Star Wars Battlefront II

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Paladin
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Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by Paladin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:32 pm

Yesterday was the early release of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 for folks who preordered it. After a few hours with it last night, I figured I'd post my early thoughts.

First, the single player campaign is very well done. The story, so far is good, if not particularly original. The campaign mixes scripted missions on the various multiplayer maps with space combat missions. The writing is strong, and uses the original trilogy characters well. The voice acting is superb. The campaign is short though, still a problem with multiplayer first games. I'm halfway through after 2-3 hours. The missions are also really heavily scripted. The maps feel large and frequently provide two paths, but you're just as funneled as in a Call of Duty game.

I tried to join a Galactic Conquest multiplayer match, but gave up after 20 minutes of waiting for the match to fill. Hopefully that will improve by the time the game generally becomes available on Friday.

As for the unlocks controversy - well, I've been opposed to unlockables ever since they popped up in the Battlefield franchise, and it's no different here. That said, the gear I've got to start with feels more useful than the starter weapons in the first game. You get 6 or so heroes unlocked out of the gate, so while you may not be able to play the one you really want until you eventually unlock it, you aren't without options. No, there real problem with the heroes is that in this game you buy them with points you earn during the round. They cost a pretty good number of points, but not unreachable even with my average skill. But, the odds are really good that once you have the points, you won't be able to spawn in one of the two hero slots, because whoever got them first will be the one racking up the points fastest to rebuy it. A good hero player, or even an average one, will dominate the scoreboard. Especially Maul.

But, at least you can spend those points to spawn special troop types and vehicles as well, so again, you have some options. It trades the random chance of finding a hero spawn in the original game for a point buy, and I'm already pretty convinced it's going to keep them out of all but the best player's hands in the big multiplayer conquest games.

As for unlocking heroes, there are lots of ways to earn credits to unlock them - you can get them in loot boxes (which you get for achievements and a daily one, in addition to the pay cash option) and you get them for completing the single player campaign missions. I've already got enough in 2-3 hours of playing the campaign to unlock one of the cheap 5000 credit heroes, but I think I'll save them for a 10,000 credit one.
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tai
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by tai » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:45 pm

Thanks for the review. :) If the single player game were longer I'd be much more inclined to buy it. The cost (and time it takes me to download) aren't appealing at the moment. It sounds like I'd never get the hero in MP. =P
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Paladin
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by Paladin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:07 pm

Night 2 - I played multiplayer exclusively for a bit less than 3 hours. After completing a bunch of the basic challenges (get 5 kills in a class, play 10 minutes as each class, etc), I'm up to 17,100 credits, which is more than enough to unlock any one of the initially locked heroes and well on my way to a second. The most expensive ones are 10,000 credits. So, while I expect progression will slow some, there isn't anything holding anyone back from buying at least one hero they want and didn't get for free within the first day or so.

The maps are pretty good, at least on Galactic Challenge. They're big, with lots of routes through them. The outdoor ones seems to have both day and night modes. Night fighting is as chaotic as you'd expect.

Rumor has it the standard version will be on sale for Black Friday, so if you're on the fence, that might be an option. I'm definitely unimpressed with my pre-order deluxe version.
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tai
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by tai » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 am

Hrm, yeah, I think my acceptable price point is around $30, it will be a while before it drops that low.

Totally off topic, but I managed to pick up Here Come the Mummies tickets last night. Finally going to get to see them. =)
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Paladin
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:21 pm

You lucky sod. They're going to be in Charlotte on December 9. Thinking I might try to go. It's a long drive home that late at night.
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Paladin
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II

Post by Paladin » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 pm

On the Battlefront II side of things, I'll add some more feedback...

I've had the game just under a week now. I finished the single player campaign in just about 6 hours. The cinematic elements of the campaign are great. Further evidence that the people doing the games and cartoons would make better movies than the people who are making the movies.

As far as multiplayer goes, I'm still playing a few hours every night and I don't see that changing any time soon. There's been a definite shift in skill levels over the last few days. More people have upgraded weapons and abilities, and it's helping to make the hero characters feel a little less unbalanced. But, the people who are pouring hours into the game and getting the better stuff are making us average players feel less and less relevant. It's hard to advance when you don't live very long.

With the loot, though, I don't have any complaints. I'm down to only 2 heroes left to unlock, and I've got close to half the credits I need to do them. I'll probably reach that goal by tomorrow or Wednesday. EA did the right thing by slashing their costs, I think, but since you started with 6 unlocked anyway I don't think it was as big a deal as the complaints made it seem. All the weapons are unlocked via challenges - often with multiple options to get there. So, at least for the tier 2 stuff, you can unlock it by playing the single-player campaign or multiplayer. The 3rd tier stuff seems to only be unlockable by playing multiplayer, but there were at least 2 challenges that would get it done. Star Cards and Boosts can be crafted with scrap. Most daily crates drop 5 scrap. It take 40 to craft a level 1 boost or star card. Completing single-player missions, arcade missions and some of the multiplayer challenges will get you scrap too. I feel like I've got a good selections for each class at this point, and I'm glad it's not dependent on random loot drops. That said, boosts and star cards will drop from loot crates too - and I did get a sizeable head start on those from the deluxe edition. Not worth the price difference, but it helped. Weapons can be upgraded too. I think that's done with scrap as well, but I haven't really done any of that yet. I haven't reached the level needed to unlock additional weapon upgrade slots.

Overall, the game balance seems to be pretty good. As with the Battlefield games, they've made it harder for ground troops to deal any real damage to vehicles. There's no real advantage for either attackers or defenders, although in many maps, it seems that whichever team has momentum is best able to keep it going. I still haven't done any playing in the Starfighter game mode. The bit of that I had to do in the single-player campaign was just too fast and frenetic for me to enjoy it. Maybe I'll get there eventually. I did with the first game. This just seems to be a whole lot faster.
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