Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Shows EA Has Made Better Choices This Time

Star Wars Battlefront II's multiplayer went into a semi-open beta last night for players who preordered. I've spent most of the day blasting away. A few small changes from the previous game makes it much more focused and exciting to play.

2015's Star Wars Battlefront felt fragmented at launch, thin on content and lacking the grand scope found in 2005's Battlefront II. The 2005 game had numerous classes to pick, a ton of vehicles, and great maps to play on. Battlefront II (not to be confused with Battlefront II) brings back classes and revamps how bonuses work.

These changes aren't revolutionary, but they make the multiplayer a ton of fun. Whether you're defending a space tank in the objective heavy, ground battles of Galactic Assault mode or blowing up ships in Starfighter Assault, everything feels a lot more streamlined.

Returning to classes helps everyone find a role on the battlefield. Players can choose from four classes: assault, heavy, officer, and specialist. Assault and heavy classes are standard infantry units that can swarm objectives with heavy firepower.

The officer buffs nearby allies to give them more health and boost their damage. Meanwhile, specialists can mark enemies with thermal binoculars and use sniper rifles. The classes creates a team dynamic that 2015's Battlefront was sorely lacking.

It's also much easier to access special classes, hero characters, and vehicles in Battlefront II than it was in the previous game. Playing well earns battle points; get enough battles points and you can spawn into the map as a special unit. This might mean spending a few points to control the skies as a starfighter or saving up a ton until you're able to rush around at Darth Maul.

It's a rewarding system that incentives superior performance and adds variety to the map. Gone are the days of random pickups; if you know what you want to play as and have the points, there's nothing standing in your way. As a result, gameplay feels focused. Choosing when to spend points is a decision that matters.

The production quality is superb. I'd estimate that Battlefront II costs one trillion dollars to make and most of that was dropped on the visuals. Marble floors gleam with polish, lightsabers clash with gorgeous particle effects, and blasters roar. The look combines well with Battlefront II's slightly faster gameplay. Starfighters turn with more precision, and it's easy to sprint around the battlefield to perform exciting flanking maneuvers.

If there's one downside, it is the return of star cards. Players can equip up to three cards on their character that grant passive bonuses or change abilities. One card might cool your fighter's engine a bit faster, while another will change your minigun into a heavy blaster for damaging vehicles.

In theory, this gives players the chance to customise their character's role further, but it feels like one system too many on top of selecting a class. It doesn't help that new star cards can be gained from loot crates purchased with in-game currency. The specter of microtransactions hovers over Battlefront II.

If players are able to buy credits and open tons of crates to get the best star cards, that would be a real shame.

Battlefront II's multiplayer is a lot of fun. Starfighter combat is packed with dogfights while ground combat feels chaotic and exciting. The question is whether or not the game will deliver the kind of coherent experience 2015's Battlefront did not.

For now, everything seems to be in order. Players can check for themselves when the beta opens up for everyone tomorrow.


Comments

    Your cost estimates show you have a bright future ahead of you, should you choose to become a finance adviser or similar :)

    I played it.

    I don't like how slow normal movement feels compared to Battlefront 1. At least you can roll anywhere now, but still. It feels far slower and more deliberate, though it feels like a greater emphasis on squad tactics which... fair enough.

    I'm not a huge fan of classes either. The original allowed you to effectively make your own class by equipping star cards that complement your weapons. This new system felt like I had to shoehorn myself into a role. I like the officer, as he gets a pistol and turret, but man I miss my SE-14C, and I felt like the radius was way small on his health booster.

    Also, is it just me or are nades pretty much invisible till they explode? Maybe this will change.

    It automatically boots in HDR mode, which looked a little washed out to me? But maybe I just have to play on a different video mode.

    I think I need to give it more time, but I wasn't exactly bowled over.

      Well it does go back to its roots of class based combat with the original Battlefront games.
      Im liking what i see at the moment, but will need to wait until i get my hands on it Saturday.

    Microtransactions and loot boxes? fuck it, I'm out. Much as I would love to play this, I'm voting with my wallet. Fuck EA, and fuck any publisher that thinks a free to play economy should exist in a full price game.

      Yep, I'm out too. Screw the AAA industry with this loot box BS.

        I'm out to, Fuck the big bankers and the 1.5 %

        K there boss, you're probably the same person who bitched about the lack of content and the Season Pass system of the first one ROFL. Quit bitching. The game was fun as hell and Star Cards were quite easy to acquire.

      I agree that I utterly despite any implementation of loot-boxes and secondary purchases, but on the other hand, no dlc/free dlc for Battlefront 2. So we get this instead as a way to ensure they've got money to sit on, I know which one I'd rather have and it involves not fracturing the player-base.

        Fair enough, but this isn't an 'instead of' situation. I certainly don't agree with the assumption that the DLC will only be free because of the existence of microtransactions, and that without them we wouldn't get free DLC. EA and DICE do not need the money to remain profitable.

        The big problem as far as I see it is that no-one (myself included up til now at least) is willing to miss out on a game in order to send a message that this microtransaction garbage has got to stop. As long as we keep justifying it to ourselves on a game by game level it's just going to keep getting worse.

      I agree with you. But the way it is now, what games would be left if you boycott every game with microtransactions etc??

        Games with microtransactions are fine when either the game is free to play and/or if the microtransactions are purely cosmetic and don't give any in game advantages over other
        players. Battlefront 2 is a full price game and the class/hero progression is directly tied to the loot boxes. The loot boxes are the only way to get upgrades and guns. You can either play for hours and hours to get free loot boxes or you can buy them with cash. If you aren't buying loot boxes with cash on day one, you are going to get owned by the people who did.

      You're not going to be playing alot of games soon. Because microtransactions are in almost all games now.

        yeah pretty much, not many AAA games anyway.

    Can't wait to try this out. Currently loving the first game.

    Microtransactions or not at least they won't split the player base this time (the biggest sin of the first game)

    How is aiming, does zeroing in improve aim?

    I am unsure about buying, I wish the Beta was open to the public.

      Beta will be open, just those who pre-ordered were allowed in earlier because that's now a thing, I guess.

    Am I too old?

    Anyone know when the open beta starts by any chance tomorrow? (Sydney time wise)

    Are Serious? They have killed their own game before it even came out. This game is pay2win. The problem is scraps, which unlocks attachments and guns. 5 hours to get 100 scraps to unlock 1 attachment. A new gun is 600 scraps, yep that's right you have to grind for over 12 - 15 hours to unlock a gun? OR, and this is the catch, you can buy loot crates, which will give you scraps. So when the game is released, the little rich kids will just buy loot crates and unlock everything, they will be op. Some of the attachments are pretty game changing. EA needs to fix this before release, because ppl will not grind while other players can just buy everything. They have messed up big time.

    No HOTAS for dogfights?PTW? Fuck off EA,. I'm out.

    They can add all the microtransactions they want, I won't be paying more than the sticker price.

    Star cards don't equal superior tactics. I may not have had the highest kill counts this weekend, but I had no trouble those who did regardless of loadout.

      That's kind of silly though. Why would you buy a game that you know you won't enjoy unless you buy loot boxes?

    Lol I bet even EA spit their drink out when they read the headline of this article.

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