Battlefront has long been a staple in the Star Wars community. It is one of the rare moments where you can pick up a blaster and really see how it feels to fight as Droids, Rebels, Clones, and the frightening Stormtroopers. In 2015 we got our taste of Battlefront for the PS3: this was one of the first games that was created after being acquired by Disney: this was to replace the Extended Universe (EU) and stick solely to the Canon. Praised for the visuals, gameplay, and having that John Williams feel, it sold over 14 million copies. However, it was still regarded by fans as lackluster due to the limit on content on both single player and multiplayer modes.
I remember playing Battlefront and at first, I didn’t have internet connection at the time, so having an offline mode really appealed to me. Although, after a while, there was only so much that they added to the game that once you played all the missions the only thing to do was to play the same level on a harder level, and so on and so forth. Not much for replay value. So, after a while, it went in the drawer with the rest of the games I had until we moved into our new place and got internet connection.
The online mode was amazing. I remember it was really easy to find a balanced match and the level designs were amazing. Some of the planets they used were only seen briefly: for example, their depiction of Sullust was amazing. Easily one of my favorite maps because of the lava.
Lightspeed jump a couple years ahead into 2016 and we are introduced to a new world being unveiled to us. With The Force Awakens coming out a year prior, fans became eager to have the next installments of Star Wars games, books, and films. With the Disney and EA partnership for most things Star Wars, they were given the helm to create another game. With the success of Battlefront,it was a no brainer to draw up a sequel. Disney was very keen on having a blaster forward game, and honestly, I understand their reasoning behind it all. Often time when we think of Star Wars, we think of only the Force, our lovable scoundrel Han, and most of us, if we could be born in that world, would love to be Force sensitive over anything else.
During E3, the first trailer was revealed and instantly we saw improved graphics and that this game will be expanding across all three eras. Seeing the Clone Troopers on the ground defending Naboo and having Darth Maul come in and mow them down has been my all-time favorite scene. Maul has really become a poster boy for us over the course of these last years. The greatest reveal was towards the end when we see Kylo Ren slicing and dicing through the Resistance forces.
I had goosebumps when I first watched the trailer and knew I had to get my hands on it. So, when they released the dates for preorder, I ran to my nearest Gamestop and did a whole Fry meme moment: “Shut up and take my money!!!!” With all this joy that I was having I was not yet ready for what was to come next. When the game got released, just like with most multiplayer games, everyone goes home to try to jump on the servers and play some multiplayer modes. It is not an easy task to get a game going within those first couple of hours. Of course, that got fixed after a while.
However, we also had another problem: all of our favorite characters were stuck behind a paywall. If you wanted anyone, you had to grind out and get the coins to pay for them or shell out the money for it. I don’t know about you guys but I’m more of a free to play type of guy. So naturally, I tried to go through it my way and ultimately, I just stopped playing the game. I was really devastated by it. A game that would redefine gaming for me hurt me to my soul because it wanted more money from me in order to play to my heart’s content.
Due to the paywall and the increased loot box fiasco that was happening at this time, the government got involved. There were cases about how having loot boxes in games was linked to gambling. In a turn of events that I have never seen from a game company ever, they brought in a new Community Manager by the name of Ben Walke and they began a whole revision for the game.
First and foremost, they removed the paywalls for the characters and slowly began to remove the loot boxes completely, other than being there for cosmetic means. They became more active on Reddit and Twitter. This was their means of getting communication out there to the fans. What makes me respect Dice so much is they are really interactive with the fans to figure out how they could make this game better for everyone.
Since the changes I have been playing Battlefront for about a year and half straight now. I also got some of my friends into it now: they even bought the Celebration Edition just so they could have all the cosmetics for the game.
Dice showed that it is possible to bring a game and its fans back into the fray when you focus on what the people want. I understand that at the end of the day money is what makes the world go round, but I also like to believe that, if you have a good game and you know that the fan base is as vocal as we are, it will make money. Just give the people what they want, and they will support you in all your endeavors. There are fans who make the games and there are fans who play the games so if we could come together like Dice and really put forth the effort to take the criticism and change for the better, then I have nothing but high hopes for them whenever they make any other game for Disney.
If you played Battlefront 2 in the past and didn’t like it, I implore you to try it again and tell me what you think and if you have a PS4, leave your name at the bottom and maybe we can play a game together.
May the Force be with you.