The Force is strong with this ground, space, and air-based shooter, which improves on the franchise in virtually every way, although microtransactions hurt its potential. When Star Wars Battlefront was released back in 2015, players got the thrill of being on the front lines in the battle between the Empire and the Alliance, joined by the various heroes or villains of the Star Wars universe. It was fast, frantic, Force-fueled fun in a galaxy far, far away. But, as good as it was, fans still felt like something was missing. With the sequel, Star Wars Battlefront II, EA looks to remedy all that, packing in a host of expanded content, extra characters, and new features, all to make a Star Wars action game with power to rival the Death Star. First and foremost, the game includes a single-player story mode, which introduces Iden Versio to Star Wars lore. Through the eyes of this Inferno Squad commander, players get the opportunity to see events from a unique perspective and to experience life on the other side of the battlefield. It's a rich story that feels satisfying, with characters that feel like they belong in the Star Wars canon.
Of course, one of Star Wars Battlefront II's biggest draws is its multiplayer component. While players can entertain themselves in solo or couch co-op, split-screen arcade matches, it's online matchups where the game truly shines. Whether you're fighting in small eight-on-eight strikes, 12-on-12 starfighter dogfights, or a huge 20-vs.-20 Galactic Assault battle, the gameplay is fluid and natural. It never feels like things are too crowded or too spread out, and you always feel like you're an integral part of the action. Plus, if you manage to earn enough points to enter the fray as a Hero character, you can't help but get a Sith-like joy from watching foes flee from your power. Unfortunately, this leads to the one glaring exhaust port weakness in the game: microtransactions. Upgrades to items and abilities are locked in the form of Star Cards, and have to be either crafted or purchased with credits or crystals. Credits and craft materials can be earned by playing matches and achieving specific career milestones, while crystals can be bought with real-world money. This means that new players will usually jump into battle at a disadvantage, unless they're willing to take the time to earn some credits via gameplay or shell out the cash for crystals. And though eight of the game's initial roster of 14 hero characters are unlocked from the start, the remaining six can be purchased only with credits. So if you want the chance to play Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader in a match, you'll need to grind through enough matches to earn them. And since credits are also used to purchase upgrades for the rest of your troops, it can take a while. It's not enough to blow the game apart like Alderaan, but it's still enough frustration to cause a slight disturbance in the Force.