[Editor’s note: The final review is already published. Click here]
Commander DICE, the time has come. Execute order: loot crates. In the recent events, microtransactions and loot boxes have become a huge controversy in the industry. People are talking about how they hate game publishers exploiting every inch of the game’s feature to milk everyone, especially with games like Star Wars Battlefront II.
With the Loot Crate system as one of the most heated discussions over the beta, and as well as the recent update from Kotaku about how players will have to work their ass off to unlock Darth Vader without microtransactions, everyone exploded! Just like the fate of the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi, it went boom after the microtransaction-torpedo hit the core.
So, the question now stands: is Star Wars Battlefront II worth it despite the issues with its “pay-to-win” tag plastered all over the game? Well, it’s hard to say at the moment actually as the multiplayer is still a ghost town until the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition buyers get their hands on the game later (or tomorrow in Eastern Standard Time).
Nevertheless, if you want to know if the newly added campaign was great, then read on to find out.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: DICE, MOTIVE, Criterion
Release Date: November 17, 2017
This Review-in-Progress is based on a Deluxe Edition pre-release code provided by Electronic Arts.
Going through the single-player campaign, it immediately opened with Iden Versio, the leader of the elite Imperial Inferno Squad, being captured by Rebel forces. The time is set in Return of the Jedi with the Battle of Endor. While Iden was interrogated, what I immediately noticed though was that the Rebels were rather villainous unlike what we have seen in the movies. It felt more that the Imperials were the good guys while Rebels were the bad dudes who want to overthrow the Imperial government. It was a nice change of perspective, seeing Rebels from the eyes of an Imperial soldier. I love it. And the direction of its plot is strong and unexpected, it tells the tale of an elite squad finding their purpose in the galaxy. It’s a Star Wars grade story, a formula that every Star Wars fan knows just like myself.
As I have gone through the campaign in Normal difficulty, struggles were present in certain missions. There will be times when you get outnumbered and you have to run from one cover to another. Even if you have the squad to back you up, it’s still no guarantee that you will survive if it gets to a point that you’re cornered. But what appealed to me dearly in the campaign aside from its strong narrative is its semi-linear experience. Yes, as others might have suspected a 100% linear approach, the single-player experience is not totally linear.
You will be placed in specific situations where you can take full advantage of stealth. As you strangle enemies along your way, successfully completing a mission without firing your blaster can give you that sense of accomplishment. You then get a chance to play other heroes aside from Iden Versio, especially from the opposing team. Don’t expect that you’ll be walking in your TIE Fighter Pilot suit throughout the game as it surprises you in ways that you might not expect.
However, there is one aspect in the campaign that certainly disappointed me – the repetitiveness of its objectives. While the objectives might look like they are executed differently, all of them are literally the same. You kill baddies, you defend a character who is either slicing terminals or hacking control panels, eliminate hostiles within the area… then repeat. There is not much variety when it comes to gameplay which is rather disheartening. Even if there were stages where the pacing begins to slow down to give you that breather, it still feels lacking in every aspect. The battles are great, sure, the space and sky dogfights are impressive, yes, but it unfortunately lacks that variety.
With Star Wars Battlefront II taking advantage of DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, it’s still the best looking Star Wars game. However, there isn’t much of an improvement if you compare it closely to the first Star Wars Battlefront. After all, Battlefront II looks and sounds as the ultimate Star Wars gaming experience.
The campaign alone is, sadly, difficult to recommend. Even if I got hooked with Star Wars Battlefront II’s plot, the shortcoming of its gameplay diversity in the campaign is utterly a setback. While I have yet to experience and play Star Wars Battlefront II’s multiplayer and its loot crate system, although the disadvantage is evident, it is still better to keep my judgement at bay until I get experience it firsthand. Don’t let the hate flow through us, it is not the Jedi way.
The score I gave Star Wars Battlefront II is temporary and this will change depending on how the multiplayer experience turns out.