenarios. Gameplay is made up of both ground combat and air combat.
Initially I was quite interested in playing through Star Wars: Battlefront 2. I had seen the trailer for the single player campaign and to be honest with you all, it looked great! Having bought and played through the first Star Wars Battlefront game last year, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t have a campaign and that it was basically just an online game with a few arcade modes. This time around though, it seemed there was something there that I wanted.
The campaign though is only okay though. One issue is that it’s only about 4-6 hours long depending on the difficulty setting you choose.
The tone of the storytelling I found was a little light and it felt to me like a kids game. The narrative is structured in a simplistic way and is quite linear, there’s very little to analyse in it and character development points were all obvious. It seemed to me that this product was more for teens or young teens to enjoy, adults I think might get a bit bored with the campaign, unless they’re just in it for their Star Wars fandom. If you know someone who is 12-16, they’ll likely get a lot of out this and the game might even be a great gift for those of that age group.
In the campaign you will play as Iden Versio, a passionate member of The Empire. You will watch her struggle with the ethics of what she’s doing for The Empire (because it’s evil) and her development as she slowly starts to empathise with the rebel alliance. This all does sound like a great story and actually I was very interested in Iden. At some points it can be a little predictable, but, it was enough.
Where I think the campaign has an issue is when it shifts the story away from Iden so that you can have a chance to play as one of the more iconic characters like Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo or a few others. This change of characters, while fun I do admit, does take the focus away from the core story they were trying to tell with Iden. I want to know Iden, I want to experience her unique journey, but just couldn’t because of the character shift and with a campaign only 4-6 hours long, it meant the experience was a little jarring.
On the other side of it though, the campaign does provide players with a fairly good gameplay experience. Between the land combat levels and the flight levels, there’s a decent variety in there for players to enjoy. The variety of gameplay modes as well as the mix of various characters to play as helps to keep things from being repetitive. I was a big fan of all the flight missions which to me seemed particularly well done. There’s enemy ships for you to shoot down and larger battle cruiser vessels for you to disable.
Another area where the game shines is in the graphics department. I did play the game on a PC on Ultra settings, but was blown away by how good everything looked in all the levels. The lighting, reflections and shadow effects look as good as ever and were far beyond anything I expected to have in a Star Wars game. There’s no doubting that this is the best looking Star Wars game ever made. Both land and flight missions looked beautiful and there was a lot of attention to detail to the variety of characters in the game.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 also contains an arcade mode. These were basically a group of missions where things were land based scenes. You would get to play as a variety of characters in the arcade such as Darth Maul, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Iden Versio and even Yoda. Characters in there were of a much larger variety than you got to play as in the campaign. The Darth Maul level and the Han Solo challenges were my favourites, you can even do one with Chewbacca. I found all of these missions to be a lot of fun, each character was great and I enjoyed every moment of it. Would of been nice to have some variation to the goals instead of just kill everyone every time, but still, blowing stuff up with Chewbacca was rather enjoyable.
Game modes in the arcade have difficulty settings, either easy, medium or hard. But you do have to finish them on the lower setting before you can have a chance at the harder ones. The arcade has two sections in there, either the side of the Rebels or The Empire. I found it took me about 40 minutes for each side to get through all of it on easy, but actually found them to be really difficulty on the hard settings. It seems with missions like the Darth Maul one, they remove your character’s special abilities and this made things really very hard as you only have your light saber, but I found it to be a little frustrating on the hard setting.
The mulitplayer part is a major focus for the game. There’s modes that are team based ground assaults which take place in a variety of nice looking maps. There’s also some space battles with the various flying ships. I again found the flight levels to be a little more fun than the ground assault ones. There’s no competitive mode for online in this game (it’s not Overwatch) and while it’s nice to be in an online team. I found in all my games that people were mostly just going for kills and not really following the objectives much at all. The online section is fun and I guess does stretch out the lifetime value of the game for those who want more Star Wars fun, but for me, I found the campaign and the arcade mode to be satisfying enough.
There’s much hype online about the issues surrounding the micro transactions in the game. I unfortunately or maybe luckily didn’t get exposed to that as they were removed before I had finished playing through the campaign and had a chance to take a look (not that I would buy them anyway). If I had to comment on it though, I hate micro transactions. What’s currently in place with the unlock system in this game though is a little poor. It would just be easier to unlock things as you finish the campaign or do well in the arcade or multiplayer. The loot box unlock system is okay and you get a surprise each time with it, but it’s not necessary in this game and makes it difficult to get the things I want.
The sound effects for the flight scenes were exceptional and were also very good for the ground combat scenes. The game also brings with it a large variety of Star Wars theme music which is used heavily all throughout the game. The sounds were definitely one of the most fun parts of the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 experience.
Overall this is the best looking Star Wars game ever made. The graphics are exceptionally good and the attention to detail on the levels, including textures, shading and lighting effects were some of the best I’ve seen. The music and sound effects help to provide the right atmosphere you would want for a Star Wars game. There’s a variety of iconic characters you can play as in both the arcade mode and the campaign, which I guess provide a great experience for fans. I however would have liked to have a stronger campaign story for Iden Versio who was an interesting character, but had a predictable storyline and got sidelined in the campaign multiple times so we could play as a more iconic character. The arcade mode is a lot of fun though and I had a great time with that, especially playing as Darth Maul and cutting up a bunch of enemies during his level. Multiplayer is okay, depending on if your team follows the objectives or not, but the flight levels are a lot of fun. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is a mixed experience, with a lot of great points in its favour, but a few negatives which keep it from being a truly great game to play. It’s a big improvement on the first title, but still could be much more. I’d be curious to see if they could do better with the third one in the series, should they release one, one day.