By the time this article goes live, the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Open Beta will have concluded and as promised, I have opinions about this thing. Also, I’m going to assume you’ve played either some of Battlefront 1 and Overwatch, because explaining both of those takes up too much word space.
What we know about the game so far is that there will be more off the bat than Battlefront 1, with free updates instead of the season pass that earned Battlefront 1 a drubbing.
Meanwhile, he general gameplay systems remain more or less identical from Battlefront 1, marking a shift from a Call of Duty-style loadout system to a class-based one. How that works is that you have one of four basic roles to fill: the Assault for your flanking and room-clearing needs, a Heavy for tanking and defense, the Specialist for sniping and the Officer for your support. This has the benefit of giving you all you need to participate right off the bat, and removes the feeling of needing to unlock crucial components to do so, which in Battlefront 1 felt as though you needed to drive across the nation to unlock the brakes on your car.
Your performance and teamwork will also net you Battle Points for spawning in as advanced units such as Wookies, Jetpack Troopers, vehicles and Battlefront’s unique hero units, the ones in the beta being Han Solo, Rey, Boba Fett and Darth Maul. Getting those things last time around revolved entirely upon camping the places where the pickups spawned, which meant that the people who weren’t participating got to have all the fun. At least that’s fixed.
The new problem, however, is that people who drink shooters for breakfast in lieu of social lives will get the heroes first, and then remain a hero for the rest of the match. That means that someone like me, a mid-tier player, literally never got to play as a hero, which is sort of like watching a bunch of rich kids buy out all the ice cream in a ten-mile radius. What DICE needs to do here is put the heroes on a health timer, like in the original Battlefront 2, which can be slowed down, but never fully halted or restored, by good performance, in exchange for drastically buffing their resistance to damage.
Moving on, the beta’s maps include Naboo, Takodana and a space battle. All of them look great on the original PS4 I used to play it, so no real worries if you feel as if only a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X can do these locations justice, and the sound design is still excellent.
Meanwhile, the new progression system falls into the trap of being unsatisfying and slow. In the original, it felt slow for the sake of disguising the low amount of content had without the Season Pass. Here, it feels like that for the sake of propping up a new Loot Box system inexpertly ripped out of Overwatch. In Battlefront 2, Booster Star Cards, as well as Star Cards that replace abilities on your class load-outs, are mixed in with lame cosmetics, guns for each class, mods for the guns and crafting materials to craft whatever didn’t drop for you.
The credits earned from each match played can only ever be used on crates, and the speed of your progression is 100 percent tied into the whims of the random number god. Honestly, the loot crates are unnecessary, and the credits could simply be used to unlock the stuff like last time, with the speed of credits earned matched up roughly to how much time DICE wants the average player to stick around, add more guns and cards with each update. But noooooooo, EA saw how much money Blizzard printed off of Overwatch, and said to DICE: These charts say that loot crates are popular, put it in this game or you’re fired.
All this adds up to a game that’s shaping up to plug some of the glaring holes in it’s predecessor. All DICE needs to do is make a game whose progression isn’t designed to set us up for an eternal grind for any reason, and let us have fun with the shoot-y lasers without the corporate mandates.
Logan Graham is a senior studying media arts with a focus in games and animation at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Did you play the beta? Let Logan know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.