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Star Wars Battlefront II didn't deserve all the hate it received

It's indisputable that Battlefront II was structured in a way that made earning items a steep grind unless you were willing to fork over money and buy its loot crates. Though EA and DICE have removed those crates from the game (at least for now), the unlock system left in their wake remains a chore to progress through.

Even if the teams behind Battlefront II can successfully tweak the system into being satisfactory, the damage has been done. The negative press surrounding the game has likely led to the disappointing sales in its launch month, and community opinion of the game is not improving.

That said, I don't think Battlefront II deserves all the hatred it received. Many reviewers gave the game a harsh score (including our own Jez Corden) because of its progression system fiasco, and while I think that situation is a big issue, I feel many glossed over the rest of the game and the greatness it has to offer.

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A fun campaign

Though not spectacular, the story mode of Battlefront II is still entertaining.

The campaign in Battlefront II isn't exactly something to write home about — the game is too easy unless you play on the highest difficulty — but it provides a casual experience that allows you to blast Rebel scum and Imperial stormtroopers with some action-packed scenarios as the backdrop.

The story itself, while exploring some interesting themes, fails to really impress. Despite this, I can't deny that it was fun to embody beloved Star Wars characters and take the fight to the enemy, blaster or lightsaber in hand. You're not going to walk away from it in awe, but that doesn't mean it's not worth your time.

A fantastic multiplayer experience

Where Battlefront II truly shines is its multiplayer. Galactic Assault, Starfighter Assault, Blast, and Strike all offer unique, fun scenarios to battle others. Whether you want to take part in a massive ground engagement, close quarters warfare, a space battle, or tactical operations, there's something for you.

All of this means nothing, however, if the balance is poor. Thankfully, though, EA and DICE listened to the feedback from 2015's Battlefront and brought back the class system present in the original Battlefront games, and they're balanced incredibly well. Vehicles and starfighters are balanced, too, and spawn limits ensure that there aren't too many on the field at once.

Because of how well designed the multiplayer is overall, the game feels great to play. The poor progression system harms it in situations where players who "paid to win" are matched against those who didn't, but in instances where that isn't the case, Battlefront II is fantastic.

Breathtaking presentation

An area where Battlefront II couldn't improve at all is in the presentation.

The graphics and sound design are simply astounding.

To put it simply, the visuals are stunning. The texture work is top notch, and the game is filled with beautiful vibrant colors. Great care is taken to bring every detail of the locations seen in the films into Battlefront II, and the result is a wonderfully faithful Star Wars aesthetic.

What's more, the sound design present is just as authentic. Everything from the roars of TIE fighter engines to the whump-whump-whump of heavy blasters sounds like something from the Star Wars films. In addition, the soldiers you play as frequently call out lines of dialogue, helping to create the grounded atmosphere of Star Wars warfare.

The cherry on top is the use of iconic Star Wars soundtracks that start playing as the action gets more intense. Blasting an AT-AT walker or frantically defending a hangar feels 10 times more badass when you hear epic music.

Though the gaming community rightly criticized Battlefront II for its invasive microtransactions, the game doesn't deserve all of the backlash. It offers a serviceable campaign, a fantastic multiplayer full of content, and a gorgeous, authentic Star Wars feel that is unmatched.

Your thoughts

What's your opinion on Battlefront II? Let us know what you think below. It's available now on Xbox One for $59.99. In addition, the first free DLC for it was just released, focusing on battles from the new film, The Last Jedi, as well as more story content.

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Read: Battlefront II gets The Last Jedi season and singleplayer expansion

