‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ Beta Impressions

There’s something to be said when a company like EA listens to gamers to help shape a new title. When Star Wars Battlefront launched, players had a bevy of complaints and issues with the title. Disappointing single player modes, unbalanced heroes, weak space fights, and a lack of content were all things I saw and heard gamers had issues with.

Luckily, EA has been listening. There are still a few things I’m on the fence about, but from what I’ve played of Star Wars Battlefront II, it seems like a solid follow up to a shallow shooter. The new class system breathes fresh life into DICE’s follow up. After a few matches of testing different classes, one thing that stood out to me was something I noticed with last years Call of Duty title. The guns don’t always feel good to shoot, which is disappointing for a first person shooter. Granted, not all the guns feel this way. After starting with the assault class and dying repeatedly, I found my niche with the heavy class. My score and battle points instantly started improving. I’m still unsure if it’s a balance issue or a gun issue, but various guns for different classes definitely feel better to shoot than others.

As an objective game mode, Galactic Assault feels a lot like rush from Battlefield Bad Company 2. DICE has always been an extremely competent developer when it comes to objective game types, and this battle on Naboo is no exception. The fight starts on the streets of Naboo when separatist droids attempt to storm the palace and take the throne room. While playing this game mode, it felt like there was a little bit of a disconnect between the three phases of the battle. Not to say that this is a bad thing, because the second and third phases are some of the best objective battles I’ve ever played. The first third of the battle on Naboo just has a different pace to it, and it doesn’t blend into the back half of the fight as well as it should. A lot of this may just have to do with play style, because if someone is fighting from a distance then they have a lot of ground to make up when the fight for the throne room begins.

The real star of the Star Wars Battlefront II was Starfighter Assault. I’m not usually a fan of vehicular combat, but Starfighter Assault was easily the best mode in this beta. The flight controls have been completely revamped from the first Star Wars Battlefront, and the ships are a ton of fun to pilot. Instead of just a dogfight, there are various objectives to complete throughout the match. Matches of Starfighter Assault are a slow give and take as defensive players attempt to stop attackers from destroying various parts of the ship. While attackers must complete various objectives which allow them to damage the Starfighter. Something that can be seen across all of the various game modes in the beta were the inclusion of battle points. As players work towards objectives or defeat other players, they earn points. These points are banked from death to death and can be spent on stronger classes, ships, and heroes. One battle, I earned enough points to use Poe Dameron’s X-Wing and was ultimately able to decimate the enemy team. Some of the heroes and power ups felt a little overpowered, but not anywhere near game breaking.

One thing we’ve heard a lot about since the beta began were the star cards and microtransactions. Personally, I think the star cards add a much needed diversity to the different loadouts on display here. Players will be able to purchase loot boxes that can feature anything from damage upgrades to ability cooldowns. I’ve even seen Star Wars Battlefront II be described as pay to win already, but considering loot boxes will also be able to be earned in game I don’t see it as much of a problem as others do. Granted, we haven’t seen the full title yet, and don’t know how the loot boxes and star cards will play out in the full game, so I’m reserving judgement until launch. EA has also said that all the DLC upcoming for Star Wars Battlefront II will be free of charge, but the only way they can give all that content away is the inclusion of microtransactions. Personally, I’ll take the extra content even if someone else might have a slight advantage.

The Star Wars Battlefront II beta wasn’t perfect, but most of my concerns have been assuaged, and I’m looking forward to blasting my way through more of the iconic locations I’ve grown to love throughout my years of watching Star Wars. The microtransactions and loot boxes remain my biggest concern, but we still won’t know exactly how much of an advantage they might give players until the full game launches on November 17th.

Star Wars Battlefront II will be available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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