Star Wars Battlefront II (2017 video game)

Last updated on 17 November 2017

Star Wars Battlefront II is an action shooter video game based on the Star Wars film franchise. It is the fourth major installment of the Star Wars: Battlefront series and seventh overall, and a sequel to the 2015 reboot of the series. It was developed by EA DICE, in collaboration with Criterion Games and Motive Studios, and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released worldwide on November 17, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Prior to release, the game received negative reception regarding the status of loot boxes in video games, which could give players substantial gameplay advantages if they purchased the loot boxes with real money. A reply from EA's community team on Reddit on the topic became the most downvoted comment in the site's history. EA ultimately removed micro-transactions from the game until a later date.

Star Wars Battlefront II
SWBF2 box.jpeg
Developer(s) EA DICE[a]
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Writer(s) Walt Williams[1]
Mitch Dyer[1]
Composer(s) Gordy Haab
Series Star Wars: Battlefront
Engine Frostbite 3
Platform(s)
Release
  • WW: November 17, 2017
Genre(s) First-person shooter, third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Gameplay

SWBF2 gameplay.jpg
Star Wars Battlefront II features gameplay from the Star Wars prequel films, a feature absent in the game's predecessor.

Star Wars Battlefront II features a single-player story mode, a customizable character class system, and content based on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi movies.[2] It also features vehicles and locations from the original, prequel, and sequel Star Wars movie trilogies. It also features heroes and villains that can be played based on characters from the Star Wars movies; the hero roster includes Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Rey, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Boba Fett, Bossk, Iden Versio, Darth Maul, and Kylo Ren at launch.[3]

The game features a full campaign story mode unlike 2015's Battlefront. The game's single player protagonist, Iden Versio, leader of an Imperial Special Forces group known as Inferno Squad (Janina Gavankar), participates in multiple events in the 30 years leading up to The Force Awakens. There will be segments in the campaign where the player will be able to control other characters such as Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.

Instead of the paid Season Pass downloadable content (DLC) seen in the 2015 predecessor, this game is expanded with free DLC provided to all players with a free EA account.[4][5] Lead actress Janina Gavankar stated that the DLC would be free to all players, using a seasonal structure similar to Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege. The first season, set to be released in December 13, 2017, will be based on the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and will include Finn and Captain Phasma as heroes, the planet Crait as a ground map, and a space map above D'Qar.[6]

Multiplayer

Star Wars Battlefront II features five multiplayer game modes with the largest supporting up to 40 simultaneous players. Galactic Assault is centered around unique set pieces set across the eleven planets and locations featuring all three Star Wars eras involving a team of 20 attackers against 20 defenders. In Starfighter Assault, battles take place in space and planetary atmospheres involving 12 attackers against 12 defenders, both teams being reinforced with an additional 20 AI ships. Strikes are battles in close quarter scenarios involving a team of eight attackers aiming to capture a unique objective from a team of eight defenders; essentially one team capture the flag. Heroes vs. Villains is a team deathmatch mode involving the heroes and villains in Star Wars Battlefront II based off Star Wars characters; four light side heroes fight four dark side villains. Blast, the final mode, is standard team deathmatch between two teams of 10 players in which teams try to reach 100 total combined eliminations before the enemy team can.

Arcade

Players can also play in arcade mode – an offline single player or local co-op where players can choose which side to play on and which battle to play in. Battles vary from team battles to onslaughts. Alternatively, players can choose to do a custom match, where they can change some of the settings and location.

Campaign

The single-player story mode campaign in Star Wars Battlefront II takes place in the Star Wars galaxy, beginning around the time of Return of the Jedi, but largely between it and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Emperor Palpatine plots to lure an unsuspecting Rebel Alliance fleet into a trap using himself and the second Death Star, being constructed above the Forest Moon of Endor, as bait, seeking to crush the Rebellion against his Galactic Empire once and for all. The Imperial Special Forces commando unit Inferno Squad, led by Commander Iden Versio, daughter of Admiral Garrick Versio, and made up of Agents Gideon Hask and Del Meeko, is crucial to the success of this planned Battle of Endor, but the Empire underestimates the strength of the Rebellion as its fleet gathers at Sullust.

