Sunday, 18 March 2018

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

A long time ago, at an E3 far far away, the galactic conglomerate known as Extortion Acathexia teased its new promising, Sith in the making, Battlefront 2. This time assuring their loyal following that they (EA) had listened to all the feedback and criticisms surrounding the shortcomings of their lacking in features reboot; that had been rushed out prematurely to ride the hype wave of The Force Awakens.

"We hear you", Evidently Arseholes cried, as they showed clips of a new single player campaign told from, what could have been, the interesting perspective of the Empire... minor spoilers/... that lasts for all of couple of missions. I fully expected the switch in allegiance but Commander Iden Versio somehow becomes some fully trusted ally and Leia's right hand woman within the space of a cut-scene. /end minor spoilers.

The story then switches focus from Iden Versio and pads out the campaign with levels where you take control of a greatest hits cast, from the Star Wars universe. Most of the mission objectives are fairly mundane and play out in the same way. Head to to point and either capture it, defend it or hit a switch and defend it…. A bit like playing Destiny.

The ridiculously short campaign mode abruptly ends with no conclusion. No big last battle or boss fight, like Everyone's  Adversary are trying to pull off another Dead Space 3 scenario and leave the ending out as DLC. It was the most unannounced and sudden ending since Fable 3 managed to screw everyone over with their non coherent shifts in time or when Bungie had left out the third act of Halo 2.

Multiplayer is still the main draw of the game, playing much the same as its predecessor and all the Battlefield games. Blast your way to victory by defending or capturing points, as the only StormTroopers to ever hit anything. Flight mechanics have had a welcomed overhaul, by the talented folks at Criterion (best known for their Burnout franchise, that is still sadly in hibernation and long overdue a return). 

Graphically the game is astounding and possibly out does Battlefield 1, however, Battlefront 2 lacks the level of destructible terrain that game has. I’d often stop just to look around at level design or take in the amount of detail on a leaf…. Or the weird birds that seem to spawn in through the floor. This isn’t such a wise idea while playing online, though. People tend not to care about your sudden interest in the architecture of a building.

Addressing the Ortolan in the room, Expecting Acceptance teamed up with Emperor Palpatine and went full on Dark Side. To fill in those not following the backlash, basically, within the game you earn Loot boxes which unlock new equipment, special characters, weapons and boosts for your next round, online. Anyone could also purchase these with real world money, in the online store of your preferred platform of choice. (a gross thing for a company to be doing after charging you 50 squid for a product, in the first place). Giving an unfair advantage to that kid from Canada who keeps using his mum’s credit card - check the NHL 18 review - and has a more powerful rifle, Darth Maul and stat boosts, while poor xXgoodshot420Xx, who has gone in as fresh meat, with a standard pistol, stands no chance and needs to play the game for several hours before being in with a chance to unlock some of this… which brings us to another issue. You have no idea what's in the loot box. You could be spending your own money on these in game scratch cards and end up with useless crap.

Luckily, just like in the movies, the Elusive Acathexia’s plans were foiled. Gamers spoke out with their wallets and boycotted the game, at launch. Belgium have been the first Country to deem loot boxes as gambling and EA’s stock value dropped 8.7% (estimated at $3.1 billion) due to all the backlash from fans that ‘challenged everything’ and the good people of Earth prevail… At least for now. Economically Advantageous have “temporarily” removed the ability to purchase the loot boxes, with real money. What their eventual plans for them are is still unknown but will play a big factor into the longevity of the games lifespan.

What there is of a game is all incredibly good, it's just a shame the greed of Evil Accountants had to get in the way and ruin it. ‘It's in the game’, my arse. 

Bry Wyatt

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 at CeX

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