Star Wars Battlefront 2: Beta Review

If you’re like me and haven’t been swooped up in the mass love for Studio MDHR’s Cuphead then the likelihood is that you’ve been playing the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Multiplayer Beta that released to pre-order users on the 4th October and to the public on the 6th. Or you’ve possibly been at New York Comic Con or any other convention or just maybe you’re a nerd…in which case, why are you here?

The sequel to EA’s 2015 Star Wars Battlefront is already looking like it offers so much more than its predecessor; and that’s only with 3 maps available in the Beta. The 3 game modes that are playable are:

  • Galactic Assault – A 40-player mode set in Theed where the goal of the Clone army is to protect the palace and for the Separatist droids to storm it within 3 phases. It follows a very similar pattern to Battlefield 1’s Operations mode.
  • Starfight Assault – 24-player space battles over the planet of Fondor where the Rebel Alliance must take down an Imperial Star Destroyer in stages.
  • Strike – The smallest game mode with 16-players set on Takodana at Maz’s Castle. The aim of the First Order is to collect an artefact and deliver it to their transport with the Rebels on the defence.

There is also an offline Arcade Mode which can be played either single-player or split-screen on console versions where you take on AI and can test out the different classes.

But how is that one Beta is SO much better than the complete 2015 game?

As a huge fan of the original Star Wars: Battlefront set of games (from 2004), the 2015 version upon release felt lacking. No campaign, no space battles (no, Fighter Squadron is not the same, no class system etc. To its credit, at launch it had a co-op survival mode and a whopping 9 game modes (10 after the first DLC). But the later DLC’s added little to nothing to gameplay or even map variation especially with the last one having a measly “2” (it was most certainly 1 maps split in half) maps.

However, the smaller game modes quickly became abandoned for Walker Assault and Fighter Squadron because of the ranking system appearing to favour kills, including AI vehicle kills, over objective – more players, more kills per minute. Which sucks because I really enjoyed Cargo…

The Beta has already proven that the age old class system and allowance to rank within it is significantly fairer than just ranking outright. Although kills, assists and player damage can still rack you up a good score, the focus is clearly more on achieving objectives. On Galactic Assault I received more points shooting with my blaster at the MTT than I did chasing people down for a headshot.

Each class is the same regardless of whether you are on the light or dark side and the battlefield is no longer a flurry of random Star Cards. Thank goodness that pesky Bowcaster is finally gone.

Though Star Cards still exist, what you receive is based on class and upgrades are achieved by crafting items received in crates rather than just having enough points to do so.

Space battles were a necessary inclusion after the disappointment of their disappearance in the first game. The ship controls in 2015’s Fighter Squadron were basic but restrictive with the left stick doing nothing on console editions. Battlefront 2’s Starfight Assault enables better ship handling by allowing the player to have more control and feels so much smoother than its predecessor, i.e. do as many manual barrel rolls as you like.

Multiplayer may be getting a reduction in game modes in this sequel but from the Beta alone we are seeing more of the game we should have received back in 2015. The game modes we have so far are simple yet endlessly fun. Graphically the improvements are astounding and upon playing the PC version it’s hard to believe the scenes haven’t been taken straight out of the movies.

The nostalgia trip I’ve had from playing the Beta of the original Battlefront games makes me more and more excited for its release next month. I’m only hoping the campaign can live up to the standard this has set.

This is the game that should have been released two years ago, but I’ll settle for better late than never.

 

Image Courtesy of EA.com