Star Wars Battlefront II Version 1 - The video game form of a thousand voices crying out in terror

Battlefront II is such an interesting conundrum. Of the heels of Battlefront, a reboot of the Battlefront franchise from the video game generations of long past. The reboot got a lot of flack for doing a lot of weird stuff and when I did hear about the game, it wasn't positive. People seem to like it now, but I don't quite remember it being that way originally.

Battlefront II however is a mission to correct those mistakes. To right the wrongs of the past, to be a New Hope to all fans of the series which still somehow doesn't let you do as much as you could back in the PS2 days. But, well, I don't have to tell you about why it all blew up in their face. But what I can tell you about is what I thought about the game.


The campaign is what clued me in that I probably shouldn't take this thing seriously. It starts out and you are Iden Versio, because cutting random letters off of words can make Star Wars names, and you're a real bad bitch Green Beret adjacent Imperial Soldier. You are all about being a bad guy and being evil and doing bad guy stuff to the good guys. You've worked for the Empire for years and you are totally way invested on the bad guy stuff.

But then the Bad Guy Man tells Iden to do a Bad Guy Thing and suddenly she's like fuck that, I've never been into this shit anyway time to join the Rebels. Which, all jokes aside, is honestly the stupidest fucking thing I've seen in a video game in a long time. You want to sell me on the idea of playing as a bad guy? Okay, I'm down. I love the Empire and all those dumbass, near sighted, Stormtroopers. But how can anyone take the story seriously when it opens up with "REBELLIONS ARE BORN ON HATE" or whatever that stupid line is, and then immediately have your character switch sides without much thought?

Like, I want to be clear here, the character and her squad, Inferno Squad, were sent in to rescue a VIP from a planet that the Empire was currently fucking up with satellites that control the weather and making life unlivable there. But suddenly, after spending her whole life giving the Rebels, like, space cancer and feeding them from the wrong side of a gun, she's faced with the idea that people are going to die, so this is the breaking point? I bet those fucking Rebels we murdered in cold blood at the beginning of the game are questioning why they weren't given this treatment.

Anyway, you've got some cameos from OT(Original trilogy) characters and even play as them occasionally. One neat level was playing as Kylo Ren as he used his mind reading powers to read someone's mind. Would have been neat to see that kind of shit in the movies a little bit but whatever.

The story spans into the new movie franchise thanks to some free DLC, you get to see why there's a Star Destroyer on Jakku as well.

Unfortunately I think the story was very weak. It didn't accomplish much and it did not do a great job making me care about anyone. The bait-and-switch of letting you play as a super OP Empire Badass and then immediately have them turn to Good Guy Man is just frustrating. It's like they can't help but beating us over the head with some moralistic bullshit about good always prevailing. But I find it hamfisted and... ephemeral. "Good guys r kool c u l8r m8" and that's the entire story.


I got into the game a little after they adjusted the credit cost to purchase certain heroes(Darth Vader used to be 40k, then changed to 15k). This was also the release of their The Last Jedi DLC where Finn and Captain Phasma were added as playable characters. During this time I played around with the classes quite a bit to find what I was interested in. Eventually, after a long affair with the Assault class, I found my niche in the Officer, who can enable your team's health regeneration sooner, effectively making them somewhat of a healer. Only somewhat. It's passive and requires you to be within a close proximity with them.

So it was off to the races. I had to find my way through which heroes I'd like, which maps were good and which were bad, and all of the above. Over time I found myself in love with Bossk, then later Darth Vader for the villains side of things, and as for the heroes I danced between Leia, Yoda, and Chewbacca. Though I was really only good at Leia and Chewbacca.

As I rose through the rankings and got better at the game, a growing frustration came from the horrible progression system. If you wanted to unlock abilities, you had to play enough games to earn Credits which you could then use to purchase Lootboxes. And what you would get from these lootboxes was, as you may have guessed, random. Which meant I couldn't just get what I wanted from them.

Crate after crate of getting nothing new meant they become a chore than entertainment.

There were three lootboxes. Trooper Crate, which gave away "cards", as they are called, centered around the Trooper classes(Assault, Heavy, Officer, Specialist). There are many cards you can acquire(though you can only equip 3 at a time) and customize your own special little loadout. Finding what synergises with your playstyle and honing in on that can make all the difference.

