Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Beta – The Good and The Bad
This past weekend let players dive into the beta for the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2. Players were allowed into one of three matches:
- Strike: A face paced, 16 player skirmish event that pits the republic against the First Order.
- Galactic Assault: This 40 player mode has once side, the Trade Federation, escorting a giant tank across the Naboo city of Theed. If they get to the palace, it blows the doors open, forcing the defending Clone Troopers to defend the choke points of the palace. As the robot army progresses forward, there is a final stand in the throne room.
- Starfighter Assault: This much revamped game mode has the Rebel Alliance attacking an Imperial Fleet shipyard. The rebels must try and take down Imperial ships, and, eventually destroy the Star Destroyer.
- The graphics are, obvisouly, top notch. Everything has a great Star Wars skin and if you are a fan, this game will be a joy to play. From the leaves fluttering around Naboo to the excellent detail in the space battles, everything looks amazing.
- As much as I’d still prefer the ability to hop in and out of vehicles like in Battlefield 1, I much prefer Battlefront 2’s system to Battlefront 1’s. If you want to drive a tank or spaceship in Galactic Assault, instead of having to find a spawn point (that isn’t taken yet), you have to earn it. As you play the match, you will earn points based on how well you do. After earning enough points, you can choose to spend them to spawn in a spaceship, tank, or as an upgraded trooper. Keep earning points and you instead jump into a hero character. The beta had Darth Maul and Ray, among others. The heroes are limited to one at a time aa well, so you won’t see 4 Darth Mauls running around. I much prefer this system as as it rewards good play instead of being in the right place at the right time.
- Players now have to select a class when they spawn. There are four in the game for ground troops:
- Assault: Your basic run and gun trooper.
- Heavy: Just like it sounds, has heavy weapons and a shield.
- Officer: The support class. Can buff your teammates and drop an auto turret.
- Specialist: It’s a sniper.
- On the Space Battles Side, you get to choose from three ships:
- TIE Fighter/X-Wing: All around good fighter
- TIE Intercepter/A-Wing: High speed, agile fighter
- TIE Bomber/Y-Wing: Heavy, slow, but powerful bomber
The ships feel much more unique than they did in the previous game.
When it comes to the bad from the beta, there isn’t much to talk about except one thing. And it’s a REALLY big thing. EA has made the absurd decision to turn Star Wars: Battlefront 2 into a Pay to Win game (P2W). That’s right, the bane of the mobile industry has definitely made its way to consoles. Let’s take a look at how.
One would think that leveling up your classes is tied to how well you play them in games. Sorry, nope. Everything in Battlefront 2 is tied to loot crates. As you play, you’ll earn currency you can use to unlock creates. These will drop weapons, Star Cards, and other cosmetic items, like victory poses. The problem comes from those Star Cards.
The Star Cards give you not only alternate weapons for your character, but also powerful buffs. The buffs also have different levels that can be achieved. A level 1 boost for your X-Wing will give you a 2% damage buff. Nice, but not game breaking. Get that to level 4 and it’s a 10% buff, which can definitely make a difference, event between players of equal skill.
To make matters worse, your class level is tied to how many Star Cards you’ve unlocked for them. So you might play the Specialist for 10 hours, but if you only unlock cards for the Assault class, you’ll still be low level. Unfortunately, everything is just tied to the random number generator (RNG) of the loot crate system.
And that’s where the P2W can rear its ugly head. When the game is released, a player can decide to spend $500 on loot crates and unlock a gob of stuff for their classes. This doesn’t create a level playing field, this allows people with much more disposable income getting a distinct advantage over other players. Games like Overwatch have long handled this well by making all loot crates purely cosmetic. In those cases, fine, pay whatever you want. I don’t really care if you get more skins then I have. But to give a player better stats, weapons, and options because they spent more money. That’s just not fair.
Compound this with the fact that you are already paying $60 for a AAA video game. This isn’t a free to play game where EA needs to recoup their development costs. You are paying upfront for the game. More if EA has a season pass.
Frankly I’m disgusted by this Pay to Win system and, unless Dice fixes this before its release, I will probably be skipping Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Which is a shame. Because I’m a die hard Star Wars fan and this was going to be an instant buy for me. But as it stands right now, the leveling system is just garbage.