This isn’t the multiplayer game you’ve been looking for.
I really cannot restate enough how disappointing Star Wars Battlefront II was to me. I knew based on all of the feedback from the beta and the pre-release reviews that it wasn’t going to be great. But I specifically wanted to give DICE and/or EA the benefit of the doubt and see if it really was just as bad as everyone said it was. So I played it. And… it was worse than I even imagined.
Many people would come to the website and think we are trying to be edgy with the score we gave to this game. Not quite. While the language I personally used was lost bashing, it was a very inspired brand of bashing to say the least. After hearing so many negative comments and so many negative reviews (AKA 6/10s, the mainstream games journalism equivalent of “bad”), I went in with rather low expectations, and not even those were met.
I stand strong in everything I said and don’t think I was being harsh. To shortly reiterate the review, I found that story was particularly abysmal in its stupidity. The audio was a snorefest of generic music with lazer noises and bad soundalikes. The gameplay really wasn’t all that fun with its needlessly confusing starcard system. And then the loot box fiasco was just the icing on the cake. Fun fact, Ubisoft recentaly globally rolled back all their scheduled 2018 releases and I have a slight suspicion that they intended to implement loot boxes but are now backpedalling. I have no proof of this, just merely a speculation.
So, you may be asking yourself, what’s the point of this article? Are you just here to kick SWBF2 while it’s down? Well, no. This is because it’s not “down” at all since it appears to somehow still be a successful release. But as much as there were many great games this year, there were also 3 major titles that were massive disappointments.
Sonic Forces came out recently and I harped on that being only good for the soundtrack. But would I play that game over playing SWBF2? Yes, this buggy, poorly slapped together mess of a game is still a better and far more entertaining experience, made doubly so because it’s short. And well, that soundtrack, hot damn.
Mass Effect Andromeda was a huge letdown across the board thanks to janky animations, clunky combat, and god awful scripting. But it’s still Mass Effect and as much as I like to joke that SWBF2 was Star Wars game with mass Effect assets, one thing still stands. Andromeda does have substance. By now, Andromeda should also be fairly patched (I hope) to a point where all the multitudes of bugs and glitches have been fixed.
What else was a letdown? Agents of Mayhem, Volitions spiritual successor to Saints Row, was quite mess. It was buggy just like Andromeda, but only half as much. The way the script and character design was made, I genuinely have no idea what audience they had in mind when they made this game, it’s all over the place in tone and script. But after finishing the campaign, I still had stuff to do, and time permitting, I would have done it because even with all the repetition, it was at least playable. A weird design, but playable.
And that’s just 3 examples. I’m not saying that Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the worst game of the year, the game runs ok, the graphics are good, and at its core there’s potential for improvement. This, on the otherhand, is a heavy letdown because it didn’t have good press before it came out, and was even worse for wear on release date. But to all the fans who are angry at the bad reviews, you ire is misdirected. Don’t get mad at the reviewers for giving your bad game a bad review. Refocus your attention on EA and ask why, oh why, did they make the decisions they made for the game. You deserve more and you should be asking for more.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is a sequel to 2015’s remake of the classic Battlefront (2004) series originally released for the sixth console generation. The new Battlefront II was developed by DICE Studios and published by EA Games. Originally, the first iteration of this remake series came into a bit of controversy when it turned out that the core game only had 4 maps and that the rest of the planned map releases would only come with a fifty dollar expansion pass. Obviously, EA have learned their lesson because there is no expansion pass for Battlefront II. It’s all just water under the bridge now, right?
I was always wondering where the missing assets from Mass Effect Andromeda ended up and wouldn’t you know it, Battlefront II had them the whole time, they were just hiding it in the single player campaign. That goes double for Iden Versio who was one N7 decal away from being a Commander Shepard stand-in. But the graphics were all good. Very good in fact, featuring some inclement weather on multiple planets. There are also some lovely high res textures and animations. The ability to switch between third and first person views also augments the experience, letting you play the game as you see fit (unless playing as a hero). The garden world you go to has rich vegetation amongst its vast stone walls, which gives it a really pleasant look. But seriously though, there were several sections of the game that looked suspiciously like they belonged more in the Mass Effect universe than they did in Star Wars, it’s weird.
