It doesn’t get any higher. That’s all you really want to find out about this week’s Star Wars: Battlefront II mini-expansion. Timed to land alongside The Final Jedi’s theater launch, it’s the primary little bit of post-launch content material for Battlefront II and provides stuff that’s theoretically tied to the film—that means Finn and Captain Phasma as heroes, plus a brand new floor map set on the planet Crait (which given the loot crate controversy is a reasonably ironic title) and new house battle map set round D’Qar.
However most necessary for my part is the Star Wars: Battlefront II – Resurrection mini-campaign a.okay.a. the precise ending of Battlefront II’s singleplayer story. For those who haven’t performed Battlefront II ($60 on Amazon) but, all I’ll say is: The marketing campaign ended final month on a serious cliffhanger and DICE held again the precise “ending” till now. I’d hoped the right ending might considerably redeem Battlefront II’s completely mediocre story, however it doesn’t. If something, it will get worse.
A (barely shorter) time in the past, in a galaxy far, distant
Okay, SPOILERS forward for Battlefront II’s major story, so take into account your self warned…
Let’s minimize to the chase: There’s no purpose Resurrection wanted to be held again for The Final Jedi’s launch. I wish to put that up entrance as a result of it was one thing I questioned about—did they maintain it for spoilers? And the quick reply isn’t any, Resurrection has completely zero bearing on The Final Jedi’s story. This was purely a advertising transfer so far as I can inform.
And that bothers me. It bothers me that should you purchased this sport in November, EA/Disney chopped off the ending of the marketing campaign for no purpose besides promoting for one of many greatest movie franchises on the planet. Holding again multiplayer maps just like the earlier Battlefront? Certain, no matter. Story missions although? Utterly inane.
Regardless, Resurrection picks up proper the place we final left off, which is to say 30 years sooner or later. There’s a fast recap of the bottom sport’s last mission, the place Kylo Ren finds Iden’s husband Del. Del is after all then executed by he and Iden’s former Imperial squadmate Hask—the aforementioned cliffhanger ending.
Again with Iden, her story thus turns into one in all revenge. It’s an fascinating setup, with far more plausible stakes than the unique story’s Forrest Gump-esque jaunt via the Insurgent Alliance. There’s a built-in emotional hook, compounded by Iden preventing alongside her daughter Zay. It’s promising!
After which it’s not. Pacing drags proper out the gate, with an interminable house battle occupying everything of the primary mission. The second mission takes us again to a planet we visited earlier within the marketing campaign, which might’ve been fascinating however as an alternative looks like a slog via same-y fight arenas. The third is one other Star Destroyer corridor-shooter.
Roll credit. Significantly, it’s three (boring) missions and also you’re out—all advised, in all probability about an hour lengthy. Possibly a bit extra should you die, as a result of the sport’s checkpoints are nonetheless weirdly punishing.
The size wouldn’t actually hassle me—in any case, the enlargement’s free—besides that it mangles each emotional second the sport makes an attempt. Hell, the primary mission is simply tenuously associated to Iden and Hask’s story, which implies we’re actually coping with two missions of story right here.
Star Wars: Battlefront II’s writing was hamfisted within the unique marketing campaign, however it comes off someway even clumsier right here. As an example, Iden tells Zay about Del’s demise with a flat and unemotional “Honey, your dad is useless.” Zay barely even reacts. Hell, Iden barely reacts. We’re advised she’s indignant and upset, however it’s the type of anger I’d really feel if I went to the grocery retailer and forgot my pockets. Not like, “My husband of 30 years simply died” anger.
There are additionally some cringe-worthy references to present occasions (“Welcome to The Resistance”) plus loads of schmaltzy strains like “Hope is the rationale we’re going to win.” Star Wars typically doesn’t lend itself to tons of emotional depth—a facet impact of its black-and-white, good-versus-evil universe. However even in that context, Battlefront II feels overwrought.
If there’s something good to say about Resurrection, it’s that a minimum of it’s not plagued with two filler missions the place we play as Finn and Rey or no matter. DICE mercifully spared us that indignity once more. However given the actual fact this was held again a month, three fairly boring missions peppered with awkward cutscenes is worse than I anticipated. I’d hoped as I mentioned that the story would possibly a minimum of exit with a bang, however it fizzles out similar to the unique story.
And thus ends Star Wars: Battlefront II—I believe. Resurrection ends on one other pseudo-cliffhanger, so I assume DICE might shock us six months from now with one other three-missions-and-a-map-pack launch or no matter.
I truthfully don’t know whether or not it’d be value going again although. Battlefront II’s marketing campaign, correct ending included, is anemic begin to end. Simply a lot wasted potential. I don’t know whether or not blame lies with Disney or with EA and DICE, however the builders had an incredible character in Iden Versio and did nothing along with her. The writing is middling, the setpieces are bland, and it simply feels such as you spin your space-tires for six hours or so.
Plus, you realize, the multiplayer continues to be busted, which we coated extensively in PCWorld’s unique Star Wars: Battlefront II review.
However I assume I ought to write a bit about that facet of the equation earlier than trying out. To maintain it quick: The brand new Crait map could be very fairly, however after opening a half-dozen loot crates and getting rubbish out of all of them I’m simply not eager about taking part in any extra of it. That is an previous and drained chorus by now, however DICE has nailed the feel and appear of Star Wars as soon as once more. The precise development system hasn’t improved a lot since launch although, and I don’t count on it to ever be really mounted. They’ve upped the quantity of credit you get per match, however that’s a bandage over an contaminated wound at finest. I don’t plan to maintain taking part in.
It’s disappointing. All of it, the entire ignominious saga of Star Wars: Battlefront II. It is extra disappointing perhaps as a result of I believed they’d nailed it this time—popping out of E3, I felt a small glimmer of hope. They’d completed a narrative! They’d completed house battles! They’d added in all three eras from the movies! They’d made, in different phrases, a full sport this time round.
This would possibly very nicely be my last verdict on Battlefront II although, barring some miracle subsequent 12 months, and none of it’s lived as much as my expectations. Really, scratch that—the house battles are nice. However the remainder has all been lackluster, tormented by poor selections and controversy and ugly methods designed to hawk loot bins each step of the way in which.
With gross sales reportedly simply as disappointing, I believe the very best we are able to hope from Battlefront II at this level is that it finally ends up an object lesson for each EA and the remainder of the trade. Understanding the historical past of the trade, I doubt it. However we are able to hope. In any case, within the phrases of Battlefront II: “Hope is the rationale we’re going to win.”