Star Wars: Battlefront II is a premium loot box delivery system.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is not a very good video game.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is gorgeous and has amazing production value in its visuals and sound.
Star Wars: Battlefront II doesn’t deliver on its story promises.
Star Wars: Battlefront II has the worst progression system ever seen in triple-A video games.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is designed to be pay-to-win.
Take your pick of the above for an appropriate box quote or review title for the disappointing Battlefront sequel. We’ve been struggling for weeks figuring out how to analyze as a whole the latest major release from two-time “worst company in America” Electronic Arts. It’s a challenging task because it’s not much of a game so much as it a facade to monetize its gameplay through manipulating players the same way gambling does, in what’s called “variable rate reinforcement.” You can read more about the science and psychology of it here. These video game loot boxes have ruined many games in 2017 and are currently being investigated by various governments for their potentially devastating effects on players.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is supposed to be an action shooter game based in the Star Wars universe, a sequel that promised to address the criticisms of the first game. That meant fleshing out the content, making DLC expansions free, and adding a story, but EA didn’t actually address the even more important stuff and instead, opted for a “quantity over quality” strategy. Just look at the marketing which literally included graphs on how many more vehicles, heroes, and maps there were. What does that matter if the game isn’t fun to play or if its story is bad?
None of the graphs or marketing materials talk about how players can’t progress or equip their characters in a way they choose. That they can’t build a loadout for their multiplayer classes or characters like other shooters, that the player counts are still smaller than its sister franchise, Battlefield. That players still cannot get in and out of vehicles, spawn in with or on teammates (in fact, there are zero team and squad commands or features) and that the hero characters have terrible control schemes. The marketing visuals certainly don't address the lack of general balance in the game either.
Players don't arm their character with gear or customize their weapons in the new Battlefront. No, instead they choose to play “Star Cards” which make a return and represent these things in the most non-Star Wars way imaginable. Star Cards are acquired through, you guessed it, loot boxes at random. Instead of equipping a Stormtrooper, in Star Wars: Battlefront II players buy boxes of cards and play these cards for advantages over other players. The more you spend, the better stuff you get although it may not be for the character, hero, or vehicle you want. Because it's random. Because it's gambling. Cards can be scrapped however and used to make the Star Cards players really want - Up to a point because you also need to grind to be able to buy and build the cards desired. If you don’t have the best cards and the higher levels of these cards, you will be at a disadvantage. You are at a disadvantage to anyone paying more money than you.
Why the hell are we talking about boxes of cards in a brand new Star Wars shooter that features an in-canon story, you ask? Because this is an EA game.
And it's the whole game. The entire plan with Star Wars: Battlefront II was (and still is) to monetize gameplay using gambling strategies which is why DLC packs are free this time around. The goal is to keep players playing through free content to keep them spending. Because if you spend, you’re stronger. Let's take a deeper look at the core of Battlefront 2 and what it offers:
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