The plot is so bad I’m going SPOIL IT. Skip this section if you want, but seriously, I’m doing you a favor. So as Iden Versio, you’re in a spec ops unit called Inferno Squad and you start off after the Death Star II explodes. The Empire, licking its wounds, has the perfect plan to recoup its losses. They decide to just launch an all-out attack on a planet that is loyal to the Empire. Yes, the Empire’s great plan to restore order is to destroy one of its own planets with some sub-par miniature super weapon they just had laying around (and only visually appears to cause super bad weather and nothing else). That’ll show them who’s boss, right? So, since Iden Versio actually has a brain, she goes rogue and flees, only to be captured by the rebel alliance. The rebels, executing a great amount of scrutiny, politely ask her if she’s an Imperial spy and after saying no, determine that she’s trustworthy and instantly give her access to pilot a snazzy new X-wing to help out the cause. I mean, no, she wasn’t about to betray the only people willing to help her, but the change from treating her as an enemy to an ally happens in less than a minute of actual game time. What follows after is a series of very poorly veiled excuses to go planet hopping in order to stay one step ahead of the Empire to find some MacGuffin type thing that was so utterly unmemorable that I finished the game no more than a couple of days ago and already don’t even remember what it was. The series ends with an all-out battle between the rebels and Empire within the atmosphere of Jakku, and if you’ve seen The Force Awakens, you know how that will end. At the end, Kylo Ren enters someone’s mind to find yet another MacGuffin, hinting at a possible sequel to the single player story down the line. But please, please don’t do that. Don’t ever make a Star Wars campaign again, DICE. If you’re up for another Mirror’s Edge, that would be stellar, but stay away from Star Wars.
Well, the audio has one thing going for it: at least a few of the blasters sound authentic, as if grabbed directly from the films themselves. But this is outweighed by that bad. Several points of the game have token moments where you get to play as the “Heroes” from the Star Wars canon, and pretty much all of them are piss-poor attempts at sound-alikes with Kylo Ren possibly being the only one that sounds legit. The rest of the voice acting is pretty ham-fisted, which would have been okay had the game not been trying so hard to get you invested into its seriously laughable plot. Anything new doesn’t sound great either. There’s nothing memorable audio-wise about any of the weapons or explosives, and if one were to hear just the audio, the multiplayer matches would be almost indistinguishable from a Battlefield title, save for the pew pew of the laser weapons. The score is more or less a John Williams sound-alike, but just as with the rest of the game, it doesn’t do anything special or unique. It sounds a lot more like the Star Wars music was fed to a robot on punch cards with instructions to do something similar.
You know, when I’m playing a first person shooter and I’m up close enough to punch someone, I expect to land a hit that at least damages the opponent if it doesn’t kill them. What I don’t expect however, is to teleport two meters directly through them as an overly long punch animation unloads and then take an additional second or two for an asthma inhaler dose before I’m allowed to move again. Gameplay during the campaign was just okay even at its absolute best, with almost all of the levels simply being re-purposed multiplayer maps that will yell at you if you go too far in the wrong direction, even if you’re trying to go somewhere to preempt an enemy attack (like seeing a drop ship landing). The enemy AI is basic at best with many NPCs being capable of landing shots or charging you down, but at other times seeming to almost run into your line of sight on purpose. I even experienced an NPC getting stuck and forcing me to hunt him down so an event could progress. As for multiplayer, initial impressions were optimistic at first, until I realized how long it would take me to play with a gun I don’t like just to get an SMG. I didn’t like that, so I tried to stick with playing as an officer with one of the worst weapons in the entire game, but some decent abilities to bolster friendlies with a stat boost and the ability to lay down a turret. But round after round, no progress was being made, as even playing the objective didn’t feel rewarding. We all know why that was a problem…
Now, normally, I like to make it a policy of this site to demerit a point from the score for egregious lootboxing, but even without any lootboxes, player progression is completely ruined. Offering no way to advance without the help of the now in-game-currency-only crates, they still stave off having improved versions over regular abilities, and that’s just not very good design. There’s no sense of progress when you do well and you’ll be stuck for a long time dealing with guns and abilities you aren’t going to like. Not to mention that just getting into the clusterf*ck of a system that the star cards set up is a total mess and a half. Even worse are the loading times. Either jumping into the campaign or trying out a few of the game’s “arcade” scenarios takes close to a minute, if not more. Which is a shame, too, because the arcade challenges are little more than just uninteresting bot matches. The lag was also incredible, as in “I can’t believe a game with a budget this size has this much lag!” Upon re-reading this review, I realized I forgot to mention the air combat. It sucks. Nothing else to say on that, I’ve played many other games with air combat and the amount of times it was forced into the single player campaign and how utterly useless it is in multiplayer is astonishing.
