Now this is going to a little bit of a strange review, as for a game that was originally a multiplayer only game, its sequel features a Single Player, and it is this that this review will focus on, as other than the Starfighter game mode (which I was surprisingly good at), I suck at the multiplayer of this game!
I thought I would state this first as I am sure most people who are interested in this game will grab it purely for the multiplayer, in a similar fashion that CoD players do, as, sadly, the campaign is not given the same amount of love in those games as the multiplayer. The most recent CoD is ALMOST an exception, which was alright, but forgettable the moment you watch the credits roll. Ther last good CoD single player, in my opinion, was Modern Warfare 2. After this they just became focused on making the best possible multiplayer experience possible and kind of just threw in a mildly entertaining and repetitive copy and paste campaign with as many big name stars that they could thrown in.
While Star Wars: Battlefront 2 does not have the big named stars thrown in (in fact they have poor impressions of classic characters that just don’t feel quite fight – similar to how Obi-Wan was in the Clone Wars TV show), the rest of the game is basically Star Wars Call of Duty.
When the reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront came out in 2015, it was a multiplayer only game. Fans and players were annoyed. It was not a particularly bad game, as it did have a large player base throughout its life, but a brand new Star Wars campaign, using the same engine and style, would have been amazing! At least we thought. There were a couple of story based training missions that gave us a taster of what a campaign mode on the Frostbite 3 engine would have been, but alas, we were left wanting.
Then a sequel was announced and we were told that it featured a single player campaign! Fans rejoiced and the galaxy felt complete again, but then Star Wars: Battlefront 2 suffered massive hits from the Loot crate scandals and various other EA related money making schemes, which painted EA, and this game, in a very bad light even before its release. In fact many players boycotted the game, and it is clear that it suffered in sales because of it.
I heard a rumour that Disney were so annoyed at how EA handled the release of this game, that they were planning on handing the franchise over to another company entirely, as there is a clause in their contract that allows them to do so if EA do not meet their specific requirements, of which they most certainly did not!
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is littered with quantifiable items, emots, skins, and everything else that they could shove into a loot crate for you to purchase. You are given a daily crate (which seems to be the theme nowadays), and you gain crates from single player missions, as well as completing challenges. So there are easy ways to gain the crates, you just know that if you want anything bigger or more powerful, you will have to cough out the big bucks to obtain it.
But we are not here to talk about EA’s ‘pay to win’ strategy, we are reviewing the Single Player campaign.
Being a huge Star Wars fan-boy, and sucking at the original Battlefront’s multiplayer, I wanted to see what the story of this game was all about. I love the lore of Star Wars and since this is technically canon, I wanted to know more.
So much of the legendary expanded universe has been lost since Disney acquired the rights to the franchise. We have seen the likes of Darth Revan, from the amazing Knights of the Old Republic game, considered not-canon, as well as characters like Mara Jade, Jacen Solo and Exar Kun all being lost to just the “legends” category, then us fan-boys of Star Wars need to hold onto whatever canon stories we can.
So I picked up the game to have a crack at the Single player when I got a free moment in my busy gaming schedule.
When I played it, there were two campaigns to play through. One is about 12 missions long, and is main bulk of the single player, while the other is only 3 missions long, but we see characters in a completely different era.
The first one takes place during the original trilogy, but more towards the end. The first mission is set on board a rebel ship in the build up to the Battle of Endor (which takes place at the end of Return of the Jedi – just in case you didn’t already know), and we have missions that tell the story of what happened to the Empire following the destruction of the Second Death Star, and the death of Sheev Palpatine (I could have just said the Emperor, but I am trying to make myself sound clever).
We play as Iden Versio (played by Janina Zione Gavankar, and who is motion captured to be the spit of her), as she leads Inferno Squad; an elite special forces Imperial unit who are in charge of black ops for the Emperor. So we are playing as the baddies in this game. We get to slaughter innocent rebels, shoot down x-wings, and blow up Mon Calamari cruisers as Iden fights those rebel scum both on the ground and in the skies. Thankfully this game features full space battles, unlike the last one which had Tie-Fighters and A-wings flying about 30 foot off the ground, but I know a space multiplayer level was given eventually in a DLC.
I am going to spoil it a little here for you, so if you want to go into the game blind then maybe skip the next paragraph.
Naturally Disney can’t have you really playing as the bad guy, so just like in The Force Unleashed (which is now no longer considered canon), Iden swaps sides and fights for the rebels against the Imperials, just as they are losing. The word glory hunter comes to mind.
As naturally Iden has father issues (a classic theme with every character in Star Wars), as her dad is some big shot Imperial Admiral and is unleashing the Emperor’s contingency plan to wipe out the entire galaxy in the result of his death, to which the remaining Empire and everyone who is still loyal to them, do without question. They destroy Iden’s homeworld, and that is the last straw for her, so she decides to join the rebels and stop the Imperial’s plan.
Her quest takes her all the way to the Battle of Jakku, which is a famous battle that was the final blow to the Empire.
We are also given various other missions to play as classic characters throughout the years. We play as Luke in one mission, Han in another (set at Maz’s Castle featured in The Force Awakens), Leia (who is fighting on Naboo… so we get a little bit of the prequel trilogy thrown in), Lando, and even Kylo Ren in the final mission, which was not a great way to end the game, but I will cover that in a mo.
