Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
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|Star Wars Battlefront II|
NOTE: Most of the issues were fixed in the Rise of Skywalker update, but some of them still persist. This mainly applies to pre-2019 versions.
- EA promised to give players what the first Battlefront didn't do: have content from the prequel trilogy and no season passes or paid DLC. While they did do the former, it sadly led to the game being pay to win (more on that with BQ #4).
- False advertising: The story, according to trailers and developers, was to be centered around an Imperial Special Ops squad, but three missions into the campaign (not counting the prologue), you and your allies predictably defect to the Rebellion after being betrayed by the Galactic Empire.
- The story is flawed in that characters usually only talk about what is happening rather than why it is happening or how they feel about it. It's also just an obvious afterthought, lasting anywhere from four to six hours as it was clearly only put there due to the backlash the first game received for not having it.
- Not to mention, the AI of your campaign companions is rather poor which can make it a pain to get through.
- The collectibles you find are pointless, doing nothing more than giving bonus credits. And you have to find all collectibles in a chapter to even get anything.
- All of this was just for EA to put more focus on a particular aspect to the game's multiplayer component...
- Microtransactions and Loot boxes. The entire game was designed around abusing loot boxes as much as possible to the point that they nearly ruined it entirely. It’s no wonder that it’s called the poster child of AAA pay-to-win games:
- All multiplayer progression was focused on them. You could only get Star Cards via loot boxes, and since the loot boxes costed real money, the game was the very definition of Pay-To-Win and gambling in games.
- Making things worse is that instead of having one universal kind of loot box, there were three different kinds of boxes. One for standard classes (Trooper, and the most expensive one), one for ships (Starfighter), and one for Heroes.
- Whenever you die the killcam shows you the Star Cards the other player had. This encouraged players to buy more loot boxes.
- Without using them, it would have originally taken roughly 40 hours to grind enough credits to unlock each of the two most expensive Heroes (the cost of all Heroes was reduced by about 75% after massive backlash: more tellingly, it was also found to have been reduced by this amount in review copies of the game). Even worse, those two heroes were Luke and Darth Vader, the most iconic characters from the franchise.
- Even after the massive amounts of backlash that led to Disney forcing EA to disable microtransactions, they still won't remove loot boxes, and claimed that microtransactions will return at a future date.
- Micro-transactions made a return in April, usable strictly to let players buy cosmetic items. These items are also purchasable with in-game credits.
- And to make things even worse, there were calls to regulate video game loot boxes over gambling concerns following the controversy surrounding them in this game.
- This system limited game design, since a player could not pick up another player's kit or steal another player's vehicle, and the system could not handle multi-seat vehicles, so there weren't any.
- EA even put a daily cap on the number of credits earned in Arcade mode! You could only earn 1,500 credits daily from Arcade mode, and you'd have to wait 24 hours before you could start earning more!
- With the micro-transactions gone, the game was a painful grindfest due to the loot boxes still being in place, proving that the game indeed was specifically designed with pay-to-win loot boxes in mind.
- Buying the Digital Deluxe Edition gives players a notable headstart in multiplayer, giving them Star Cards and weapons.
- The only way to unlock new and better weapons for the four main classes is to gain kills. However, if you are a newcomer there is a great chance that you will have a hard time doing so since you will most probably repeatedly die to people who have already unlocked said weapons and have better Star Cards. This is especially an issue for the Specialist (Sniper) class given that the starting weapon is rather weak, needing multiple headshots to kill. For example, the best sniper rifle in the game requires 400 kills as a Specialist to unlock.
- To add some salt to the wound, the starting weapons cannot be modified in any way, giving them an even bigger disadvantage.
- Style over Substance: Just like its predecessor, it relies on pretty graphics but little more than that.
- Shooting can feel clunky at times.
- Long loading times, much like its predecessor.
- Lightsaber combat is now a series of clunky lunging animations rather than fluid swings.
- Villainy Over Heroic Faction Advantage: Supremacy mode has easier critical system targets (the final phase of the Capital Ship assault) for the Galactic Republic's Reactor Cores (Age of the Republic/prequel maps) and Resistance's Centrifuge Unit (Age of Resistance/sequel maps) than the Separatists's Cooling Vents and First Order's Hyperdrive Generator targets. As long the attacking Villainy team pushed over during the match, no way the Heroic team can defend these weak angled targets.
- Content from the prequel trilogy feels almost like an afterthought, having only three maps and two heroes (updates have added more heroes and maps).
- Limited offline gameplay. Skirmish mode was not included for some reason, and the only modes available are basic battles.
- Skirmish mode was announced to be returning in an update, under the name Instant Action (a mode that was in the Paradox-developed games from the mid-2000s).
- Frequent glitches.
- Even though the game is no longer pay-to-win due to the new progression system, the Star Cards are still completely broken and still give an unfair advantage to players with better cards. Matchmaking is also horrendous, as new players, rather than being put into servers with other new players, are put in whatever server is available and are, more often than not, cannon fodder for more experienced players with better Star Cards.
