When Star Wars: Battlefront was released in 2015, it was the Star Wars game everyone had been dreaming of… for about a day. Once the initial – and undeniable – thrill of the fidelity of EA and DICE’s recreation of the Star Wars universe began to wear off, players quickly realized just how empty the game actually was.
DLC helped a bit, but the original version had almost nothing that players loved from the original Star Wars: Battlefront series. There was no campaign, the offline experience was reduced to a wave-based survival mode, and there were only a couple of actually fun multiplayer types. It was a massive disappointment to old and new fans alike. In E3 2017, we were treated to a trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront II, due in November this year. Tanks, the prequels, droids, Darth Maul - it looked phenomenal. EA has also provided details about a much-demanded campaign mode, and have announced that there will be four different classes in the multiplayer.
But while these are exciting additions and the trailer was as slick as EA can be, we have been burnt by amazing trailers at E3 before. Here are a number of definite reasons that you should consider giving this game a miss, at least until someone inevitably gives it to you for Christmas.
15 Star Wars Fatigue
When 2015’s Star Wars: Battlefront dropped it was the first major Star Wars title in years, we were all eagerly awaiting the first major Star Wars film in years, and we were all still trying to get over Disney dumping Star Wars 1313. It was the perfect time to release the game. Now, with a new Star Wars film due every year and more Star Wars games announced, there is a very real chance that we’ll start to get sick of the same thing. At the very least, Battlefront II won’t be able to lean on the nostalgia like it’s predecessors did, because it’s entering a market saturated by Star Wars, not starving for it.
14 Visceral’s Star Wars
And as much as people might start to get tired of the franchise, it might be worth keeping some room in your cabinet and wallet for Visceral’s Star Wars title. Not a whole lot has yet been announced about this yet unnamed game, except that it is helmed by Amy Hennig - who found success with Uncharted - and that it might be an experience like Assassin’s Creed. It looks to be an interesting game. However, it didn’t have any time at E3 this year because Battlefront II took center stage. So while Battlefront II had a polished presentation, and promises improvements on its predecessors, it is a Star Wars gameplay experience we’ve had before, and it might just be worth saving your money until 2018 and avoid Star Wars fatigue in the process.
13 Pay To Win?
Loot crates are a widely used and accepted part of AAA shooter titles, and it is no real surprise that they’re going to adopt them into Battlefront II. The issue is that the rewards players will get from these loot boxes are random ‘Star Cards,’ which will give players gameplay bonuses in multiplayer. While these can be earned, and players will get one for logging in each day, if EA makes these loot boxes purchasable – as it looks like they are doing – you can pay to ‘accelerate rewards.’ For many, this is starting to smell like pay-to-win. The randomness of the loot box system is similar to packs in FIFA Ultimate Team, and could mean that players are almost forced into buying them in order to be competitive – a slap in the face if you paid full retail price. Which leads to the next reason…
12 Unbalanced Multiplayer
While we will not know the tangible effects of the Star Card system on multiplayer for at least a couple of weeks after launch, it definitely resembles a pay-to-win structure that could ruin the multiplayer. Even so, 2015’s Battlefront was designed to be a broad experience, catering to as many players as possible. Someone could pick up the game a year after release and still compete against the level 50s. Even if the Star Cards do not end up being part of a pay-to-win structure, casual players might find their opponents overpowered compared to themselves. This could lead new players to struggle to get into the game. Of course, progression is hugely important to enjoying a multiplayer game, but currently, there is a danger that casual players, or people who just want to drop in for a couple of matches here and there, might be at a disadvantage from the get-go.
11 There Is Already A Battlefront II
I know, I know. We live in an age of re-skins and re-launches. The original Battlefront II is 12 years old and honestly, the graphics have not held up well, but it was a staple of many of our childhoods. Because honestly, the new Battlefront games are not re-launches of the old series; they use the brand to sell more copies. This may seem like somewhat of a petty reason to avoid the game all together, but having literally the same name as a hugely popular game is bound to lead to comparisons, and comparisons tinted with nostalgia. If this new Battlefront II fails to live up to what you remember from the original, without Galactic Conquest, or if the story doesn’t match that of the 501st, it’s going to hurt all the more. Also, it makes finding the right game on Google really annoying.
10 Will Try To Please Everyone
The realities of making a game is that not everything everyone wants can make it in. EA and DICE have promised a lot of extra stuff, but haven’t actually demonstrated the depth of it all. They say that they have heard the fans, and this is a positive, but perhaps instead of putting their stock into making a couple of major additions they have added plenty to cater to a wide audience, potentially leaving many of the modes unfulfilling. Hopefully they can pull it off, but more and more games are opting to push back releases in oder to properly finish, while Battlefront II’s release is likely concrete. We may end up seeing some cut corners, and the information we have right now doesn’t alleviate such concerns.
9 Mix And Match Heroes
This really won’t be a problem for everyone. In fact, for some players, it might be a plus, but in the trailer we saw Darth Maul cut through a swathe of clone troopers, which is a conflict he was not a part of in the films (fan service resurrection for the animated series aside). There are also suggestions that the heroes might be random or freely choosable, rather than tied to a map as in the original Battlefront II. Alternatively, they could be tied to a particular conflict as in 2015’s Battlefront. For the purists among us, it might be jarring to see Yoda fight Kylo Ren, or Rey slaughter separatist droids. Although, to be fair, to the rest of us that does sound pretty awesome.
