It’s no secret: the Battlefront revival EA launched in November 2015 largely fell flat. It rightfully received heavy criticism for its lack of depth at launch and its community-breaking season pass system. Fans on social media and forums have rallied against EA’s treatment of Star Wars games since that time, often espousing that EA will be the death of Star Wars in gaming.
While that may have carried some weight for a while after Battlefront launched, that attitude now shows nothing more than an unwillingness to look deeper at what has transpired since then. EA DICE have made some nice strides with the original game, and every early indication from Battlefront II show a deeper, more immersive game on the horizon.
Yes, the season pass was poorly implemented. It caused undeniable issues. At the same time, though, it also helped flesh out the game, adding interesting new locations, game modes, and weapons. Some of my favorite content in Battlefront came from the season pass expansions. If you never jumped into Battlefront, you can get the entire game (with season pass content) for less than $30 on Amazon right now. I think you’ll find a very enjoyable, worthwhile purchase at that price.
Beyond the season pass, EA DICE also released large game updates that not only fixed some balancing issues, but added new features free to all users. That includes the X-Wing VR Mission, which was something EA could have easily charged for. But it also included Skirmish, which was additional single player content. While it ended up being light on variety, it ultimately added one of the major things the community had been clamoring for: more single player options. In my book, EA DICE gets points for listening to their customers on this one.
Then comes Battlefront II. Prior to Star Wars Celebration last weekend, I saw so many writing off the next entry in the Battlefront series based on the shortcomings of its predecessor. That seemed to subside after a couple pretty convincing trailers. I realize that it’s impossible to please everyone, but it’s still disappointing to see people continue to push that agenda.
Everything we’ve seen so far from Battlefront II shows that EA DICE is attempting to tick off every complaint they received about the first Battlefront. Single player campaign? Check. Space battles? Check. Weapon customization? Check. Class-based system for multiplayer? Check. All Star Wars eras represented, including the Clone Wars? Check. No season pass? Well…maybe check. All in all, this is the game fans have been asking for, and it seems they’re going to get it.
Even beyond Battlefront and Battlefront II, though, EA has other very intriguing Star Wars titles in development. EA has Visceral (Dead Space) and Respawn (Titanfall) working on new Star Wars titles scheduled for release in the coming years. I’ve got high hopes for these titles, as those studios have pretty good reputations for producing quality games. That’s not an indication that EA is leaving Star Wars to die.
I’m not trying to candy-coat anything here. I understand the mistrust EA has earned within the industry. I agree that the first Battlefront title had a wealth of issues. I went through a period of uncertainty as to whether or not that would become the norm for Star Wars games for the foreseeable future. But I’ve also had the pleasure to see Battlefront improve to a point where it’s still a game I enjoy playing. I’ve seen a very promising trailer for what appears to be a very promising sequel, one that has fulfilled my feature wishlist (and threw in a few features I hadn’t even thought to wish for).
That adds up to one conclusion: Star Wars has an exciting future ahead in terms of video games – even with EA at the helm.