In the build-up to Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s release, publisher EA and developer DICE have made some big promises about the game. Not only will this new game be ‘much bigger’ than its predecessor, but it will also include a single-player campaign to go alongside its multiplayer modes.
But can the game’s narrative live up to fans’ hopes for a rich story campaign? And how much do microtransactions and loot boxes impact the game’s multiplayer? Star Wars Battlefront 2 reviews are rolling in now as critics reveal their verdicts on the blockbuster game ahead of its release later this week.
GameSpot (Alessandro Fillari)
While the brisk 4-5 hour campaign features some strong writing and performances from its cast–with some standout levels that show off the visual luster and diversity of locations within the universe–the potential of its Imperial point-of-view soon becomes lost. Falling into some rather predictable twists, the story eventually turns into a familiar by-the-numbers Star Wars adventure, where the good guys and bad guys are clearly defined, and with a lead up to the final act’s confrontation that’s signposted from a mile away.
Score: Review in progress
The Verge (Bryan Bishop)
After burning through the campaign this past weekend, I was pleased to find it is the satisfying solo mode the first game always cried out for. Not only does it highlight many of the best attributes of the new Battlefront, it also comes tantalizingly close to actually being the riveting, standalone Star Wars story the marketing hype has promised — if only that pesky spectre of nostalgia didn’t get in the way.
US Gamer (Kat Bailey)
The resulting story feels disjointed in the way that it leaps from setpiece to setpiece without any real buildup to the final battle. It keeps some of the core conflicts from getting the screentime they deserve, and it sidelines Versio, who is an interesting character in her own right. I wish that EA Motive would have had the courage to keep the spotlight squarely on Versio for the entire story.
GamesBeat (Dean Takahashi)
Overall, multiplayer has a much bigger scale, with 14 maps at the outset, from the Battle of Naboo to the fight on Endor. If the single-player mode doesn’t get you excited, you may enjoy all of the variety that multiplayer has to offer. And if you wander around in the big spaces of multiplayer all alone, you’re sure to get killed more quickly.
Score: Review in progress
Eurogamer (Martin Robinson)
Play a round of Starfighter Assault, an aerial mode that’s been positively emboldened by its adoption of objective-based play and is blissfully free from comparisons with other more grounded multiplayer games, and it’s simply astounding. As players lead merry dances with their perfectly realised A-Wings and Y-Wings and TIEs, it’s hard to think of any toybox as luxurious as this. It’s the stuff of my childhood dreams.
Trusted Reviews (Brett Phipps)
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a great game spoiled by a terrible business model. DICE and EA are going to be under a huge amount of pressure not just to tweak, but completely overhaul the metagame or face an even bigger fan backlash than they have already. Underneath the terrible progression system, cheap payouts and more-than-gentle hand in the back towards paying for loot crates is the same excellent core, now across so much more content with the promise of more free maps and heroes to come.
TechRadar (Dom Reseigh-Lincoln)
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is its own worst enemy. On the one hand, DICE has created one of the most immersive and exciting Star Wars games ever made. It’s pure Star Wars magic, and it’ll make your nostalgia sing with its vibrant authenticity (as well as tickling that need for a slick and robust shooter). But as a vanguard for the growing influence of microtransactions in £50/$60 games, it marrs its own package by tying an already confused levelling system with an over-reliance on purchased loot.
Score: Play It
According to the reviews, Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s story is a solid attempt. It may be predictable and somewhat poorly paced, but protagonist Iden Versio is interesting and if anything, critics seem to want to spend more time with the character rather than less.
The game’s multiplayer, on the other hand, seems to have left many critics with a bad taste in their mouths. The squad-based battles may capture the action of the Star Wars movies perfectly, but the progression system, with its loot boxes and microtransactions, massively hamper the experience.
EA and DICE have tweaked hero unlock in response to the backlash, but several reviews argue that the system must be overhauled entirely in order to better serve players.
As such, Star Wars Battlefront 2 sounds like a good choice for Star Wars fans and those who enjoyed the first game. Those already put off by the game’s business model, though, are unlikely to find any solace.