In light of the recent Battlefront 2 trailer release I decided it would be good to re-hash Battlefront(2015). The TL;DR is that people are blinded by their nostalgia from Battlefront 2 in particular. I replayed Battlefront 2 on stream leading up to the release of this game. Battlefront 2 had no story to speak of. The entire campaign is a set of cut scenes amounting to essentially “Remember that battle they didn’t show in the movie? We were there!” followed by playing a bot match with the occasional objective. There was no story to speak of in Battlefront 2. The following is a review I wrote on Amazon’s feedback page in support of the game. I probably should have posted it here initially but I thought it would be most effective on Amazon. Here it is, unedited.
Posted: December 9, 2015
Don’t buy the anti-game hype from most of the other reviews. Many people are mad because the game didn’t meet their unrealistic expectations due to all the hype. Also make sure you are comparing launch numbers to launch numbers when comparing this with other games.
While the two large map game modes do only have 4 maps there are 10 maps across all multiplayer game modes with many of the smaller game modes having 8 of those 10 maps available. There are some additional maps for Battles and Survival(horde mode) which stacks the deck further and arguably accounts for the content not given to a campaign. When compared with other modern shooters this is on par. For a 1:1 comparison consider the following launch time map counts BF Hardline 9 maps, COD Blops 3 12 maps, BF 4 10 maps, BF 3 9 maps, COD AW 8 maps. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.
Regarding the complaint about only 4 maps available in the set piece game modes, this is true of every game out. You can’t put 16 players on a massive 40 player map nor can you put 40 players on a small 16 player maps. Likewise, to use battlefield as an example, playing deathmatch on a rush map just doesn’t work because it’s not designed for it. All the total map numbers above are split exactly the same as this in each game for their respective game mode.
The lack of a “campaign” or story vs the amount of content in Battles and Survival is still debatable. Most first person multiplayer shooters come with a very short 6-8 hour story that no one talks about or really even remembers after the first few months the game is out. Is this really valuable content vs the amount of time derived from quite a few co-op Battles and Survival that are replayable virtually infinitely? I would argue that switching campaign or story content to something that can be a shared experience and replayable was a smart move and more valuable content.
People who feel the game is thin or not deep somehow are affected slightly by what is arguably a poor UI decision by the designers. The progression system and flexibility in loadout are not immediately obvious. The game grants you traits and a second(potentially a third?) card hand to choose. These future options are not made clear because they don’t exist in the UI grayed out like many other games do. The game design doesn’t follow a COD or Battlefield system and this apparently mystifies and frustrates the average COD/BF player.
The depth of weapon selection is not as simple as primary and secondary weapon selections and a static set of tertiary weapons and attachments. There are primary weapons which are in the UI as their own group but there are no set secondary weapons. This gives the initial impression that there is a lack of weapons or lack of depth in weapons customization. This is accomplished instead by choosing cards from the card hand that serve as either a secondary weapon or a modifier for your main weapon or some form of buff for your character. As you climb the level ladder you eventually get two card hands and a trait slot card. This gives more flexibility than most other games allowing you to choose almost any variation of 6 cards in two 3 card sets. During a match at respawn you can change which card hand you have selected. If you like you can have 2 secondary weapons with the ability to switch to 2 other secondary weapons, or if you prefer you can have a jetpack, a buff and a weapon modifier to Ion(anti-vehicle/anti-equipment). Finally if you have a partner you can actually select your partners card hand regardless of if you have the particular cards unlocked which gives you a chance to try cards before you buy(with credit points). The result in my opinion is actually more depth and flexibility than most other shooters.
This game brings more game modes than almost any other game out there with 9 game modes which has recently been brought to 10 with the new free DLC that just came out. COD BLOPS 3 brings 7 game modes at launch, Battlefield 4 also came with only an initial 7 game modes.
Art, sound and music are all on point. They nail the tone of original Star Wars and are very highly polished. I would say more so than almost all other Star Wars games out there. It feels like when you first make the jump from standard TV to high def only with Star Wars content.
There’s unfortunately no game that is perfect. There’s a handful of spots that you can get stuck on environment or have trouble cresting a sand dune or something that looks like it should be easy to run across or over. These are few and far between. Also the night before last I had a hand full of matches where my L1 & L2 buttons stopped working. This is the first time in 30+ hours of play that I’ve run into this bug and a restart of the game fixed it and it hasn’t cropped up again since. Some would argue some weapons need balancing but no more so than any other games weapons need balancing so I’m not sure that’s really valid to include here but I needed to put it somewhere and this seems the best spot.
I can understand some people’s disappointment with not getting some new big Star Wars narrative but I think it is better that EA/Dice didn’t try to take that on rather than try and fail hard at it. Can you imagine the whiplash if they went that route and it was bad? If you want a highly polished, fun to play multiplayer Star Wars game that gives you something different than COD or Battlefield then grab this game.