Battlefront Followup Finally Realizes What Players Want in a Modern Shooter

For passionate Star Wars fans to be on the fence for a Star Wars game, means the game has to have a major problem. For a game which seemed like a sure thing, Dice’s 2015 Star Wars Battlefront did not meet fan expectations. Besides complaints about graphics and gameplay, the players couldn’t get past lack of a single player campaign.

These days, gamers expect a lot from shooters, namely both a single player and multiplayer component. The genre is saturated at this point, and removing single-player takes away some of what might make the specific shooter special. Star Was fans want to dive into a galaxy far far away and live there themselves. Is single player so important that it can ruin a game? In Battlefront’s case, it was.

2004 Battlefront Gameplay. Photo Credit: LucasArts
2004 Battlefront Gameplay. Photo Credit: LucasArts

Long Ago… There was Single Player

LucasArts released the original Star Wars Battlefront in 2004. Released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC, the game gave Star Wars fans a chance to experience their favorite battles first hand. Even in 2004, it focused on multiplayer shooter gameplay, as it’s future version would be. However, the original also had a surprisingly lengthy single-player mode. That feature disappeared when Dice revamped the franchise.

Not all gamers are social players, some gamers still prefer to explore and experience games on their own. It’s hard to leave out a style of play such as single player, especially with a story-driven property like Star Wars. When Dice announced a new game in the franchise, gamers and Star Wars fans alike understandably got excited.  A chance to dive into the Star Wars world again? Not a lot of people would turn that down.

But Dice’s announcement that the game would not have single-player, left quite a few gamers by the wayside. Other shooters have taken this route in recent years with similarly lackluster results. The most recent case was Titanfall, another EA-published series. For the first game, Respawn decided on no single-player mode, but it too fixed ended up including this in its sequel. Perhaps EA has learned from their mistake with Titanfall.


2015 Battlefront Gameplay. Photo Credit: EA
2015 Battlefront Gameplay. Photo Credit: EA

Had Dice included a single-player campaign, a lot of gamers would have been willing to look past the other issues. But Dice only magnified the issues by drawing attention to a multiplayer only game. Specifically that Star Wars Battlefront looked more like a re-skinned Battlefield game rather than its own game. Complaints about high priced DLC –  the Outer Rim DLC alone cost $15 – didn’t help matters.

Second Attempt

Earlier this week Dice announced that Star Wars Battlefront 2 will arrive this holiday season. It seems that – like with Titanfall – EA learned from their experience. Battlefront 2 will include a single player mode. Will a full story mode be enough to make Battlefront more successful than its predecessor?

2015 Gameplay on Tatooine. Photo Credit: EA
2015 Gameplay on Tatooine. Photo Credit: EA

Including a single player component may be enough for Battlefront 2 to be successful. Due to the scale of the universe, three different studios are coming together, DICE, Motive, and Criterion. Criterion is responsible for the X-Wing VR Mission, which got a lot of praise on PS VR. Dice’s last release, Battlefield 1, had a great campaign of its own with its bold vignette style approach to shooter storytelling. Hopefully Dice can carry over that level of storytelling to its Star Wars story.

The Game Players Want

Rather than releasing another “Battlefield clone”, Dice, Motive, and Criterion are hopefully hard at work on a more robust title. Many hard core Star Wars fans were happy to play Battlefront despite its issues. That didn’t mean the issues went away.

Players judge modern shooters on what they don’t have just as much as what they do have. Battlefront was the result of a developer missing the mark on what players want out of a Star Wars game. The multiplayer shooter component was fun for many players, but Dice missed the opportunity to tell an engrossing Star Wars story, but it looks like they’re ready to remedy that. Having a single-player campaign in Battlefront 2 as well as three accomplished studios working on the gameplay and graphics, is promising. It seems EA is listening to the fans this time around. Hopefully fans will get the game they wanted the first time around.

Elisabeth Sills
Lifelong gamer and writer starting with the Commadore 64 all the way to the XBox One.

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