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

28 Comments
  • it's not necessarily the game itself that deserved it.  it was EA, and not buying EA's game was how to show it
  • It sure did deserve the hate. When the gameplay is actually hindered by the fact that the progression basically forces you into buying something after you've already dropped $60 on the game, the experience is worse.  It doesn't matter how sexy you make the graphics or how fun it can be.  The campaign, I've heard mixed reviews about it, but I don't know.  However after the dredge of being mopped up by people who pay to win in the game, the game isn't so great anymore.  We all know that this game is sold mostly as a multiplayer game.  Most of the experience and game hours will go into that.  So yes, it deserves every ounce of hatred it got.
  • I played a bit. Getting wrecked by scrubs with full upgrades owning the field. Don't agree with gear upgrades or at least not matched with new players ffs. Tf2 and ovw way more fun with cosmetic
  • "Fun campaign"
    Most people didn't liked: too short, confusing story, repetitive gameplay.
    "Fantastic multiplayer experience"
    I wouldn't call "fantastic experience" a game plagued with AFK players, absurd lag/latency and an absurd amount of bugs. It's beautiful, but it's not a good game. Pandemic's Battlefronts, were so much better and fun, even looking terrible for current game standards.
  • Agree. The only way publishers will realize that a lot of gamers don't want P2W is by negative reviews and boycotting the product. Money talks and Sh** walks.
  • I buy usually 2 major titles a year and this was one of the two. I preordered this game knowing full well I was going to buy it. In the past 12 months EA has put out two games I never thought I'd see. Like my love for the subject of World War 1, There was no way I was going to stand idle on the release day for Battlefield 1. I even bought the $120 premium version. I am the same way with a Star Wars title that looks as good as BF2 did. I applaud the blowback that EA received from the general community regarding the progression system and glad changes were made. It is gambling in a sense IMO. I bought the $90 elite trooper version of the game as well. I am a 47 yr old casual gamer and have gamed since the late 70's. I never dreamed I would see games like this (let alone Star Wars games!) even paying the $90 price point. It seems like peanuts to me for what you get.
  • I have to agree with you, I bought both Battlefield 1 and SWBF2 and I think in their own right they are both great games. I also think that EA did deserve some of the backlash over the use of P2W in BF2 but locking characters, equipment and cosmetics is a good way of giving a sense of accomplishment and I cannot understand those people who seem to want everything unlocked from the start. God I long for the days of the NES, when games actually were hard and completing them really did make you feel like you accomplished something!!!!
  • I maxed out my 10 hour EA Access trial. I was actually a bit sad when it ran out. I was really starting to get interested in the campaign when I used as much as it would let me on the trial, so I switched to multiplayer which I don't typically enjoy but still used up the other 7 hours or so pretty easily. I probably will play it more once it goes into the Vault. That's more than I can say for a lot of the games I downloaded trials for, including the first Battlefront (exception was Dragon Age Inquisition which I liked enough to pay for instead of waiting for it to hit the Vault).
  • I did the same as you and maxed out the trial although I bought the full standard version of the game. The taster of the campaign just makes you want to play more and I was really impressed with the rest of it although the resurrection expansion was a little lacklustre even for essentially a FREE DLC, haven't tried the multiplayer but Arcade is good fun.
  • The game and EA richly deserve everything they have recieved. Even this review in it's defense basicly says, that if you can get passed the 80+% that is screwed up you can occasionly have some fun. So yeah the reviews the press and the threats of legislation were all well deserved.
  • Have you even played this game? The multiplayer maps are plagued with lag on almost a daily basis. The teams are almost severely lopsided, partially because there are afk credit farmers taking up slots on the team. The heroes system is pretty broken, as is point accumulation for flying and hackers have already started creeping in. EA is doing nothing about any of it.  Play the game a little more (or try), then talk to me. 
  • Yeah, I have. 40+ hours so far, in fact. I don't have an issue with farming in my games. Not sure if that's a platform-related trend or what (I use PC) but maybe you're just unlucky. I hope DICE puts a system in place that prevents this soon, though.
  • I have no issues with lag, though I have a good internet connection. As of late, especially after the last update, I am getting some matchmaking issues and other bugs. It's getting to the point of being quite annoying to get a game started. I actually started getting the bug from the Beta where I can't back out to the main menu after a match and I need to try it three times before it stops looping me back to the end of match screen. I hope they fix this.
  • I agree to a fault, however the pay-to-win mechanics implemented were severally damaging especially when you've paid $60 for this game already. They should have either offered this as a free-to-play, or sold the game at the price point they thought it deserved.
  • I think most people didn't really criticize the campaign, graphics, performance... Most of the criticism was against the microtreansactions/loot box, pay2win elements that was present in a full price game... At the end of the day, I'm glad there was so much hate. Too bad for the devs who worked on the game but this is way more important than a single game. I rather see one game crash and burn than the gaming industry as we know it turning into what's done in mobile gaming. Where all future full price games use free2play mecanism to frustrate players into paying more money after the initial $60-100 fee.
  • Yes it did. The whole point of the backlash is that they ruined a GOOD game with their greedy practices. They deserve all the hate and more. It just sucks for the developers at DICE that their publisher is the spawn of Satan.
  • I absolutely disagree. It didn't get ENOUGH hate, in my mind. There is no amount of fun that makes up for exploitation of a player base in the way they have, especially when attaching it to an IP that is so clearly meant as kid-friendly. EA is a despicable company, and the way DICE employees tried to defend these actions makes them equally bad, if not worse. The game is probably a blast, but I will never play it to find out because it's just too much of a disgusting pile of greed.
  • Progression is a HUGE part of the game. If someone can pay to be better than me, then the game deserves ALL of the hate it got. I didn't see anyone saying that the game was created poorly, it just had a bad progression system.
  • I've read quite a few reviews criticizing the game itself too
  • It is EA that gamers hate, and unfortunately Battlefront II is just a way gamers can prove their point. I'll eventually get the game, but not at this moment.
  • The game is pay to win crap.  It looks nice though.
  • Yes it did. You have to review the whole game. Not just cherry pick the bits you like.
  • I love star wars battlefront I & II and it doesn't deserve all the hate it gets but true fans of the franchise will love it 😊
  • I think many of the true fans are pissed that they polluted the game with this bs. Reading comments it's clear that there are many who feels like EA crossed the line and are pissed at the image the franchise is getting because of them. From previous articles even Disney are pissed at the situation.
  • Yes it did, waiting on it to hit the $20 magic buy price.
  • EA deserved all the hate they got!
  • Picked up for $32 with GCU at best buy. And it comes with a free Darth maul Funko Pop. Not bad considering it came out a month ago... EA gave up game of the year for MTX. Stupid.
  • I've played the game quite a lot (and I'm still playing it everyday), and... I love it? Graphics are amazing, never encounter lag online, controls are easy to get used to... maybe a bit more choice in weapons would be nice, but having few weapons also balances the game in online encounters. Also, everybody mentions the "pay to win crap", but it never made it into the game... unless I'm missing something and you still can pay to win? Please, explain!!!