Star Wars: Battlefront II was a game I wanted to believe simply wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying, and that people were just exaggerating it’s problems. Little did I know that it would be one of the worst games I’d play this year. Even if the loot box controversy hadn’t been a thing, this still is a poorly made game with zero charm, enthusiasm, or gusto. Designed from start to finish to be nothing more than a cash grab (which backfired tremendously), this game is just a wet fart on the video games market. Purchase this game only if you are a hardcore Star Wars fan and the game is in the bargain bin.
Ignore Battlefront II, just play the first one some more.
Star Wars Battlefront II is making it’s way to shelves whether you like it or not. But if it sucks, why not just keep playing the first one instead. The first one doesn’t have loot boxes and has a great player base.
Capture your hearts’ content while being discontent with EA.
Folks, it’s been a long week. I’m tired. Here’s some sh*t that happened this week in case you missed it.
1) Destiny 2 Leviathan raid gets BTFO’d
Merely an hour after it went live, the first ever raid for this MMO-lite game was beaten in an hour. Which would be impressive except for one thing, it was faked. That’s right, the raid was quickly beaten because instead of being good sportsmen and just playing the damn game, everyone had to go and ruin things by using an exploit. The sad part is the exploit isn’t even that hard to pull off. Several videos went up instruction players how to get all the great loot without the hard effort.
2) Pokemon Go does the monster mash.
Everyone’s favorite alternate reality mobile game collectathon is going strong. It’s the getting to the end of October and everyone has Halloween fever. What’s the best part about this holiday? THE CANDY OF COURSE. Every pokemon you catch will earn you a whopping SIX candies. On top of that, there are a handful of other ways to rake in some extra sweets. If that’s not enough for you, the game will be ramping up the scare factor the only way it can. The spooooooky pokemon you know and love will be a lot more common as the 31st draws closer and closer. You’ll have increased chances to catch a Zubat, Golbat, Gastly, Haunter, Gengar, Drowzee, or Hypno. Why not take your pokemon with you while Trick or Treating?
3) Capture footage now even easier on the Switch.
Having a dedicated screenshot button on the Switch was a brilliant idea. Even more brilliant is the new update for the crossover console. Update 4.0 bring an impressive new feature. Pressing and holding the capture button will now automatically lock in and record the last 30 seconds of your gameplay. For many games though, not all of them. They’ve also made it easier to transfer your user data from Switch to Switch which would be nice. Considering Nintendo’s track record for releasing slightly updated versions of their handhelds, I can’t wait to get my hands on a theoretical new switch that will have a longer battery life.
4) Capture footage now even easier on the Xbox One.
The Switch wasn’t the only console with a major update. The Fall 2017 Hardware update for the Xbox one has added a lot of new features. An even further improved Home button was one of the features, while a more streamlined desktop accompanied the changes. You can now add games to your homescreen, instead of just pin, and get a more informative preview of the latest news and community activity about whichever game you choose. But most importantly, if you plug in an external USB 3.0 compatible device, you can now capture gameplay footage up to 60 minutes long.
5) EA adds pay to win elements to Star Wars Battlefront II.
I mean, it’s hard not to have heard this news, it’s everywhere. People played the demo and are pretty concerned that the current “loot crate” craze has poisoned the well and that Battlefront II is the most recent victim. EA has backpedaled on this a little bit, saying that they will make core elements to the game be progression-based, but that has yet to be seen. We are all just hoping that the single player campaign isn’t just some tacked on garbage. We can only hope that after the ruckus this game has caused, everything will turn for the better in the end.
6) EA shuts down Visceral Games.
EA is apparently not happy with f*cking up things yet, so here they are again. Visceral Games, creators most well known for the Dead Space series, was working on a standalone Star Wars game. After some focus testing, EA decided that the project was no longer worthwhile and terminated the company. Nice going, EA. You’re well on your way to re-earning that “worst company” award. I mean, other worse companies deserve it usually, but you manage to really stick your mistakes in everyone’s faces, don’t you, EA?
7) Good news for Mario XCOM fans.
Did you think Mario+Rabbids Kingdom battle was an easy game? If you did, you might have been playing in easy mode. This challenging game is getting even tougher with some newly announced DLC. Dubbed the “Ultra Challenge Pack”, it contains 8 new super hard scenarios to fight your way through. Owners of the season pass already have access and can download it whenever they want. Tread carefully, this DLC isn’t playing around.
Late to the Party is a series where I play mulitplayer games way after they get an established player base, play failed multiplayer games, or anything that begs the question of whether or not you can enjoy the multiplayer game as a newcomer.