There were crates for the Starfighters as well as Heroes that did pretty much the same thing. The only thing that mad it all so unbearable was the amount of time it took to upgrade skills. See, a specific character's level was determined by the total value amount of star cards they had. Each card has 4 ranks to them, each adding more and more benefit. So if you had three level one cards, your level would be 3. And so on. So you had to acquire a decent number of cards before you could 1, equip more, and 2, level them up.

Because another way to level up your cards was by spending Crafting Parts. You get Crafting Parts from crates that you buy with credits you earn in matches. So you see where the loop is headed. Play matches - get credits - spend credits - get like 30 crafting parts - need 480 to upgrade a skill - grind for hours to buy more crates, etc etc. It was really frustrating. Because one, you needed to make sure you were upgrading the right skills because they are very expensive and it takes a LOT of time to get those kinds of points.

So it wouldn't be very fun to say, upgrade one specific hero that you just unlocked, then realize that unless you do some serious shit, you might not even be able to play as them, and that those points could have been used to upgrade something more immediately worthwhile. And that's not the kind of fun challenges I look to a game for. If just acquiring skills and abilities and even the currency to buy them is busted, then what the hell.

Glitches, and brokenness

One the most annoying aspects of playing this game was the fact that a patch would come in to resolve one issue, and create a much worse one. Or that time that Palpatine was the most overpowered character in the game because his fucking lightning hands could shoot through walls and easily get 130+ killstreaks by just camping spawn areas and then shooting through said walls. It made overcoming him feel like an actual challenge, but that's not my pride and accomplishment talking, that's just knowing how good it feels to steal all of that power away from some cheating asshole player.

But then they eventually fixed that, and in came the Exploding Shot glitch. Exploding Shot is an attachment for one of the heavy weapons in the game for the Heavy class, which allows you to add AOE explosiveness to your shots, allowing you to clean up on hoards of enemies. But the thing was, it made your weapon overheat much faster so using it meant you had more power, but had less time to use it. If that makes sense. Well, the glitch that was created meant that this gun built up no additional heat as a result of Exploding Shot, allowing people to spam this overpowered bullshit with no recourse.

This meant that playing as many heroes was now almost impossible as a souped up, maxed out Darth Vader could be taken down by a single heavy before they have time to even turn around. I know that I unlocked Darth Vader back when his ability to Force Choke you also enabled him to lift you off of the ground and move you around. So you could drop people off of the map to their doom, it was very strategic and incredible. Literally the NEXT DAY they removed this. After I worked my ass off to collect 15k points to purchase him. It was very frustrating to then have to play a incredibly fun, powerhouse of a character who couldn't do what he used to, and also now be killed in seconds. And you can't even block those shots either because of the AOE damage. So you're just fucked if you run into one and can't run away.

But, probably one of the worst things about the game is... just how fun it is. Aside from the microtransaction blunder, the fact that everything becomes broken sometimes for no reason, the fact that we still don't have any information on Season 2, the game has this really fun addictive quality. Chase those battlepoints, become the hero, mow down waves of the enemy, and hopefully complete the objective. It encourages you to push the objective and to fight hard. There were times on Takodana and Crait where it turned into such a meatgrinder that you would have 30k battlepoints(Heroes of that era only cost 6k battlepoints, and heroes outside of the era cost 8k, and for one person, that's a lotta points!) before the mission was anywhere near done.

The amount of stressful matches where we'd technically lost but still maintained contest of an objective(In this context, contesting an objective means that your team and the enemy team are both currently within the objective space and are fighting it out to capture it. This also means that both teams are very close to each other, and the fighting gets intense. In Galactic Assault, if your team runs out of tickets but is still contesting an objective, there's still a chance to actually capture the objective and win. BUT, if there are no team members in the objective at the time, the "Overtime" bar will deplete and the game will end in failure for you) for 20+ minutes.

Those kinds of memories are the ones I hold closest to my heart. The feeling of mowing down the entire enemy team with Bossk's grenade launcher is second to none. Unfortunately, you just had to go through so much bullshit to get there that the fun was almost hollow. The team at DICE are taking steps to change this for the better, and I've already played some of this Battlefront 2.0, and I've got to say, I like it. But as for 1.0, well...

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".

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