Star Wars Battlefront II – Review

This is a review for the single player content in the game. I had no intention of playing the multiplayer so don’t even worry about any of that.

Wow, this game is not good at all. I’ll start with what I did actually like about it, and that was the story. I liked it in comparison to the gameplay that is. The story is interesting, kind of, but they just didn’t give it the time it needed to actually be good. There are interesting parts to it, the cinematics are all nicely done, the characters look pretty good, and the set pieces are all what you think about with the Star Wars brand. They just fucked it up on the execution. See, I’m already getting into negatives.

So the story moves way too fast, they don’t give anything time to breath so you end up not giving a shit about what happens. The story is supposed to focus around the main woman, Iden Versio, as she goes from Empire special forces to the Rebellion, and her life after that. That should have been the main focus of the whole single player campaign, focus on her story and the cool missions she goes on. Instead, you play a bit of her, then you bounce back and force through every major Star Wars character that was ever created. It’s so infuriating that they keep feeling the need to satisfy fans desire to walk in the shoes of Han Solo or Lando. It doesn’t serve the story in any way, outside of one mission where you hook up with Luke.

The integration of story into the gameplay was also pretty weak, but that has to do with the way levels are structured. There are scenes where they try to merge storytelling into what’s going on, but I was able to quickly discover the tricks used. For instance, you’re sneaking through the Rebel’s ship and come into a room where they’re giving a briefing. You’re supposed to sneak behind a low wall and into the next room, just stand up and act a fool, nobody will care. I know other games do this, but this game is just blatant about it. Which leads into…

The game doesn’t care what you do.

The enemy AI. Let’s talk about this for a moment since this is the biggest issue I had with the game. I haven’t seen enemy AI like this since Goldeneye on the N64. These are the dumbest enemies I’ve fought against in a really long time. Usually you don’t even notice the AI or think about it being a system, which is a good thing, the AI in this game is a bad thing. These enemies are literally the dumbest people in the galaxy.

There was an odd disconnect that I had with the AI that came about from fighting as Iden against the Rebellion. I think it’s because the Rebels are supposed to be the good guys, yet they acted so dumb. If they were the real enemy, I think it would have been more appropriate, and might not have stood out as much. It’d be like dumb bad guys in action movies that are just cannon fodder. Instead, these systems just lead into a game full of dumb AI. The enemy will constantly just run at you like a bot from Perfect Dark. They funnel in doorways, one after another as you just mow them down. Flanking maneuvers? The Division 2 level of formation and coordination of enemies? Nope, just dumb fodder to be mowed down, so boring and broken. You can tell this game wasn’t made for single player.

Oh man, this train of thought then leads into the boring ass level design and mission structure. Talk about a hack job. Games like Call of Duty build interesting single player levels and then use those assets to build their multiplayer maps. This game, you can tell, did the complete opposite. Let’s have multiplayer levels from these locations from the movies, then let’s force the story to have to visit all these locations because we built some assets for them. The levels all feel like multiplayer maps, in that they’re boring and uninteresting, and usually really short. If you get into a little bespoke area, you’re definitely going to revisit it at another point in the level, or perhaps in a future level also.

This all just goes to show that the single player was an afterthought to the game design. This is not Battlefield Hardline, which was actually a good single player game. You can play the game in first or third person, the first person felt off, so I stuck with third for the whole game. Why spend the money on the single player cinematics then? Perhaps it was just for the marketing material of the game. I do remember they were pushing a lot of the story when the game was launching, showing off the real actors and how they captured them for the game. It was just a ruse, they spent the money there and not in the actual single player part of the game that you play. This is an EA game, let’s not forget.

Cinematics look good at least.

One more thing I’d like to shit on is the glitches. I’d kill enemies in this game and they’d do one of two things. The first thing they’d do is lay on the ground as if they’re dead, then all of a sudden, they’d spring up from the ground and fall back down; this would happen constantly throughout the mission. The most annoying part of this was just trying to keep an awareness of the battlefield and knowing where enemies are coming from. You’d get a lot of weird peripheral movement of corpses flipping out around you, this made spotting real enemies harder than it should have been. The other glitch that I’d get is that every enemy I’d kill would just pretend like gravity didn’t exist and they’d just start floating into the sky. So I’d kill a hoard of enemies and look around to see them all floating in the air.

Was I supposed to be in space this whole time?

The flying levels were good, in that they looked good and felt good to play. The mission structure was just poorly designed and boring. This game is just so uninspired! Why did they waste all this potential?! It just kind of pisses you off while you play this. If they just focused on having one good story, center it around Iden, and give her a real single player experience this would have been something. Instead, what we get is a mess of a single player game that is only meant to produce cinematics for marketing purposes.

I know Iden, this was my face while playing too.

Final Score (single player only) – 5.0

There are nuggets of good in the story, you just really have to look for them and block out the rest. At least I didn’t pay for it and it was over relatively quick. EA didn’t care about this content, so why should anyone else. Hard pass on this, go play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order instead.

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