Plot

Iden Versio, a captive on the Rebel Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Invincible Faith, is interrogated by the starship's captain, who implores Iden to hand over secret codes to unlock an intercepted Imperial transmission. Iden refuses and awaits as her droid sneaks through the star cruiser's ventilation systems and frees her from her cell. The Rebels are unaware that Iden allowed herself to be captured in order to erase the transmission, thus not allowing the Emperor's plan to be compromised. Iden successfully erases the transmission, triggering an alarm that alerts the Rebel troopers on the ships of her escape. Iden fights her way through the ship, eventually reaching a hangar and launching herself into space where she is intercepted by the Corvus, the flagship of Inferno Squad. Before the Rebel Star Cruiser can fire, the Corvus jumps into hyperspace. Iden walks to the bridge and confirms the mission's success to Gideon Hask and Del Meeko. A time jump occurs to the Battle of Endor depicted in Return of the Jedi, where Admiral Garrick Versio witnesses the destruction of the Executor and death of Admiral Piett. On Endor, Iden, Hask, and Meeko secure the perimeter around the ruined shield generator, and watch with shock and horror as the second Death Star explodes. Vice Admiral Sloane orders a full retreat, leaving Imperial stormtroopers and ground forces stranded on Endor, though Admiral Versio awaits as Inferno Squad recover TIE fighters and escape the planet, which is being overrun by Rebel forces. The Corvus is attacked during their escape, but Inferno fends off Rebel bombers. Iden meets with her father on his Star Destroyer Eviscerator while Hask and Meeko remain on the Corvus.

Above Vardos, Admiral Versio presents a Messenger droid to his daughter and confirms to Iden that the Emperor has died. The Messenger droid, donned in red robes reminiscent of the Emperor's royal guard, displays a hologram of the late Emperor issuing his last command: to begin Operation: Cinder at once. Iden attempts to ask what their target is, but the Messenger refuses to communicate with her, stating that she is not verified. Admiral Versio sends his daughter to an Imperial shipyard above Fondor to protect Moff Raythe and his Star Destroyer Dauntless, which hosts experimental satellites vital to the success of Operation: Cinder. At Fondor, the Dauntless comes under attack from a Rebel Star Cruiser, but Iden is able to board the Rebel starship with Hask and disable its ion cannons. Afterwards, they are ordered by Moff Raythe to attack the Imperial shipyard itself, which Iden is skeptical of, but nevertheless follows his orders and frees his Star Destroyer from the locked clamps. Afterwards, the Dauntless opens fire on the Rebel cruiser, destroying it.

After, Inferno Agent Del Meeko is sent to the uninhabited world of Pillio and ordered to destroy one of Palpatine's hidden bases, an Observatory, when he is attacked and captured by the native wildlife. During this mission, he is encountered by new age Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, who helps him disarm the base's defenses and fend off the local wildlife. Upon discovering that the base is nothing more than a storehouse for Palpatine's spoils of conquest, Meeko and Luke part amicably, and Meeko himself begins to question the Empire's goals and motives after Luke lets him leave, giving him advice on being better than the Empire.

Following this, Iden and Inferno Squad are sent to the Imperial-controlled world of Vardos, in order to retrieve Protectorate Gleb, who is deemed by Versio to be important enough to rescue from Operation Cinder. As the satellites for Operation Cinder begin destroying the planet with terrible storms, Iden and Meeko as well as most of Inferno Squad try to evacuate the civilians as well as Gleb, causing Agent Hask to betray them. Disillusioned by the Empire's desires for destruction on Vardos, Iden and Meeko evacuate civilians and escape off world, now traitors to the Empire. Hask, meanwhile, is promoted for successfully retrieving Gleb.

After escaping the Imperial fleet, Iden and Del, now branded Traitors, seek out the Rebel Alliance and are taken to General Lando Calrissian, who gives them the choice to help stop Operation: Cinder when it is deployed on Naboo, or to escape and make new lives for themselves. Choosing to help, they aid Leia Organa in helping protect Naboo, destroying the satellites for Operation: Cinder and reactivating the Planet's defenses when Imperial forces attack Theed. After the planet is liberated, Inferno Squad joins the New Republic, seeking to right the wrongs they committed and help liberate the galaxy.

Iden and Inferno Squad are then sent to Tadokana to rescue Han Solo, who was extracting an Imperial defector carrying critical data in hopes of liberating Kashyyyk and freeing the Wookiees. The data additionally shows that Admiral Versio is commanding Imperial operations on Bespin and Sullust. Iden and Del infiltrate Bespin with the intent of capturing Admiral Versio, but he and Hask manage to escape. Iden destroys an critical refueling platform before escaping. Meanwhile, Lando investigates a hidden Imperial weapons cache on Sullust, only to find out it is a fully functioning weapons factory and he destroys it. The destruction caused at Bespin and Sullust cripple the Imperial fleet, which is forced to make a last stand against the New Republic fleet at Jakku. During the battle, Iden shoots down Hask, seemingly killing him, and boards the Eviscerator, intending to rescue her father. Though Counselor Rax expects him to leave as well, and despite the wishes of his daughter, Admiral Versio instead decides to go down with his ship, and urges Iden to escape and live a new life. Iden reluctantly takes an escape pod and reunites with Del at the end of the battle, which is a victory for the Republic. The two embrace and kiss as Shriv approaches them to show them the aftermath of the battle: the destruction of the Imperial fleet.

