Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be officially released tomorrow, but the hype around this game isn't your typical game release hype. The recent EA Access 10-hour trial revealed that the top heroes were locked behind 40 hours of play each. The backlash over the locked content and push to purchase loot boxes with real money caused EA to take a step back and cut the cost of heroes in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 by 75%, as well as cut the campaign credit payout by 75%.
If you don't have the time to do more reading and catch up on the drama, here's a good summary of the community reaction:
Outside of the loot boxes, reviews on the game have been conflicted. Outlets seem unsure on what to score the game as the loot boxes and gameplay fall on opposite spectrums. Like most multiplayer-focused shooters, the game's campaign isn't the most riveting aspect of the game. It's certainly not a bad campaign by any means but could be found to be lacking in some aspects.
The multiplayer is the game's strongest front and is an improvement compared to its predecessor. It is visually "stunning" and offers varied modes to keep players entertained. That being said, most reviewers found the loot crate situation hard to ignore, as it is tied to progression.
The game is currently sitting at 72/100 on OpenCritic.
The Star Wars authenticity can be felt throughout, but blatantly predatory microtransactions are a blight, force choking the life out of what is otherwise one of my favorite games this year.
A thrilling Star Wars moment can end up feeling gross when you're reminded of the microtransactions mid-match.
IGN Spain 8.5/10
Bigger and better but not perfect. Its campaign it's too linear and predictable, and that hampers the experience. Besides that, its multiplayer face it almost flawless, despite the micropayment controversy.
A very strong multiplayer offering tarnished by overly complicated character progression, and a lavish, beautiful story campaign lacking in substance or subtlety.
IGN 7/10 (IN PROGRESS – MAY CHANGE)
But in terms of delivering on that Star Wars fantasy, jumping from corner to corner of the galaxy to see as much as it has to offer, Battlefront 2 succeeds in a very fun way. I’m just not sure there’s enough here to keep me interested for very long.
GameSpot 6/10 (IN PROGRESS – MAY CHANGE)
Battlefront II plants itself in the same territory as free-to-play games, with much of its content and characters tucked away behind progression walls and randomized loot crates. This is an especially disappointing reality for a full-priced release. Above all, it ends up doing a disservice to the core gameplay, which can still provide solid moments of enjoyment despite the looming presence of its progression systems. Many of these issues related to the meta-game fall by the wayside when you're in the thick of battle, as you're taking part in the massive struggle throughout the many locales in the Star Wars universe.
While its main narrative feels unresolved, and the general loop of the multiplayer carries a number of issues, Battlefront II still manages to evoke that same sense of joy and excitement found in the core of what the series is all about.
Eurogamer No Score
So yes, Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot boxes are far from great, exacerbated by an unlock system that can feel painfully slow and doesn't offer the shower of rewards you see in something like Call of Duty. Such has often been the way with DICE's shooters, it's worth remembering, only here there's an added and unwelcome friction that can leave you feeling a little suspect. It's not exactly ruinous, but it's not something to be reveled in either, and it'll take more than a handful of tweaks and a few weeks of the planned free content drops to wash away the sour taste that's been left by this messy launch.
The game itself, though? Well, it can be quite splendid, thanks for asking, although it does suffer from other frictions elsewhere. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is ultimately as maddening and uneven as the films themselves, and just as likely to wow you with a moment of unparalleled spectacle as it is to fall flat on its face. Such is the way with this series, where the Force is always kept in balance in some mysterious way; for every Boba Fett there is a Watto, for every Battle of Hoth a Dex's Diner
Kotaku No Score
Star Wars: Battlefront II frustrates me in ways I never knew I could be frustrated. It is both a lovingly crafted companion to the films and a tangled mess of corporate meddling. There is a strong heart at the center but finding it means peeling back layers of unnecessary and infuriating nonsense.