8 DLC Will Be Free
That sounds amazing, I hear you say. The backlash against Battlefront’s extortionate Season Pass has been heard, and the player base won’t get divided. Hooray! It's probably too good to be true. This is EA, and while it was criticized, people still bought plenty of Battlefront DLC. They clearly expect the revenue to come from somewhere else, and that place – as we’ve already mentioned – looks to be from the loot crate/star card mechanic. It seems unlikely that executives and investors will get rid of season passes and paid DLC without assurances of another revenue stream. As we’ve already seen, these could have a real, damaging impact on the multiplayer experience or on your wallet.
7 No Local Co-op On PC
If you’re a console player, that’s cool, don’t worry. But for PC users, who already feel shafted by games catering to underpowered consoles, this is another annoyance. Sure consoles are more likely to facilitate co-op gaming, but as a primarily PC gamer who loves co-op, it's easy to feel let down by this. So we exist, dammit. There isn’t much of an explanation either, but as someone who got the majority of their playing hours from Battlefront with split screen co-op (as limited as the offline modes were) this is a real reason to avoid this game in favour of more co-op friendly titles such as CoD. Despite all their deficiencies.
6 Not Enough Information
We are still a few months away from release, and they have already released a closed alpha, but EA and DICE are still tight-lipped about a number of things. For example, they’ve announced a single-player campaign, and even given people the chance to play it at E3, but refused to answer how long the campaign would be. Maybe they just don’t know, but games that offer a lot of story tend to shout it from the rooftops. It’s highly possible that the campaign is a short, almost cosmetic addition to give the appearance of listening to fan feedback. Or not, we don’t know, and that’s the problem. Similarly, we know there will be split-screen co-op on consoles, but there is no indication of exactly how this will play out in-game.
5 It’s Just A New Coat Of Paint
There is no point in lying, the trailer for Battlefront II looks stunning — and Battlefront already looked amazing as it is. The trailer is exciting, and slick as can be, the graphics and textures look next-level. But a new coat of paint isn’t going to fix the foundations. There is a possibility that what we know about Battlefront II is just the shiny and new version of the original game. Darth Maul, classes, single-player campaign — these might be designed to entice people into pre-ordering despite not putting the effort into creating a compelling game. We simply won’t know until after release.
4 No Jar Jar (Because Then You Could Kill Him)
Alright, maybe not strictly a reason to avoid the game altogether, but just imagine the pleasure you could derive from gunning down the Gungan in cold blood, or exploding him with a thermal detonator. Or, if you are so inclined, you coul be that annoying person who chooses to actually play as Jar Jar Binks, pissing everyone off as you jump around flinging boomas at tanks. I get it, he is symptomatic of everything wrong with the prequels, relegated from central to peripheral character in the space of one episode, but better than pretending he never existed would be actually stomping on him with an AT-AT, or zapping him with force lightning.
3 Not Coming To Switch
Again, this won’t be of concern to Xbox One, PS4 or PC gamers, but there is no suggestion of Battlefront II coming to Nintendo’s newest console. This entry is less of a why you shouldn’t get Battlefront II as much as why you can’t get it if Switch is your chosen console. It is a shame, however, as the Nintendo Switch appears to be working really hard to become the other option console that the Wii was never threatening to be. Still, at this moment nothing is ruled out, but Nintendo haven’t taken a slice of the console market so much as they’ve given people a different way to play, so it seems EA aren’t too concerned about how missing that console on launch will hurt their sales.
2 Shades Of Mass Effect: Andromeda
Basically, don’t eat the hype. A pre-ordered copy may offer a couple of shiny additions, but they won’t be worthwhile if you’ve already dropped $60 on a terrible game. As a community, we are beginning to learn from our mistakes, but look at the hype surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda, or No Man’s Sky. No matter how amazing a game looks before release, no matter how big the company, it might still be a bad game. And EA has not had the best track record of late, and absolutely did not earn loyalty from Battlefront. A company like CD Projekt Red has earned my trust enough for me to pre-order their next game. EA and DICE haven’t, yet. And even then, as good as the Mass Effect series was, games with so much hype, that can suck you in, can still be bad. Don’t pay for them until you know what they are.
1 Vote With Your Wallet
We sometimes forget that as consumers we have power. A perfect example is the Assassin’s Creed series. Assassin’s Creed Unity was slammed by critics and players alike for buggy gameplay and a bland story, but it wasn’t until the next year, when Syndicate’s sales suffered as a direct result of Unity’s terrible release, that Ubisoft acted, postponing their next Assassin’s Creed title. This was something people had been calling for, but it wasn’t until it started affecting their bottom line that the company took action. If people do feel like the loot box system might be game-breaking, or worse; a nefarious money-grabbing system, then the best thing to do is send a message by not buying the game. Similarly, although they say they’ve listened to criticisms of Battlefront, just wait to spend money until you know what you’re getting. If the game sucks, but they met their sales quota, and microtransactions are keeping the money ticking, they just don’t care. So skip this game, at least on launch.