Many decades later, Del is captured on Pillio by Protectorate Gleb and officers of Jinata Security, who hands him over to Kylo Ren and the First Order. Kylo uses his Force powers to interrogate Del and force him to divulge the location of the map leading to Luke Skywalker's whereabouts, in the possession of Lor San Tekka. Once Kylo gets the information he needs, he leaves Del in the custody of Hask, who survived getting shot down at Jakku and joined the First Order. Hask expresses disgust at Del choosing to father a daughter with Iden instead of becoming a soldier and kills him. Hask then warns Gleb that the Republic cannot find out about "Project Resurrection" and orders her to leave the Corvus on Pillio as bait to lure Iden out of hiding.

Development and marketing

On May 10, 2016, the development of Star Wars Battlefront II was announced, led by EA DICE in collaboration with Criterion Games and Jade Raymond's Motive Studios.[7] The sequel to 2015's rebooted Star Wars Battlefront features content from the sequel trilogy of films.[8] Creative director Bernd Diemer has stated that the company has replaced the Season Pass system of paid expansion of content, because that system was determined to have "fragmented" the player community of the 2015 predecessor game. The new expansion system is designed to allow all players "to play longer".[5] Executive producer Matthew Webster announced on April 15, 2017 at Star Wars Celebration that the worldwide release of the game would be November 17, 2017.[9] The Battlefront II beta test period started on October 4, 2017, for players who pre-ordered the game. It was expanded to an open beta on October 6, and ran until October 11.[10][11] A 10 hour trial version was made available to EA Access and Origin Access subscribers on November 9, 2017.[12]

A tie-in novel, Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, was released on July 25, 2017. Written by Christie Golden, it serves as a direct prelude to the game and follows the exploits of the Galactic Empire's titular squad as it seeks to eliminate what was left of Saw Gerrera's rebel cell after the events of the 2016 film Rogue One.[13]

On November 10, 2017 Electronic Arts announced the first in a series of free downloadable content for the game, featuring the planets D'Qar and Crait and the playable hero characters Finn and Captain Phasma. This content is a direct tie-in to December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi.[14]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic (PC) 79/100[15]
(PS4) 74/100[16]
(XONE) 72/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
EGM 7/10[19]
Game Informer 6.5/10[20]
Game Revolution 2.5/5 stars[21]
GamesRadar 4/5 stars[18]

Star Wars Battlefront II received "generally favorable" reviews on PC and "mixed or average" reviews on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[15][16][17]

In his 4/5 star review for GamesRadar, Andy Hartup praised the multiplayer but criticized the single player modes, saying the game has a "very strong multiplayer offering tarnished by overly complicated character progression, and a lavish, beautiful story campaign lacking in substance or subtlety."[18] GameRevolution felt the campaign started strong but weakened as it progressed, praising the multiplayer gameplay while criticizing the micro-transactions, loot box progression system, and locking of heroes.[21]

For EGM's review, Nick Plessas praised the multiplayer combat, balancing, and variety, but criticized the game's sustained focus around loot crates.[19] Andrew Reiner of Game Informer gave the game 6.5/10, writing "Answering the call for more content, Star Wars Battlefront II offers a full campaign and more than enough multiplayer material, but the entire experience is brought down by microtransactions."[20]

Controversies

During pre-release beta trials, the game's publisher EA was criticized by gamers and the gaming press for introducing a loot box monetization scheme that gives players substantial gameplay advantages through items purchased in-game with real money.[22] Although such items could also be purchased with in-game currency, players would on average have to "grind" for approximately 40 hours to unlock a single player character such as Darth Vader.[23] Responding to the controversy, developers had adjusted the number of in-game items a player receives through playing the game. However, after the game went into pre-release a number of players and journalists who received the pre-release copy of the game reported various controversial gameplay features, such as rewards being unrelated to the player's performance in the game.[24]

On November 12, 2017, a Reddit user complained that although they spent US$80 to purchase the Deluxe Edition of the game, Darth Vader remained inaccessible for play, and the use of this character required a large amount of in-game credits. Players estimated that it would take 40 hours of gameplay to accumulate enough credits to unlock a single hero.[25] In response to the community's backlash, EA's Community Team defended the controversial changes by saying their intent to make users earn credits to unlock heroes was to give users a sense of "pride and accomplishment" after unlocking a hero.[26][27] This led to many Reddit users becoming frustrated at the response, which generated more than 670,000 downvotes,[28] making it the most downvoted comment in the site's history.[29][30][31] In response to the community's outrage, EA lowered the cost of credits to unlock heroes by 75%.[32][33] The credits rewarded for completing the campaign were also reduced, however.[34]

