Star Wars Battlefront II didn't deserve all the hate it received
Battlefront II's loot-box system earned it a negative reputation, but did the game really deserve ALL the hate it got?
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.
A fun campaign
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.
An area where Battlefront II couldn't improve at all is in the presentation.
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.
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.
Read: Battlefront II gets The Last Jedi season and singleplayer expansion
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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.