Star Wars Battlefront II Xbox One X Review

Star Wars Battlefront II's predatory microtransaction system drains a lot of the desire to continue playing, creating a new hole for the Star Wars Battlefront series to stumble into.

By Grayshadow, Posted 16 Nov 2017

The first Star Wars Battlefront was supposed to bring this long acclaim and dormant franchise back to life. With DICE, the team behind the notorious Battlefield franchise, leading the development many were hopeful for a densely packed multiplayer adventure and instead were given a mediocre multiplayer game with little content and a $50 season pass. High hopes are set on Star Wars Battlefront II to deliver the game that was promised all those years ago and in a way it does. The increased amount of unlockables, 11 maps, and new single-player campaign are a massive improvement from the previous game. However, the game suffers greatly due to the dishonest microtransaction system that creates an uneven playing field that I would expect from a free-to-play game. 

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The biggest inclusion is the single-player campaign. Like Destiny 2's predecessor the first game already set a low bar for expectations here, or in this case no expectation. Starting strong you take control of Iden Versio, a skilled pilot of the Imperial army, giving the player a dark perspective of what it means to be an Imperial officer.

It serves as an excellent tutorial for newcomers by providing new situations that test your field combat and pilot skills. This could've been a noble tale of a new hero but loses its allure as the campaign reaches the end. Eventually, the story becomes sloppy and predictable as the narrative quickly tries to end. Once I developed all the skills for multiplayer the campaign just ended with very little impact.

Multiplayer has been greatly improved from the first game. Unlike the first game, unlockables are plentiful and maps are brilliantly designed with no advantage given to either side unlike Walker Assault for the Rebels in the first game. Players can choose any class, vehicle, or hero they wish and still make a meaningful contribution to their team without having to locate pickups on the map. With 11 maps ranging from famous locations from the Star Wars universe, each location has its own distinct layout that favors one style over another. During full 40 player battles, things can become incredibly hectic but never overwhelming as the maps have been designed to funnel players into specific locations and give those who need some breathing room the chance to prepare themselves.

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Classes are separated into 4 categories that include Officer, Specialist, Assault, and Heavy. Each provides their skills and talents such as healing for the Officer and the Heavy taking to the front lines as heavily defensive characters. Weapons have also been balanced to ensure players have a leveling playing field regardless of what class they choose.

The pickup system has been replaced with Battle Points. This allows players to earn in-battle equipment by playing the game and at end of each life can trade them in for vehicles, equipment, and heroes without having to rely solely on luck. Heroes don't earn Battle Points, serving as the ultimate reward for players. This is a great new system because now players can actively earn new equipment and unlocks without having to search the field for pickups.

There are 11 heroes to choose from ranging from iconic characters like Darth Vader to newcomers like Rey. Each one has their own unique talents and skills that can help shift the battle in their favor. When used these hero classes can easily dominate opposing teams but are not unstoppable, a well-coordinated team can take advantage of each hero's weaknesses such as Luke Skywalker's lack of range.

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6 modes are available here that provide a lot of variety. Strike has 2 teams of 8 completing objectives, Blast focuses on close-quarter combat, Heroes versus Villains are 4v4 duels with heroes and villains, Arcade is horde mode, Starfighter Assault brings spaceship battles, and finally the biggest mode has teams of 20 facing off in one large battle. Each one has something to offer for anyone seeking tactical fights or large-scale chaos.

Star Cards have returned but have been altered for the better. Unlike the previous game, where they were linked to your abilities, here they modify existing talents. This can include a boost to earning Battle Points to increased explosive damage. It creates a necessary desire to get the most powerful Star Cards since they play a massive role in your performance and that where the microtransaction system comes in.

Star Wars Battlefront II had a lot of potential of becoming one of the great games this year, then you realized that a lot of the progression is locked behind a paywall. In-game currency is provided at a vexingly slow rate. Even after the updated reduction to earn new Heroes extensive grinding is needed to unlock even Star Cards. Even after a day worth of playing I only earned a handful of crates that included unwanted things such as emotes, victory poses, and frequently either items I already had or things for heroes I did not unlock. Considering that Star Cards alone is a rarity and can bolster one's performance creates a gate between players who choose to grind and those who pay, something that you would find in a free-to-play game but its here in a $60 game. EA has stated that all future content will be free but seeing that Titanfall 2 also provided the same without a similar microtransaction system provides more reason to be frustrated with how it's executed.

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It's unsettling, the first Star Wars Battlefront launched with a myriad of criticisms and while they're mostly solved here the microtransaction system strips away the urge to earn new items. I was excited to start playing on the huge maps, earning different items on my way through the ranks, and customizing my characters until I realized that someone else could just pay their way through the grinding. The predatory microtransaction system drains a lot of the desire to continue playing, creating a new hole for the Star Wars Battlefront series to stumble into.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): EA Dice, Criterion Software, Motive Studios
Genres: Action Adventure, Action Shooter, Sci-Fi
Themes: First-Person Shooter, Third-Person Shooter
Release Date:

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