On November 15, two days before release, the Belgian gambling regulator announced that it was investigating the game, alongside Overwatch, to determine whether loot boxes constituted unlicensed gambling. In response to the investigation, EA claimed that Battlefront II's loot boxes do not constitute gambling.[35]

On the day before release, EA disabled micro-transactions entirely, citing players' concerns that they gave buyers an unfair advantages. They stated their intent to reintroduce them at a later data after unspecified changes had been made.[36]

Notes

  1. ^ Additional work by Criterion Games and Motive Studios

References

  1. ^ a b "Star Wars Battlefront 2's Writers Revealed". gamespot.com. April 18, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  2. ^ Walton, Mark (June 11, 2017). "Star Wars: Battlefront 2: Free DLC, better weapons, and new character classes". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  3. ^ EA Star Wars (April 15, 2017). Star Wars Battlefront II: Full Length Reveal Trailer. Retrieved April 16, 2017 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Strawhun, Aiden (June 10, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2's DLC Plans Hinted In Origin Store Page". GameSpot. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Rosenberg, Adam. "It looks like 'Star Wars: Battlefront II' will ditch the Season Pass". Mashable. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Makuch, Eddie (June 10, 2017). "E3 2017:Star Wars: Battlefront 2's DLC Maps, Modes, And Characters Are Free". GameSpot. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  7. ^ O'Connor, Alice (June 12, 2016). "Star Wars-O-Rama: Battlefront 2 And Beyond". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Makuch, Eddie (May 10, 2016). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 Confirmed, Features Content From "The New Movies"". GameSpot. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Star Wars (April 15, 2017). Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 Live Stream – Day 3 The Star Wars Show LIVE!. Retrieved April 16, 2017 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta hits in October with ground and space battles". Polygon. July 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Extended For PS4, Xbox One, And PC; Here's When It Ends". Gamespot. October 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Faller, Patrick (November 10, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 Origin/EA Access Trial Gives You 10 Hours Of Playtime On Xbox One And PC". GameSpot. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Faller, Patrick. "Star Wars: Battlefront 2's Campaign Is Set Up In A New Novel". GameSpot. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  14. ^ Purchese, Robert (November 10, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2's free The Last Jedi DLC gets a release date". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Star Wars Battlefront II for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Star Wars Battlefront II for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Star Wars Battlefront II for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Andy Hartup (November 13, 2017). "Star Wars: Battlefront II Review". GamesRadar. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Plessas, Nick (November 14, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront II review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  20. ^ a b Reiner, Andrew (November 15, 2017). "The Dark Side Of Gaming - Star Wars Battlefront II". Game Informer. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Faulkner, Jason (November 15, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 Review – Born to Lose, Pay-to-Win". Game Revolution. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  22. ^ Purchese, Robert (November 9, 2017). "The price and state of Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crates at launch". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  23. ^ Good, Owen S. (November 11, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 heroes come at a substantial cost". Polygon.
  24. ^ "Here's how Star Wars Battlefront 2's progression will work: levels, loot crates, and Star Cards". gamesradar. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Gach, Ethan. "Unlocking Heroes In Star Wars Battlefront II Could Take A Long Time [Update]". Kotaku. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  26. ^ Good, Owen S. (November 11, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 heroes come at a substantial cost". Polygon. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  27. ^ Matney, Lucas. "EA response to 'Battlefront II' complaint is the most downvoted comment in Reddit history". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  28. ^ "Seriously? I paid 80$ to have Vader locked? • r/StarWarsBattlefront". reddit. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  29. ^ "EA's defense of Star Wars: Battlefront II is now Reddit's most downvoted comment | GamesBeat". venturebeat.com. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "EA Now Has Most Downvoted Comment in Reddit History After Defending Battlefront 2 - GameRevolution". GameRevolution. November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  31. ^ Salinis, Sara (November 13, 2017). "EA's new Star Wars game is so unpopular a developer is apparently getting death threats". CNBC. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  32. ^ Arts, Electronic (November 13, 2017). "Change will be a Constant in Star Wars Battlefront II". ea.com. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  33. ^ Kim, Matt (November 13, 2017). "EA Lowers the Cost of Unlocking Star Wars Battlefront 2 Heroes by 75 Percent". Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  34. ^ O'Connor, James (November 14, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 has reduced the credits awarded for finishing the campaign". Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Bailey, Dustin (2017-11-15). "The Dutch Gaming Authority is investigating whether online loot boxes constitute gambling". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  36. ^ Makuch, Eddie (November 16, 2017). "Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Removes Microtransactions, But They're Coming Back Later". Retrieved November 16, 2017.

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