Battlefront II killed first-person Star Wars – Star Wars Battlefront II

It has now been seven years since Star Wars Battlefront II was released and delivered one of the worst game launches ever. DICE and EA implemented pay-to-win, and to really piss everyone off, there was also a substantial loot box system to throw money at. The criticism was so severe that governments got involved and some of them decided to ban the concept of loot boxes altogether.

The launch of Star Wars Battlefront II stands as perhaps the most criticized of all time.

Frankly, it didn’t help that the game wasn’t the best. Mostly, it felt like a re-skin of Battlefield, where weapons had to be reloaded (ventilated) and those lousy Battledroids (“Roger-roger”) could run around at full speed while rolling and jumping. In short, it appeared that DICE just didn’t know much about Star Wars. This was reflected in the fact that they included heavily overpowered heroes where a Greedo or Han Solo could suddenly come galloping across the battlefields in a way that Darth Vader never could, while shooting dozens of enemies. And the stormtroopers consistently ran around without helmets because DICE/EA wanted to sell skins with different faces – which pretty much torpedoed all Star Wars immersive qualities.

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In addition, they had created totally unusable menus and devised a strange system where you couldn’t play with your friends, but were randomly assigned with others in a group who then got extra Battlepoints if you stayed together. I have played maybe 200 games and not played a single one where my group actually worked as a group. All DICE accomplished was making sure that parties were split up to make multiplayer more boring. Also, the giant maps were often poorly designed and never really fully used outside of certain bottlenecks.

Star Wars Battlefront II
Clone Wars are great first-person action, why no battle royale?

This led to a complete overhaul of the game’s structure in a panic move after all the criticism, and the result was better than before. But not good enough. However, I gave the game a seven at the time, and I think it still is. And it also reached sales of over 10 million a few years ago, so there is a lot of interest in this series.

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That’s why it feels completely incomprehensible that we haven’t received a third volume. Either as a full-price game (without greedy microtransactions where the game deteriorates to sell more), or as free-to-play. Battlefront III should feel like Star Wars instead of Battlefield, and instead of trying to mix everything up, they should stick to a specific era, like the Clone Wars with its giant battles, and show the brand some respect. Maybe the Battledroids could outdo the Rebels to make up for their lousiness, or why not just go for Battle Royale on big maps with a Star Wars theme?

Star Wars Battlefront II

The criticism of Star Wars Battlefront II, which I suspect EA had a big part in, was just so severe that it completely killed the idea of a multiplayer-oriented first-person shooter based on George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away – which is a somewhat bizarre idea. Because there are few licenses better suited to first-person action than Star Wars. It could have been almost any type of first-person action and still worked. From a single player adventure to co-op or full multiplayer focus.

Or why not go for battle royale. Maybe The Huts have a survival game where people are dropped down to fight each other and the last man standing wins, or a bunch of bounty hunters looking for something very precious? Imagine a very large map in an iconic location with 150 people scurrying around trying to survive. Perhaps you could make it a little more exciting by including computer-controlled Jawa’s, occasional stormtroopers, monsters or anything else on the map that might add an extra dimension to survival.

Star Wars Battlefront II
Battlefront II was really a Battlefield reskin, so the clumsiest warriors in the galaxy had the same characteristics as the best rebels.

Instead, we have ended up in a situation where Star Wars games have to be single player and third person, like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws and the secret title Respawn is working on (which is presumably inspired by Dark Forces ). I’m certainly grateful that there will be single player games and not just live service, but I also don’t like the fact that the pendulum only swings in one direction – which I suspect is a result of the criticism of Battlefront II. It was just so amazingly powerful that a whole type of game just disappeared, and that’s not necessary at all.

The interest is certainly there (as I said, it sold over 10 million copies of a game that received heavier criticism than most) and the fact that it hasn’t already led to something more is downright embarrassing. The only reason it wasn’t a huge success was DICE and EA’s greed and poor understanding of what makes Star Wars Star Wars. I would suggest dumping DICE as a developer to focus on Battlefield, with Respawn Entertainment (who proved with Titanfall and Apex Legends that they can do sci-fi multiplayer) taking over, and I wouldn’t mind if Microsoft let one of their Call of Duty developers do a Star Wars as well.

Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Wars Outlaws does not yet have a firm release date, but will be released this year. Here, however, single player and third person are the order of the day. First-person action and Star Wars is dead.

It really is time. As mentioned above, it’s been seven years since the release of Star Wars Battlefront II and one of the most convenient and obvious multiplayer concepts died out – and I think it’s tragic. Just give me Battlefront III.

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