Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr I know. A STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback? “But, Greg, you bozo,” I can hear you thinking, “everyone hates BF 2!” First of all, that’s hurtful. Second, you’ve got a point. Everyone saw the launch as a PR disaster for both developer DICE and publisher EA. The game quickly became the poster child for the community’s growing distaste for loot boxes and microtransactions. The whole debacle even led some governments to proclaim the practice as gambling and impose legislation. Fans decried the game as a failure before it even began. And yet, beneath the controversy sat a pretty fun competitive shooter — one that built on the foundations of the 2015 BATTLEFRONT reboot and added more modes, maps, factions, and characters. Over the past year, slowly but surely, DICE has been making changes and updates, including a massive overhaul to the progression system. And last month, a year after the game launched, they released their biggest content update yet. Can DICE defy they odds and deliver a BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback that fans will love? Let’s take a look. Progression System Overhaul After the initial outcry over the loot boxes, DICE quickly shut down the ability to purchase them with real money. However, the loot box mechanic had been initially designed to tie deeply into the character progression system. You could only level up your character with random cards that spewed from the boxes. Gaze upon the loot boxes and despair! Courtesy of DICE and EA. But once loot boxes had been neutered, the progression system revealed itself to be random and nonsensical, with no steady sense of accomplishment. Something had to be done to fix BATTLEFRONT 2. In March of this year, DICE announced that they had put all other work on the game aside to focus on a total progression system overhaul. In a blog post on the official site, they announced that star cards and any other item affecting gameplay would vanish. Instead, you would level up and earn skill points as you play each character in a much more linear fashion. Once the update launched, the game meta completely changed for the better. Now, instead of relying on random luck to acquire upgrades, players earned XP for each character directly related to how long and how well they played them. This added a much-needed sense of achievement and gave the gameplay new purpose. But what about content? Content Seasons Initially, DICE had announced their intention to release new content in batches called “seasons.” Every few months, a new season would launch, with a specific theme — usually revolving around new movie releases. (They added a LAST JEDI season in December 2017, for example, and a SOLO season in May 2018). Courtesy of DICE and EA. However, due to the amount of work that it took to fix the loot box mess, by the time the SOLO season had come around, very little content had been added to BATTLEFRONT 2. A few admittedly cool skins appeared, like young Han and Lando, as well as one of my favorites from the Original Trilogy: Leia disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh. They also added a couple of small hero-vs.-hero modes and a fun but limited Ewok Hunt mode. But in the grand scheme of things, this felt like pretty trivial stuff. Where were the major content updates they had promised at launch? What about the new characters, extra maps and additional large-scale modes that fans expected? I’m In It For The Money, Princess When EA shut down the microtransactions, they also cut off the developers’ expected source of income. They had planned to use this money to finance all of these so-called “free” updates. It amounted to simple accounting: no money, no content. On top of that, by mid-summer, most of DICE and EA’s attention turned to BATTLEFIELD 5, their upcoming shooter set during World War II. With most of the team focused on that, it seemed that a BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback would never happen. A New Hope And yet, hope lived on within the community. Over the summer, coinciding with EA Play, EA published a blog post on the official site entitled “The Past, Present, and Future of STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2.” In it, they acknowledged the game’s troubled beginnings and pointed out the efforts taken to fix the game’s biggest issues. It continued: To our passionate Battlefront community: we’ve heard you. You asked for more Clone Wars content…. new ways to play the game…. and more frequent and transparent communication from us. So, we’d like to share what’s ahead for Star Wars Battlefront II. Clone Wars content is Coming to Star Wars Battlefront II. It went on to describe the content in detail, including a brand new large map for the Galactic Assault mode — Geonosis — along with, finally, some new heroes and villains! Long-requested characters General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi himself would soon join the rest of the cast. Courtesy of DICE and EA. Not only that, but the post went on to say that they were “still committed to delivering regular updates, events, and fixes to STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2. This will include quality-of-life updates and new ways to play the game… And this is just a start.” Indeed, a BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback was being planned. Return of the Content True to their word, the Clone Wars updates came in the fall and early winter. And it was pretty great! I fired up the game again to check out the new content and liked it so much that I put more time into playing than I had originally planned. The game felt more complete, somehow. More like STAR WARS. It seemed as though DICE and EA were finally on the right track. Courtesy of DICE and EA. And that would’ve been a nice little coda to the game. But wait! DICE confirmed that not only do they have more planned content on the horizon, but it also seems like it’s going to be an even bigger update than before. In a recent blog post that echoed the one from the summer, the dev team reviewed the ups and downs of the past year honestly and promised more to come in 2019. Promised so far: new characters Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku, along with more character skins and appearances. Most exciting of all, they described a new large-scale game mode, “featuring command posts and capital ship takedowns.” What I Want from a BATTLEFRONT 2 Comeback What would I like to see from a BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback? Straight up: I want a mode equivalent to Supremacy from BATTLEFRONT 2015. A conquest-type mode that doesn’t follow scripted checkpoints — just all-out war for control of checkpoints scattered across the map. I want more characters. Hell, DICE you’ve already got some lying around from the last game. Dengar, Greedo, Nien Numb would be welcome additions. And why stop there? How about IG-88? Baze Malbus? Hell, back in the day I had an action figure for the fat guy that cried when the rancor died in RETURN OF THE JEDI. If George Lucas wasn’t that picky, DICE shouldn’t be either! And, seriously, I would pay real money for some classic hero skins that have yet to make it into the game. I’m sure plenty of other fans would, too. Like, come on guys, this is STAR WARS 101 stuff.Conclusion But still. Whether those things appear or not, I’m simply excited that DICE continues to work on the game. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s being planned for the BATTLEFRONT 2 comeback. Here’s my promise to you, EA. If you keep adding content, I’ll keep playing. What else would you like to see added to the game? Let us know in the comments!