- The writing team behind the game was a complete mess. One of the writers - Mitch Dyer, openly admitted on Twitter that Anita Sarkeesian is his hero and that "he can't think of many people he admires and respects more". And his co-writer - Walt Williams, a man who lied about being the "lead writer" for Spec Ops: The Line even though this was his job title at 2K games, not on the project, and only rewrote the script that had already been written by Richard Pearsey (and then unsuccessfully tried to have Pearsey's name taken off the credits) was constantly boasting on Twitter about how much he likes working with Dyer.
- The game looks beautiful, having hefty attention to detail and lots of visual spectacles, thanks again to the power of the Frostbite 3 engine.
- Great sound design. The iconic E-11, for example, still has its sound untouched.
- The voice acting is pretty good, even if the impressions of some classic characters are somewhat weak. Even then, they did get some of the movie actors back (such as Billy Dee Williams as Lando, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett [from the 2004 Special Edition], and Matthew Wood as General Grievous).
- The game has more content at launch than the original one did.
- They got rid of paid DLC, making all future content updates free.
- Because of the scandal that this game got before launch, many countries are banning loot boxes from games, and some game companies even removed loot boxes on their own.
- Starfighter Assault (ship combat) is very fun, and a notable improvement over the original game's aerial/space combat. It helps that this mode was made by a separate developer (Criterion as opposed to DICE), and one who has experience with vehicular combat games (the Burnout series), to boot.
- While the damage has been done (and it doesn't excuse games to be released empty at launch) the game has been improved a lot lately. One improvement made was the addition of a singleplayer Instant Action mode that tasks the player with capturing and holding command posts, just like the 2004 Battlefront.
- The Rise of Skywalker update, even though the film is very bad, it redeemed the game and saved the player base from the game’s death.
- The game uses the original characterization of Luke Skywalker instead of the Sequel Trilogy.
Initially, Battlefront II was highly anticipated as EA claimed that it would be an "apology" for the first Battlefront game and would solve its flaws, such as having more content as well as free updates. However, when Early Access began players quickly realized the greedy methods EA had implemented to force people to buy loot boxes that were directly tied to player progression and essentially made the game the literal definition of pay-to-win in an already $60 game.
This, along with EA's repeated excuses to defend their actions, sparked a massive controversy regarding loot boxes and gambling that has now escalated to multiple governments investigating loot boxes, as well as making EA an even more hated company than what they already were.
Like its predecessor, Battlefront II received mixed reviews from critics, but was unanimously panned by users, reaching a 0.4/10 score on Metacritic, primarily as a result of review bombing due to the game's microtransaction system. It stood as EA's lowest user-rated game on the website (before being surpassed by Madden NFL 21).
EA's greed got so bad, Disney had to jump in and force them to temporarily disable microtransactions to prevent Star Wars from getting a bad reputation since The Last Jedi is coming out in a few weeks. As stated above, EA claimed they will restore microtransactions after making changes to the game. So far, the changes they have made have been incredibly minor and none do anything to fix the loot box problem.
Because of EA's focus on loot boxes, several governments are in discussion about whether loot boxes are gambling or not. Belgium is the first country so far as to see them as gambling, and they want it banned in Europe. The state of Hawaii followed shortly after.
Popular YouTuber MatPat of Game Theory fame was going to have a Star Wars theory video sponsored by EA, but due to their massive greed, he refused the sponsorship.
The game has been reported to have sold terribly even during Black Friday and the player base is dropping very quickly.
The backlash was so bad that a petition was made to have Disney take away the Star Wars license from EA. In 2020, EA lost the exclusive license, and future Star Wars games will be made by other developers such as Ubisoft, who has been touting a massive open-world Star Wars game, and Traveller's Tales, who produced LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which spans all nine movies.
- The game reached over 19 million players when the game was free on Epic Games Store.
- In late 2017, a costumer complained about this game on Reddit, asking why Darth Vader was locked despite paying $80 for the premium version of the game, and that review copies had Heroes at a lower cost. It was then revealed that unlocking Heroes would require either random luck or roughly 40 hours of grinding. An EA Community member wrote a poorly written excuse on Reddit, defending the loot box system and grinding hours. The comment has become the most downvoted comment in Reddit's history, with about 667,625 downvotes as of 2020, and the company currently holds the world record for the most downvoted Reddit comment. As a result of this backlash, EA reduced the in-game cost of Heroes by 75% (it was later discovered that EA had sent out review copies of the game with the hero costs reduced by this much), but they also reduced the number of credits received from completing the game's campaign.
- One of the game's DLCs includes the first appearance of Ajan Kloss, a jungle moon that serves of the Resistance's headquarters in The Rise of Skywalker.
Comparisons Between Battlefront II (2005) and Battlefront II (2017)
- Motive Studios developed the single-player campaign and Criterion Games developed the starfighter gameplay and mechanics.