Console Corner: Star Wars Battlefront 2 review
Great strides forwards... and backwards.
The saying one step forward, two steps back exists for a reason, much to the disappointment of Star Wars fans.
The 2015 release of Star Wars Battlefront was widely criticised for placing too much focus on its flawed multiplayer and inexplicably ignoring single player altogether.
Well I can happily report that DICE have addressed that issue and taken a real step forward with a solid and enjoyable single player campaign in Battlefront 2.
In fact with a focus on single player, making its blasters and weapons feel vastly superior to the first game and a much-improved roster of Star Wars characters then it has to be said SWB2 is a sequel which improves upon its predecessor in some major ways.
Fourteen beautiful crafted maps set across the entire 40-year history of the series and what’s not to like?
That’s where the two steps back come in.
Anyone who has read up elsewhere on the game will undoubtedly already know this but unfortunately there is no getting away from it, the terrible progression system and disjointed storytelling are huge setbacks.
As I have touched on the game is visually stunning, there is an exciting scope of online battles and impressive set-pieces in the single-player campaign (which just by virtue of existing is an improvement on the last game).
The Starfighter Assault makes for some memorable Star Wars battle action and the controls play their part too.
But the rage-inducing complexity of the progression system in multiplayer is exacerbated by convoluted and cumbersome menus and poor tutorials.
Predictable twists make the story feel cheap but then the same accusation could be leveled at the classic films themselves.
There is also too much emphasis on the random loot drops and microtransactions which has sparked a lot of criticism elsewhere and rightly so.
If there’s one thing that Star Wars Battlefront II accomplishes though, it is capturing that unmistakable magic of the series and the fact you are flying, running and blasting your way around the Star Wars universe.
There is more content, a single-player campaign (although it does feel strange praising a game for the inclusion of this!) and superb graphics and sound. But it is all counterbalanced - rather ironically - by the progression system which is regressive in terms of the overall SWB2 experience.