Star Wars Battlefront 2 is an online action shooter developed by EA DICE in conjunction with Motive Studios and Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. The title was released in November 2017 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.
High expectations before its release
The game was announced in April of that same year, where a beta that started in October was anticipated as a benefit for those who had pre-ordered the adventure. A few days later, it became an open test and a week before its release, it offered a 10-hour trial version for EA Access and Origin Access subscribers. Also, the announcement detailed several changes from its predecessor, oriented to encourage users to play more.
Furthermore, it fed players’ expectations through a novel written by Christie Golden called Inferno Squad. In it, the events of the movie Rogue One are continued and it serves as a prelude for the launch of the game. Besides, on November 10th, free downloadable content containing the characters Finn and Captain Phasma was announced. This was in relation to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was released a month later.
The polemic of the loot boxes
On the other hand, the premiere of the installment was accompanied by a great polemic. As the game began to be played, various benefits could be obtained through the lot boxes that affected the overall experience. Several users, who saw an opportunity in this, used micropayments to buy the boxes and thus gained an unfair advantage against their competitors. Very unhappy with this event, many fans and critics complained to the company. One of the main places to express their anger was Reddit, where EA received approximately 670,000 downvotes, a record for the platform. This culminated in the temporary removal of the loot boxes. They would return a few months later, but with only aesthetic content for their characters.
Due to all the controversy, the game didn’t reach the goal set by Electronic Arts. By December 2017 the release sold 9 million copies, which ended up being a million less than its initial objective. Moreover, the title was the second most sold in November, falling to Call of Duty: WWII.
Multiple game modes with up to 40 players
First of all, the game has a single-player story mode. In this case the player can use several characters from the saga and must fulfill missions based on the movies of the franchise. Secondly, there is also an arcade mode, where the user can choose to play the game offline or in a local cooperative mode.
Despite this, the main focus of the installment is on its online multiplayer. There is a wide variety of modes that constantly rotates according to EA’s decision. They allow up to 40 players in the same game, with a maximum of 24 non-player characters.
Among them is Galactic Assault, where 20 attackers must accomplish an objective and another 20 defenders must prevent them from doing so. In Supremacy, 20 players and 12 NPCs per team must attack and hold different Command Posts to eventually wipe out the enemy ship’s capital. Co-Op Missions is a variation of this mode, but with 4 humans and NPCs against controlled enemies also managed by a virtual intelligence. Next is Heroes vs. Villains, where four heroes must battle four villains in a deathmatch that is won by the first team to achieve 35 kills. Similar to the previous one, Hero Showdown puts a team of two heroes and two villains into a duel, in which the first team to win three rounds is the victor.
Other modes, such as Strike, feature more familiar game structures, like a variation of Capture the Flag. This was later joined by Extraction, which before its merger with the former, players had to accompany a shipment while the opposing team, stop it. Blast is a classic team deathmatch with a goal of 100 points per team. On the other hand, temporary modes were added as Jetpack Cargo, where players fought for a cargo with Jetpacks. Another temporary mode was Ewok Hunt. Here, two characters called Ewoks had to hunt 18 stormtroopers and join them in their squads until there were none left. This was so successful that it became permanent.
Finally, the battles in this game are also carried out with ships. In Starfighter Assault these fight in space, with a group of 12 characters per team supported by 20 controlled by AI. Finally, in Hero Starfighters, four hero ships face off against four other enemies, with a winner being decided when one team finishes them off.
Weapons and characters well known by the fans
Battlefront 2 has a wide range of weapons and skills depending on the character being used. It should be noted that they are not static and will be improved as the player gets more experience, such as damage or range. They vary from the typical lightsaber to the force used by the main heroes and villains. Normal soldiers also receive various firearms, including pulse guns, heavy weapons, and rifles with the characteristic sounds of the saga. Also, different transports with diverse offensive options were added, the already mentioned attack ships or other ground vehicles are one of the many examples that can be found.
The heroes and villains are the main attractions of the installment. The game features a full roster of characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke and Anakin Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, and Rey. On the villain side, there are characters such as the legendary Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Boba Fett, Bossk, Iden Versio, Darth Maul, General Grievous, and Kylo Ren, among others.
A huge amount of maps with superb graphics
In the graphic part, this release uses the Frostbite 3 graphical engine, one of the best made to date. This implementation, also used in titles like Battlefield 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition is reflected in the depth of field, weather realism, and even the constant explosions that occur in every match.
Although the entry has an exorbitant realism, certain creative decisions can be appreciated. These are more implicit than in other titles such as the League Of Legends, which intentionally uses animated colors to appeal to an audience that the Dota couldn’t reach. Among these decisions that affect the player’s feelings about embodying one of the game’s characters, the most notable is the use of color for maps. While there is a wide range of maps, they all share an intentional decrease in brightness and a rise in opacity, avoiding any fluorescent colors. This resource is used to make the soldiers’ lasers and shots take on much more relevance and feel impressive. Also, each map chooses a theme and carries it, so some are dominated by warm colors while others are exclusively covered by cold ones.
Speaking of maps, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has a wide range of them, also reminiscent of the world of cinema. The Death Star II, Naboo, The Mos Eisley Spaceport, The Starkiller base, or the Unknown Regions are only some of the 47 maps distributed in 20 planets that can be found throughout the adventure.
Servers optimized for several installments
EA shares the servers for several of its franchises best known for its online performance, such as Battlefront 2 and FIFA. As a result, the servers are normally very well maintained, and they are usually in constant repair for any inconvenience that may arise. Despite some complaints about latency problems when a server fails, they usually work perfectly.
Among all the available servers, the most prominent in Europe are in Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Stockholm. On the Asian side, they are in Manama, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Bombay, and Dubai. Oceania and Africa have their servers in Sydney and Johannesburg respectively. Finally, more than anything in the United States, America has servers in Portland, Washington DC, Columbus, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, which covers all of Latin America.
After the storm, the updates came better than ever
After the controversy with the Loot Boxes, EA decided to take a much more active and careful approach to downloadable content and patch frequency. In another response to the various complaints generated by it, a patch was released in March 2018 that unlocked all characters and vehicles in the game. Over time, the title has been expanded, with more than 25 free content updates. Although the roster of heroes and villains is larger, the biggest change was in the maps, where in recent years were added more than 30 of them.
The last major update of the game was made on April 29, 2020, where The Battle of Scarif was added for free. Also, in this update the company announced that they would stop adding new content because they fulfilled their goal and they feel that title is now completed. In the same way it was informed that the developers will continue fixing glitches and bugs, reaffirming the experience as much as possible.
In short, despite its controversial entrance to the world of video games, Battlefront 2 is an installation that knew how to listen to criticism and adapt to the market. Today, the creators of the title could have finished it and closed their cycle with it, but its online mode is more relevant than ever. The title has more than 8 million active users per month. Besides, several forums still have to clarify that the controversy of the loot boxes is over, opening the doors to more and more new players.
In conclusion, the game is very entertaining and has high respect for the source material, where the innovative graphics and the inclusion of the classic characters were a major success. Therefore, for both the franchise fan and the casual gamer, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is not only a great game, but it manages to be a wonderful experience.