The worst thing about all of this is that players who simply have more time to invest into Battlefront II will have tangible advantages over a more casual entrant. This is different imbalance to those lopsided matches, this is a genuine handicap that hurts Battlefront II’s overall playability and will likely lead to an elitist community that newcomer’s will have a hard time cracking. When I got round to the multiplayer suite I already found myself at a severe disadvantage to those who had bought the Deluxe edition and grabbed some cool upgrade cards already, and I often died in situations I think I’d have succeeded in had the playing field been even. I’d have much preferred the credit-fuelled economy to only unlock Hero classes and vanity items. Alas, this isn’t the direction EA have taken, though hopefully this is addressed or smoothed out in future patches.
Thankfully, the game is fun regardless of all of this. Blasters all feel meaty instead of impotent, and a good streak of squishy kills is exhilarating stuff. There’s something to be said about being part of it all – standing amidst a massive gunfight, with AT-AT’s stomping around you and Darth Vader off in the distance annihilating a group of rebels all running for their lives – it captures that Star Wars fantasy a lot of us had as kids, and that’s worth a lot – even putting up with Battlefront II’s various idiosyncrasies.
Where Battlefront II refuses to stumble is in its presentation. It’s a phenomenal looking game, and definitely one of the best looking multiplayer titles I’ve ever played. It’s varied stuff too, thanks to the many locations ripped straight from the films, and everything is instantly recognizable and awe inspiring.
The voice acting and music is similarly brilliant, as should be expected with a score so instantly recognizable as Star Wars. EA don’t hesitate to use his familiarity to maximum effect, and this is most noticeable in the bevy of grin-inducing sound effects that – if you’re anything like me -will take you straight back to the first time you saw the films they’re all taken from.
As a piece of fanservice, Battlefront II offers a hundred compelling reasons to dive into its frantic multiplayer-focused action. It’s lovingly crafted stuff that will keep fans playing for the foreseeable future. It stumbles in its luck-fuelled economy and balance issues, but makes up for them with a core that is, ultimately, great fun. Hopefully in a few months Battlefront II will have sorted out its growing pains and be full to bursting with extra, free content, but for now I’m happy to be along for the ride – annoyances and all.
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