Star Wars Battlefront 2: What Happened?


Mazin Chater, Staff Writer

On November 17th, the long awaited release of the sequel to the original Star Wars game was released, opening doors to all gamers eager to play. Even prior to its release, fans were criticizing aspects of the game, prompting developer EA to adapt changes to satisfy consumer demand. Being heavily multiplayer based, some of these changes were crucial to the overall entertainment value.

But how much of an effect did this have on the success of the game and on EA? And how does the game score disregarding these factors? Let’s take a closer look.

The single player campaign for Battlefront 2 does not disappoint. Taking on the role of Iden Versio, a Galactic Empire soldier, the story quickly unfolds delivering an exciting first mission of escape in Rebel territory. Inferno Squad, the group Iden leads, also consists of Gideon Hask and Del Meeko, working in close correspondence to defeat the Rebel Alliance.

After a few opening missions comprised of an unconventional perspective on the Galactic Empire after Emperor Palpatine’s death, several plot twists alter the perceived path, creating a thrilling sense of desire to continue through the missions. Perhaps the most fun, however, was playing as Star Wars legends such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, while simultaneously advancing the plot for the audience. Except for a few, minor exceptions, nearly every mission was superb and contained a considerable amount of entertaining content.

Without revealing spoilers, I will attest to the grand ending that sealed many of the plot holes and unanswered questions, giving the player great satisfaction after completing the game. Personally, I can genuinely substantiate that the campaign was an entertaining, impressive showcase of a Star Wars movie demonstrated in video-game form.

Unfortunately, many hardcore fans were disappointed at certain, distinguishable traits of the story, such as overall predictability and its lack of interconnection with the movie franchise. Paul Tassi, a contributor at Forbes, states just this, claiming, “If you care about who Rey’s parents are, I am going to say emphatically that despite some crazy theories, that Battlefront 2 does not answer that question…” Although this is factually consistent, it disregards the true aspect of the storyline and gameplay – characteristically, if asked to judge the game solely on these criteria and not on its unnecessary, overblown relevance to the Star Wars franchise, the majority of critics would concede it was an enjoyable game to play through.

Let’s move forward and look at the primary facet of the Battlefront 2 release: multiplayer. For context, fans were exceedingly critical of developer EA even prior to the game’s release, prompting patches to fix conceived flaws. Such flaws consisted of dramatically high costs to purchase certain heroes, such as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker to use in online matches.

Although these costs were, in large part, absurd in the sense that one player would have to play in excess of 40 hours to earn them, (there actually were fans who protested by creating a Reddit spreadsheet analyzing this time) this shouldn’t take away from the overall entertainment value of the game.

In a similar act of rebellion, many reactive fans criticized the leveling system, compelling developer EA once more to enact reforms. The temporary removal of micro-transactions (virtual points used to unlock rewards purchased with real world currency) aided in repressing some of this discontent, but not before the community went to the reviews to express their dissatisfaction. On Metacritic, the user review doesn’t even reach a full number on the 1-10 scale, closing in at 0.9% based on over 6,800 reviews.

Even more, many fans jumped on the assault by claiming the use of micro-transactions was essentially gambling. Since Battlefront 2’s virtual currency would be used to purchase crates that contained unpredictable rewards, backlash towards this immoral practice was overwhelmingly supported amongst the audience.

On Twitter, thousands of fans tweeted with the hashtag, #DisneyGambling alongside memes insinuating Disney’s approval of gambling to children. Belgium’s gambling authorities even began investigating the alleged marketing strategies, creating an unusual legality question.

This overall attack on the developer has more of an effect than you’d might think: a recent CNBC report demonstrated just how damaging fan action was, causing over $3 billion in EA’s stock value to diminish.

What’s really surprising here is that Battlefront 2, in no way, is the mediocre game many sought to portray it as. The multiplayer – although player advancement and micro-transactions are certainly an issue – is actually pretty enjoyable and provides great level of entertainment to the player. Many of the upgrades are fulfilling to achieve, focusing frequently on skill and challenges.

In most other aspects, such as maps, classes, heroes, and game modes, Battlefront 2 excels in providing a rich field of excitement and entertaining the masses. Nearly all the maps consist of brilliant layout, and graphically speaking, they’re visually stunning.

While the game does have its flaws, it surely isn’t a complete bust. Sadly, the majority of hardcore fans were excessively critical in this sense, promoting a misleading representation of Battlefront 2’s true content. Disregard the overblown hysteria surrounding the game, and you might just enjoy playing in the Star Wars universe.