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Star Wars: Battlefront II (X-box1 Review)

It wasn’t too long ago, or in a Galaxy far, far away that there were two fantastic Star Wars Battlefront games. These were released on Xbox and PS2 consoles and still actually hold up really well today, other than graphically. Much better than this release, which is undeserving of the Star Wars name in so many ways. I’ll even put it out there I could actually take or leave Star Wars, too. I’ve seen them all, none of them are awful, but consider this as completely impartial to the source material. I do understand the relevance of the series, and the fans deserve better.

The first Star Wars Battlefront game by DICE and EA came out a couple of years ago. Despite there being massive amounts of hype and excitement, this died down for a lot of people when it was established as a multiplayer only game. With no campaign, it felt like a very overwhelming release for people who don’t enjoy PvP releases. That was fixed in this release as the biggest, most notable change was the addition of a single player campaign, to appease those that don’t play so well with others. Unfortunately, the campaign is easily completable in around 5 hours of play, making it much shorter than it’s contemporaries. It’s a decent enough story, with you taking on the role of Imperial Commander Iden Versio during events between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens. In the canon of the series, it’s a nice area for the more casual fans to explore, especially for those of us who don’t know much outside of what we’re told on the big screen. A few familiar faces pop up for some decent fan service, although it does seem to end in a way fitting of adding some story mode DLC at a later date.

The gameplay itself at this point is relatively uninspiring. You have the choice between first and third person view, an option unfortunately lacking in the other game modes. When you’re a named character, you’re locked behind them in third person to justify the difference. It does make the lightsaber wielding characters somewhat easier to control, but using blaster based characters is something of a chore. Thankfully, when you’re able to use Starfighters in multiplayer mode, they do control extremely well. Every craft is different and requires different skills to pilot, which adds a great amount of re-playability to the Starfighter Assault mode and acts as a breath of fresh air compared to the “boots on the ground” grind of the usual Galactic Assault mode. It’s these battles where I felt most part of the Star Wars Universe, as there’s a genuine thrill rattling around some of the maps, which suddenly changes to gut-wrenching terror as you realise one of your opponents has unlocked the Millennium Falcon.

This leads me on to what a lot of you may have heard is wrong with the game, the progression and unlocking of vehicles and characters. In the multiplayer maps, you earn points within the level through kills and playing well. This allows you to unlock a special vehicle or character within the maps for a short time. It’s nice to be able to have a shot of these characters, but the ability to play with them is capped behind an extremely convoluted and confusing system of loot boxes, “star cards” and of course, now famously, micro-transactions. If this worked on a free-to-play model, this could be forgiven, but for a full priced AAA release, there’s a scandalous system in place here, which is never fully explained and will either take a ridiculous amount of time or real money to unlock everything in the game for full access. Despite EA now having “lowered” the cost of in-game credit required for fan-favourites Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker, what has been ignored is the fact they’ve also lowered the amount of in-game credit you actually receive. At time of writing, it’s approximated that it will cost around $2000 of loot box transactions, or 4500+ hours of grinding to unlock everything the game has to offer. That’s 3 years of 4 hours of daily play.

In spite of this level of greed, it would be more acceptable if Battlefront 2 was fun to play, or even beautiful to look at, but it doesn’t quite manage to achieve either. The cut scenes are not what I’d expect from a 4K enhanced title, playing on an Xbox One X, although the levels are nicely designed and the attention to detail for a fan is great, with the worlds, ship interiors and characters all looking decent during gameplay. The gunplay is lacking when compared to Destiny 2 or Call of Duty and the times where you’re able to wield a lightsaber are fairly flat. After the campaign, I found the multiplayer very repetitive quite quickly so I’d really struggle to see how I would get further than 10/15 hours with the game. Considering how much time and money EA and DICE want from everyone that plays Battlefront 2 I’m amazed at how flat the whole experience feels. When you look at the games that have arguably done the same loot crate model better, this has been an absolute PR mess for the publishers especially. There’s very little done well here and given the mess of a progression system and rather underwhelming gameplay, I just feel sorry for the huge Star Wars fans who have to wait even longer still for a game deserving of their beloved franchise


Battlefront 2 Review 2017 Version:

The new Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a action packed shooter video game based off of the movies.  This is the forth installment of the seventh overall.  This game is developed by EA DICE, Criterion Games, Motive Studios and Ultimately published by Electronic Arts. It's release is for the PS4, Xbox One and Windows.  It features a single player mode, customizable character mode and the content is based on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi movies.  The game also has vehicles and locations from the original Star Wars Movie trilogies.  The roster in the game incudes Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Rey, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Boba Fett, Bossk, Iden Versio, Darth Maul and Kylo Ren.

Star Wars: Battlefront II Preview by Vernon Villanueva for videogamebroadcasts.com
Last month EA released the new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II. The trailer was amazing showing some action packed scenes as well as top notch visuals from the in-game engine. The first Battlefront, which came out in 2015, was met with mixed reviews. Most gamers, including myself, felt like the game was released only half finished, while the other half had to purchased as DLC content. Even after all the DLC stuff, the game still felt like it was missing something that I could not Force Sense. Perhaps this new game could have all those missing ingredients. The centerpiece of the new trailer is the single player campaign, which focuses on an Imperial TIE Fighter pilot who swears vengeance against the Rebellion after she sees the second Death Star being destroyed while on the forest moon of Endor. But really, all EA had to do to make people happy about Battlefront 2's single player was to announce that they had one. It was an obvious missing piece in the first Battlefront after they had the option back when the games were made on PS2 and XBOX. The trailer also teases the expanded multiplayer version of the game, with Darth Maul, Kylo Ren and Rey making brief appearances. This would be an upgrade from the original which only had characters from the Original Trilogy to choose from. There also appears to be a greater emphasis on space battle, something that was not included in the first unless you purchased the DLC content. EA has been quoted saying "Our next Star Wars Battlefront will be even bigger, taking players into more locations, and allowing them to play with more heroes and characters across multiple Star Wars eras. There will be new ways to play, including an all-new single player campaign, and much, much, more that we are excited to share with our players in the months ahead" The first game explored most of the key original trilogy locations, and we know that the sequel will explore more material from the new films. At this stage, it's unclear whether Battlefront 2 will explore the prequel trilogy, but maybe the inclusion of Darth Maul in the trailer suggests otherwise. I would welcome the opportunity to explore planets such as Naboo, Coruscant, Kamino or Mustafar. Star Wars: Battlefront II will be released on November 17 2017 and can be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. It is developed by EA DICE alongside Criterion and Motive Studios.

Review from VideoGameBroadcasts.com Team member Battlefront 2 2005 Version:
As you'd expect from a Star Wars game, Battlefront's sound design is great. You'll be treated to John Williams' familiar, award-winning music from the films, and all the sound effects seem to be lifted right out of the movies as well. The voice warnings you get ("we've captured a command point") can get repetitive, but with the excellent music and sound effects, we won't quibble too much about it. The sound definitely captures the spirit of the movies.  Battlefront is available on three different platforms, and these different versions of the game begin to distinguish themselves from one another on the graphics front. The PlayStation 2 version is clearly the weakest of the three, offering blurrier textures and no shadowing on any of the models. In comparison, the Xbox and PC versions offer more vibrant colors and sharper texturing, as well as additional detail on all of the soldier and vehicle models. Overall, the graphics on all three platforms are respectable relative to other shooters on the same platform, and it's fun to see all of the recognizable places and vehicles from the films. Also, frame rates are pretty smooth across the board for the most part, although there can be noticeable hitching from time to time while playing on a full server on Xbox Live.​

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