Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is a beautifully developed, blaster filled romp through the galaxy that many gamers will enjoy. It improves everything the original did, with more heroes, vehicles, and locations than you can shake a lightsaber at. It even went so far as to add a story mode, which vastly improves on any single-player adventure its predecessor had. Unfortunately, Battlefront 2 has a strangely convoluted progression system that relies on pure luck and excessive money spending. Battlefront 2 is a great experience, but only if you know what is new and how to progress.
Story: That’s right, there is a story mode! The campaign focuses on Commander Iden Versio, the leader of an Imperial special forces team called Inferno Squadron. Iden witnesses the destruction of the Death Star 2 from Endor, and vows to avenge the death of her leader, Emperor Palpatine. Over the course of the next 20 years, Inferno Squadron hunts down the Rebellion on worlds like Naboo, Endor, and Yavin 4, and helps evolve the Empire into the dreaded First Order.
Gameplay: Battlefront is a shooter video game, but not in the traditional sense. You can switch from first person to third with a single button press, which is a feature very few games possess. The basic classes of troops have access to this, but heroes are locked in third person. All classes, and some heroes, can roll to avoid explosions and projectiles, as well. Like most shooters, each team is trying to defeat the other by completing certain objectives and defeating enemies. Doing these actions earns you Battle Points, which can be spent in each match to call in vehicles and heroes. Other than that, Battlefront really doesn’t change EA’s normal formula of multiplayer. Each trooper has a predetermined role, selected from 4 classes. The victor of one on one fights is whoever gets the first shot. Essentially, the game is typical shooter in a Star Wars Universe.
Graphics: Battlefront 2 is an extremely beautiful game, with locations, vehicles, and weapons looking like they were taken straight from the movies. This is because the development team actually got access to all the film props, and scanned them into their Frostbite 3 graphics program. The program is known for creating realistic backgrounds with dynamic lighting. However, Frostbite 3 is 4 years old and is being phased out after Battlefront 2. This means that even though it is visually majestic, it is run on technology that is soon to be obsolete.
Progression: The game has two progression systems, sort of like EA’s other series, Battlefield. First, is your overall account level, which is determined by points earned in matches. This level allows you to craft higher level abilities for your troops. Secondly, is your class level, which is determined by the amount of abilities you can equip on an individual soldier. This level can skyrocket if you buy loot crates with real currency. The higher this level, the more abilities you can equip on your troops. Essentially, this allows players with lots of money to quickly become more powerful. The community of players have expressed enough dislike of this, that EA is temporarily removing the ability to buy crates with physical money. EA plans to rework prices and crate randomness, but purchases will most likely be implemented again.
Game Length: The campaign is short, with only 5-8 hours before the credits roll. However, the online multiplayer can be played for hundreds of hours and still manage to have items to unlock and challenges to complete. The length really varies depending on a player’s skill and interest in online games.
Conclusion: Battlefront 2 makes vast improvements from the original system, with a class based combat and a serious, thought provoking campaign. However, it has issues in the form of complicated progression and pay-to-win features. All of this said, Battlefront 2 has potential to be one of the most popular games EA has had ever made, with free updates and new content promised for years to come.