Two years ago, we heavily criticized Star Wars Battlefront because of the lack of a single player mode. Thusly, most of us did not buy the first game. We here at PCU will still stand by the idea that after more than a decade without a Battlefront game, it was crazy that the first one we got lacked a single player mode. We also can’t ignore the fact that, after getting complaints, EA DICE attempted to not just tack on, but spackle a single player mode after the fact; thus proving to many gamers that they were beta tested for the new release. Even John Boyega wanted a single player mode as well! So, has EA DICE righted the ship so far in early access? This is what we have to say.
I will keep it short to allow my colleagues some space to write their thoughts. Playing through the first few hours of the campaign was probably one of the best of a FPS I have played in a long while. You play as Iden Versio, an Imperial officer as she witnesses the fall and retaliation of the Empire as it comes to an end at Endor. Within the first few missions, she must use her droid to break out of a holding cell, battle her way through the mop up of Imperials on Endor and fly a TIE fighter protecting a Star Destroyer. It’s interesting that we are getting this story through the eyes of the ‘bad guys’ as many assumed for a long while that the end credits of Return of the Jedi was it. I do have a feeling however, that Versio may twist this story and defect like Agent Kallus, but right now nothing points that way.
Cons: Believe it or not, mine are very minor from the outset and may change upon the game’s full release as I get to see the rest in action. Graphically speaking, the game is GORGEOUS – especially in 4K on the Xbox One X, but if I had one minor gripe, it’s that there is one scene where you are flying IN SPACE through wreckage and there are ships and debris, ON FIRE. HAHA! It’s a minor gripe and I am sure that this was done for aesthetics, but come on…someone missed class on how fires react to the vacuum of space and the lack of oxygen. The only other gripe that I do have is (SPOILER WARNING!!!!) when looking through the single player menus; gamers will see that the last few missions end up at Jakku. How much would that have impacted the story in The Force Awakens? Knowing now that this is here makes me wonder why EA DICE and Disney sat on this for 2 years as opposed to connecting this story to the movie’s release. Sure, better late than never but I have got a funny feeling that this single player story would have meant a lot overall.
Overall, I am cautiously excited for the new game as I am so far happy that EA DICE listened and has attempted to address gamers’ concerns with the campaign. I hope the rest plays out as well as the beginning.
Pros: After getting some hands on time with the game through EA Access, I have to say that I am impressed with the campaign missions that are available. Going back to what Harry said above, it’s refreshing to see a Star Wars story that is set from the point of view of the Empire. The first mission alone where you get to play as Iden’s droid and break her out of a holding cell is fun and challenging. I love the segment on Endor, it’s fast paced and you will be trying to catch your breath by the time that it is over. Outside of Overwatch, this is one of the best shooters I have played in a while and I cannot wait to finish the campaign. The multiplayer gameplay is solid as well and I am so happy that they have included all three eras of the Star Wars saga in the various game modes you play.
Cons: While that game looks great and plays great, I did find a few glitches in the campaign missions. One major one was on Endor where the team is taking out small Rebel patrol groups. We attacked the Rebels and when they were all dead one was laying behind a boulder and Agent Hask would not stop shooting the body even after the Rebel was dead. I had to move forward towards the next objective in order for him to follow along.
Pros: As a huge fan of the 2005 Battlefront II, I was sorely disappointed in the 2015 reboot of the series. There was no story to be spoken of, no memorable space battles (come on, no Death Star Trench run?), and the most egregious error of all: no Galactic Conquest mode. However, from what I’ve played of the campaign mode of 2017’s Battlefront II, maybe, just maybe, this series can be salvaged from whatever Death Star trash compactor EA threw it in. Graphically, this game is absolutely gorgeous. From the vast swathes of terrain to the facial mocap all the way down to the impacts made by blaster fire, this game shines. The sound and music is on point, with every squeeze of the trigger feeling like it actually has some weight behind it. The missions that I’ve gotten to play thus far have been surprisingly fun and varied, sometimes calling for stealth, sometimes piloting a TIE fighter through a vast debris field shooting down Y-Wings, and other times pulling out a rocket launcher and saying “bring it on”. As a big fan of the Empire throughout Star Wars, it’s quite refreshing to see the aftermath of Return of the Jedi from an Imperial perspective, but, like Harry stated, I can’t help but shake the feeling that we’re going to see our main character defect at some point down the road (looking at you, Force Unleashed). Only time will tell, and I look forward to playing the rest of the campaign when it drops.
Cons: I had a little bit of trouble at first attaching and detaching the different combat cards available to my character, including a hiccup where they wouldn’t change until I died and started over at an earlier checkpoint. Maybe I missed it, but I couldn’t seem to find out exactly what the different abilities did and spent a slightly irritating amount of time in the Endor mission doing a trial-and-error test of my arsenal. Other than that, the campaign seems pretty solid, the voice acting is great, the gameplay is fun, and I might just be willing to drop money on this game. Also, still no Galactic Conquest mode. Get on it, EA.
From the sounds of things, EA DICE have things on track so far with the campaign mode. Will it be worth it when players reach the end? Pick it up today and find out!