Betas are wonderful things. They allow us glimpses into games ahead of launch, letting us know what’s to come. This is always a welcome prospect. It helps us make a decision as to whether a title might or might not be worth our time. The Star Wars: Battlefront 2 beta has run its course, and the results from it may not be as encouraging. In fact, it might just make people wonder if EA and the series has turned to the dark side.
This is a concern that people shouldn’t take lightly. After all, the last Star Wars: Battlefront had some serious problems. It was an online-only multiplayer game, for example, with no solo, offline content. The number of characters and maps was rather slim, unless people were willing to pay for more. Some might wonder if the sequel could tread a similarly worrisome path, even though a campaign is being added. There are definitely some issues that need to be addressed before the final build.
The big one has to do with the issue on everyone’s minds this year: loot boxes. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has crates. You can get them with in-game or actual cash. Leveling classes in the game is tied to Star Cards you have for it. Buying crates gives you access to more Star Cards, which you can then equip and use. So let’s use a Heavy as an example. His shield will be 40% stronger when maxed out by the boosts offered in the crates. That is completely unfair to people who are playing as normal to earn crates, since it could take them far longer to reach the same strength of someone just spending real money.
EA has attempted to address this issue a bit. It notes that yes, Star Cards, as well as emotes, outfits, and victory poses, will be in these crates. And of course, you can buy them with in-game credits or real money. But it tries to defend this by saying the best items and upgrades are earned after unlocking specific achievements by playing the game. Which is fine and all, but doesn’t sound like it will fix the pay to win problem. After all, it could take a very long time to legitimately unlock these most powerful items, while the people who are paying extra will be benefiting the entire time.
But loot boxes are only one sign of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 turning to the dark side. Battle Points are another. When you play, you earn these for various actions in battle. Perform well, by helping others, defeating opponents, and sticking to the mission, and you will have the opportunity to be a major character, like Rey, control a vehicle like a T-70 X-Wing, or be a better class. The problem is, this is too uneven a system. It can take a very long time to save for one of the important heroes or villains or a ship. If you manage it, you might find the battle is almost over before you could even use it. Worst of all, you may see the top tier players doing so well that they’re constantly earning more Battle Points, getting these rewards, and mowing you down before you can even save for one of them. It is very unfair.
There is also an issue with starfighters. Well, multiple issues. First, the hitboxes seemed off in the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 beta. It seemed like you could very easily take damage from being near other objects and ships, even if it seemed like you were far enough away to avoid them. But then, this could be an issue with the field of view. It can be really difficult to see the other ships and obstacles around you. A wider view could be a huge help.
At the very least, it is looking like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 could be in for some growing pains. The starfighters could easily be fixed and adjusted, as could Battle Points. But the loot box situation suggests crates could become something more sinister. It could lead to some serious problems within a final game, if issues aren’t addressed, perhaps suggesting the game will turn to the dark side.