If the story of DICE’s Battlefront is a one of a young upstart torn between the forces of dark and light then this, coming after the series found itself corrupted and besieged late last year, should be the third act that offers some kind of redemption. Star Wars Battlefront 2’s new update, which dropped last week, sees the game undergo the biggest overhaul seen in a big budget title since Diablo 3 excised its auction house – and it’s a change that’s come about in a fraction of the time. Even then, is it all too late for DICE’s shooter?
You can’t really fault the effort that’s been made here, and each adjustment nudges Battlefront 2 firmly in the right direction. The loot boxes – those deeply problematic loot boxes, which used to carry upgrades and perks – have now been pushed to one side. All the hero characters are now available from the off. Progression is now linear, rather than the weird random sprawl that went before. Classes are now ranked up one by one, with new skill points that can be applied to perks unlocked upon reaching a new level, while the Star Cards that grant those perks are now level-gated with the more useful ones being available earlier.
It’s a plain, simple and easy to parse system, and a quite remarkable feat of development to have it all up and running so seamlessly in such a short time, but it also serves as a reminder of how truly awful Battlefront 2’s progression system was beforehand; not only was it deeply cynical, but it was also an absolute mess that held the player in complete disregard, putting them at the mercy of random drops. How could it have made it so close to launch without any intervention from anyone with half an ounce of sense? How short-sighted and plain dumb must EA and DICE have been to think they could ever get away with such a brazenly broken system?
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