Playing as these characters feel like training for when we get to play as them in the multiplayer, and they feel limited. Luke’s light sabre doesn’t feel as powerful as it should, and overall these missions were quite disappointing and a little shoe-horned in to “play as your favourite characters”.
As I said the game is about 11 missions, so these take up nearly half of the entire game! The rest of them we play as Iden as she embarks on a quest of redemption, revenge, and everything.
While some of the missions are epic, such as the third and second from last ones which take place during the Battle of Jakku, the rest of the missions are forgettable. What doesn’t help is the lack of ammunition packs or pick-ups, so long as you master the cool down of your weapons, you can shoot indefinitely, making it feel very arcadey and repetitive. You are able to change over your character’s star cards (unlocked through Loot crates, at least in the multiplayer, in this you are locked to a set number) and weapons at various crates located scattered around the maps, but most of the guns feel the same, other than being rapid fire or single shot, and their scope/sight types, so the guns feel dull.
A lot of missions have you defending an area against normal troops, flame troops, riot ones who run at you with shock sticks, Imperial Officers who drop turrets, and jet pack ones. It is the same for the small amount of time you fight against the Rebels. There could have been a lot of cool varieties if they really took the time to make the best possible Star Wars game they could.
Fighting Tuskan Raiders through caverns on Tatooine would have been wicked. In fact they were trying so hard to make the game look and feel like a Star Wars skinned version Call of Duty, that they didn’t even have any Ewoks to shoot on Endor! What’s the point?!
A Tatooine level where it ended with a fight against a rancor, would have been monumentally memorable, and would have been more along the lines of something like Doom or the new Wolfenstien series, which is what I think they should have gone for in terms of a single player experience, and keep the multiplayer more regimented and grounded like Call of Duty. As the campaign that they gave us is dull and repetitive.
The only large things we fight is the occasional AT-ST, other than maybe a driving sequence in which we take down one of the massive Imperial Walkers (AT-AT).
Some of levels are predominately airborne, flying through the ruins of the second Death Star, or outside a Shield Gate (much like the one on Scarif in Rogue One), and these levels are okay. They do feel arcadey as well and seem to be just tutorials for when you eventually do get into the multiplayer.
It might sound like I am nagging on this game and maybe am being a little ungrateful. As they could have made it just a multiplayer focused game and didn’t even need to give us a single player, but I can’t just help but feel disappointed.
The second campaign, which is only 3 missions long, takes place during the events of The Force Awakens (before and after as well), which follows on from the final mission of the other campaign, which feels completely random and irrelevant without this second campaign and feels just like an excuse to give players the chance to play as Kylo Ren.
Iden is now old, but she still has her spirit as she now faces off against the First Order.
I will say that it does introduce a fantastic character; Shriv, who is actually the most well rounded character, but naturally does not get enough screen time. Personally I would have loved to play a game just as him.
It is not all disappointing to be fair. There were some good moments in this campaign, as well as a few good nods to various eras of Star Wars for the fans.
Surprisingly the flying is the best aspect of this game (for me), and this is how I also felt about the Multiplayer as well. I had much more fun flying an A-Wing around than I did fighting as a First Order trooper.
One issue that I have with the multiplayer, and I know that this is purely atheistical, but in the various game modes, depending what level you are playing changes what era of Star Wars you are playing in; Separatists vs Clone Troopers, Rebels vs Imperials, Resistance vs The First Order, however the heroes are not era specific. So you can be fighting against The First Order in space and have Yoda and his Jedi ship (from about 60 years prior) flying about. Don’t get me wrong the Jedi ship is the bollox and I was wicked at it, but it doesn’t feel right. The same with having Rey fighting alongside Clone troopers on Naboo. The whole thing feels wrong.
What they should have done was have a skin for one type of character/ship for each of the eras. So say for example, you can play as General Kenobi in the prequel era levels, then as Old Ben Kenobi in the originals, and finally then play as Rey in the New Trilogy. They would have the exact same moves and play the same, but they would be more atheistically pleasing to die hard fans. This of course does not matter a bit in the slightest, but I feel that it is because of these little touches that the game is not the best that EA could have done with this amazing opportunity.
Overall Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is disappointing. While there is good here, I feel that the game has been corrupted by the dark side and the Sith lords at EA who have turned it against the way of good and just for the fans. What could have been something monumental, the likes of which the Galaxy has not seen since the golden age of the Battlefront series back in the early 2000s, we are given a money making cash cow reskinned Call of Duty game.
It is not a bad game, far from it. The multiplayer is solid and enjoyable, as this is what the main focus of the game has been centralised around, but the single player does feel like a bit of an afterthought, even if it is considered canon and helps to bridge the games between Star Wars eras.
Graphically the game is stunning and mediocrity has never looked so good.
If you want to get online and shoot some storm troopers or rebel scum, then it is for you. The Galactic Assault is a fantastic game mode on paper, but I do think it needs a few tweaks before it can stand with the best multiplayer modes, such as Battlefield’s Rush, or CoD’s Search and Destroy (hardcore only).
For fans looking for a memorable Star Wars experience, other than the ship flying, you will be disappointed.
Search your feels, you know it to be true.