‘Battlefront II’ Impressions after the Beta Test: I can’t wait for November 14th

I always feel that I must apologize for covering a light topic especially when there is so much going on in the world around us, but we do have to live. We do have to manage our stresses. And we must find the things in life that make us happy, and for me Star Wars is something that works—especially when we are talking about a new video game. Then regarding that topic, I think much of the world that’s coming, the politics, the structure, the science can be seen with each new video game update from the industry because most of the engineers and designers of the future out there are playing these massive online games. While it’s true that ratings are down in the NFL and some of that is certainly due to the politics surrounding the flag, most of the change in attitude toward football in general is because of this new age of entertainment where people can live entire secondary lives online in their video game avatars. I find it all extremely fascinating, and optimistic and it helps me fight through some of the most complex problems that any one human being could be expected to fight through. With all that said, I have been very excited for the next generation Star Wars: Battlefront II which comes out in November. For a long time there was talk of a beta run in early October so I did my pre-order and signed up for the top version of the game and had marked on my calendar October 4th because that’s when the beta opened for the new game by Electronic Arts/Dice.

My first impression of the beta compared to the full game of the original Battlefront with its bright white backgrounds was that it was missing an optimism that made the original very THX-1138 fun and futuristic. The menu boards on Battlefront II were mostly all in blacks and that made it seem like a lesser quality experience to me. Because of this I was disappointed, but once I started playing the various modes I quickly forgave the game because it was a lot of fun. From October 4th to October 9th I played as much as I could and leveled up to somewhere around 10 or 11. I didn’t pay much attention as I was mostly trying to get a feel for everything. A large part of the weekend my grandson was over and we played the new arcade mode a lot. It was clearly his favorite mode and I thought was a big addition to the overall game, a way to learn the maps and get a feel for the various builds in the game. I also thought the Star Card system was much improved, it reminded me a lot of the Fantasy Flight Games board games in this way, which makes those games infinitely interesting. Bringing that Star Card aspect to a video game made for a very compelling experience and I could see quickly that I would soon spend many hours playing with different cards to figure out the best combination, and then trying them out in the Arcade Mode to learn to use them. From just what the game developers showed on their beta test, there are endless opportunities for variety in Battlefront II once the game is released in November.

Before I get too far into this you do know dear reader about the cultural significance of all this, don’t you? After all, the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer was released during halftime on Monday Night Football. And the moment that the beta ended for Battlefront II Forbes had a nice little article seen below about their criticism of the loot box system. The whole play to win debate in the video game community is a big deal because it brings many people into the realities of capitalism in ways their public educations never did. To be good at these games you must put in the hours, and the money. You can get by only doing one of those things, but to be great, you have to spend time, money and diligence to get the most out of the game. People who are from the ANTIFA crowd of course are out there playing these games and their basic philosophy is confronted with the realities of such a big business as Battlefront II is tapping into. Star Wars is just the entry point to these kinds of experiences. They become a lifestyle for many people in a similar way that adults have traditionally been in bowling leagues or played golf. It is not uncommon in the spirit of competition to get a new bowling ball or a set of titanium clubs for golf to get an edge over your rivals and that is what the loot box system does in Battlefront II. The writer for the Forbes article obviously didn’t like it. I did, my grandson and I had a lot of fun with the loot boxes. It was like gambling in Vegas, you never really knew what you were going to get and it was fun working toward an opportunity to have a chance at something cool. Games like this are all about the proper risk rewards system.


For me the best part of the new Battlefront II game was the Starfighter Assault modes. It took me a minute to get used to things because they changed the mechanics quite a lot. On the previous edition of Battlefront I was one of those 50 kills per game people. I was very good at it and it was a dream come true for me to fly those ships around in space in combat situations. I can tell that I will be spending many hours playing just that mode. I would say that the new game is worth it just for the Starfighter Assault modes. As readers here know I love the Fantasy Flight Games offerings of X-Wing and Armada so putting a pilot into a scenario that is objective based around giant capital ships and individualized dog fighting is an incredible experience. Even for a beta test the frame rates were high and the details were amazing. Some of the cut-scenes were sloppy on my giant 4K television but I’m sure the final release of the game will be a major improvement on that. As I seem to say with each of these big video game releases, whether it is Uncharted 4 for the Playstation, or Zelda for the Nintendo Switch, this Battlefront II game is the next technical evolution that turns living rooms into combat zones and works our minds in ways we couldn’t duplicate under any other situation.

Probably the best improvement however on Battlefront II is the class system where there are four different categories of player. I found due to my aggressive style the Heavy Class to be most to my liking. But what’s better is that you aren’t stuck to that class for the whole round of play. If you need to lighten things up for more stealth or sniper ability you can during a round, and those strategic options are like gold raining from heaven to a guy like me who literally spends all my down time thinking of strategic options. I think of strategic options even when it comes to what grocery store to go to, so a game like this with all these random elements playing against each other is just food for my brain. So I’m really looking forward to November 14th when the whole game is released to the public. Like I said, I held nothing back on this version. I did preorder the game so I could play it with the early access. And I did by the deluxe version of it so I could get every little benefit. On the first one I came late to the game because I was made at The Force Awakens for killing Han Solo and not respecting the continuity of the previous novels. It took me a year to finally give it a shot after radio host Matt Clark bugged me about it every week for that entire year. Once I did start playing however I exploded and quickly maxed out my level at 100. There were a few weekends around last Christmas where I was off work and I played the starfighter modes for 48 straight hours—because it was that fun. With Battlefront II being noticeably an improvement on the game play mechanics, I will likely go even deeper into the game, so I am starting with the deluxe package and from there I will support the game in whatever fashion they come up with. It’s not only a work of art and technical marvel, but it’s just some of the best fun you can have from a top end entertainment system. I can’t think of a better way to live life than to blow stuff up and hear all the wonderful sounds from a Bose sound system that puts you in the middle of the most intense battles a mind could think of. I am really, really, really looking forward to November 14th. Battlefront II will be a winner and the beta was just a taste of the great things to come.

Rich Hoffman

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