When DICE first released Star Wars: Battlefront II back in 2o17, many people criticized the game for being a shallow, pay-to-play title that lacked content and encouraged players to spend much more than the original $60 price tag in order to get a full experience. The overall game felt like a far cry from the original Battlefront titles of the PS2 days, and although the graphics looked incredible, many Star Wars fans were not happy with the finished product. Since those days though, Ben Walke and the rest of the team at Dice have been working hard to improve the game and its perception, pulling it further and further away from a pay-to-play structure. If you play it today, you'll find that it's much more impressive than it was back in 2017.
Away With Pay-To-Play
Over the past two years, Dice has been continually updating and improving Star Wars: Battlefront II, restructuring its multiplayer leveling system so that players can no longer pay money to improve their rank and skills, and instead rewarding players for actual gameplay progression. The ranking system was simplified, and changed to a linear format, which made understanding how to improve your rank much easier.
Along with this simplicity, loot crates were changed to strictly contain cosmetic items, meaning that spending money can no longer get you multiplayer progression. By simplifying the progression system, and no longer allowing players to obtain advancement from loot crates, DICE changed the game to be a more accessible, leveled experience, in turn making it a much better game than it had been previously.
More Content, Please
As far as Battlefront II's lack of content, Dice has been listening to the game's fanbase, and they've more than made up for what the game was initially missing. With every new Star Wars movie that is released, Battlefront II gets new content, including new playable heroes and villains, as well as improved game modes.
For example, when 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters, Battlefront II added a ton of new content, including the planet Kessel as a playable map, a new game mode called Extraction, a Lando Calrissian-piloted Millennium Falcon, and brand new appearances for Han Solo. With each Star Wars film that comes out, Battlefront II is sure to bring players content based on that film, and content based on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set to release on December 20 of this year, has already been teased by DICE.
Breathing Life Into Battlefront
On top of adding movie-related content, Dice has also done a great job of listening to other feedback from fans, utilizing it to include brand new game modes and improve others. A huge criticism of the game upon its release was the fact that the gameplay doesn't resemble that of the original Battlefront games, so Dice went ahead and created the Capital Supremacy game mode, which was created to play just like the original PS2 games. Advertising the mode as a Clone Wars-era authentic Battlefront experience, Dice gave players a non-linear ground battle mode, where they can capture command centers as well as invade capital ships.
On top of Capital Supremacy mode, DICE has continually worked to improve the game's Starfighter Assault mode, which has evolved into the definitive space-battler. The game type includes twenty-four players, forty AI bots, and some incredibly exciting and visually stunning starfighter combat. You're given the ability to choose from the fighter, bomber, and interceptor classes, and the game mode can be played in all three of the Star Wars eras. The game has quietly evolved into the best space combat experience that we've seen, and not enough people have recognized it as such.
Going Against The Grain
Although many people were disappointed with the initial product that was Star Wars: Battlefront II, Dice has set a great example by actually listening to fans and continually working to improve the game. It's not very often that we see developers move away from a pay-to-play platform and closer to what gamers want to actually see within their games. We'd love for this to be a sign that more developers will keep absurd microtransactions and pay-to-play structures out of their games, but that might be just a bit too optimistic.