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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why I Don't Like the New Battlefront

I'm going to say it right now: I'm not going to play Battlefront... I mean in the sense I'm going to buy it. I know I missed the buck to fade into the crowd of people saying, "EA's Battlefront sucks!" I've played a bit of Battlefront and what I saw/did wasn't the worst thing in the world. In fact its a damn good game. The controls were tight, the graphics were amazing and the combat was amazing as well. So why am I not going to/am playing Battlefront? Easy. I'm not going to encourage it. Or at least the direction people (not the actual fans of Star Wars, Battlefront series or games in general, just the companies making these games) think what these games are supposed to be.
The original Battlefront games are... flawed, but they are awesome. The idea is novel. You play as a no name soldier set in the Star Wars universe battling against the other side. Basically its like if you took a modern military shooter that was just pretty decent and slapped a coat of Star Wars mod paint on it. Honestly? I'd probably play that game. But that's not all the Battlefront was. There was, of course, the heroes. Where you could play as various overpowered characters from the films to fight in these battles. All of the cannon fodder troops couldn't stand up to these heroes, having to resort to cheap tactics, vehicles to annihilate them and slowly chip away at their health and get back to the military shooting. If I had to rate both of those games, they'd get about a 7 or an 8. Solid, but not much. Fun, but not much else. My favorite had to be the second game in which they added a new mode like conquest, mixing up the game a bit more and added the prequels in the mix so you weren't just fighting against rando troops and threw some droids into the mix.
My point is I don't understand why people hold the original games in such high praise. They were good games and that's it. As a rabid Star Wars fan I can look around my room right now and find not only novels but three posters and that's not even counting the games I have in my Steam library... and even then I only consider them to be just okay. But! I get where the hate is coming from. Someone somewhere on the internet said it best that the only reason we keep coming back to EA is because they have some amazing developers under their boot. Bioware, Maxis (which was the developer behind The Sims) and now DICE. EA continues to survive, neigh thrive, on the whim of these three companies. The Sims will always sell gangbusters because, hell, who doesn't want to play god every so often. Bioware makes some of the most amazing RPGs of all time and even when they fail you can still say, "You know what? Dragon Age 2 wasn't THE worst game I've ever played." Hell, if Dragon Age 2 was the first entry into the series and then Origins came out later, we'd give it a perfect score. It was just disappointing because the previous game was so great. And as much as I dislike military shooters as a whole in the sense of their business model for what you receive (a glorified trash novel about how all foreigners are evil and the only way to stop them is to commit heinous war crimes) I have to admit that the make some very polished shooters that I could have some fun with.
Lucas Arts was never perfect but they were a pretty decent company. They really seemed to try and make good games. They had an iron grip on the Star Wars franchise but never treated it with anything other than respect. Even Force Unleashed 2 wasn't the worst game ever. Short sighted? Yes. Still playable? Sure. The reason why I think everyone hates this new game, apart from just general EA hate, is simply because of the news afterward. Lucas Arts was in production of three amazing sounding games. Battlefront 3 would have revamped the series in such a way I would have to break the "Its okay" barrier I had for the previous games. Their idea of letting you play as Darth Maul in a stealth/RPG game was an insanely awesome idea. 1313 would have been a look at the darker side of Star Wars, not just in the sense of the force or force users but actual depth that could have made for an interesting story. Of course Disney fudged it up when the whole studio was shut down. I really think the company should have been absorbed, letting a bunch of Lucas Arts veterans work along side EA to make Star Wars games. Simply put: every sane person who hates this game is only hating it because the fact of how misguided everything seems. Sure, no singleplayer is insane but its not the worst thing. Its the path that modern shooters are taking these days. And, I'm going to be completely honest, that fucking sucks. No game, other than MMOs, should only be online. That just makes no sense.
Alright, rant over. But why am I not going to buy this game? Its a well polished, probably fun, game. Like I said, I'm not going to encourage this behavior. And neither should you. There's been a lot of annoying shit surrounding this game about the whole extra edition, where you can basically get the best gun in the game unlocked immediately. Is that kind of scummy? Sure. But in most MMOs you can pay to get the best gear and make your character better than everyone else. That's just inherent in most games now a days. Granted, that doesn't make it better or tolerable. My personal philosophy is I will always appreciate the thing that tries to do its best to stand out from the crowd no matter how good it is. As a species we should always be moving forward. Stagnation is humanity's greatest enemy. Our complacency will undoubtedly become our downfall. I've fallen into the trap of things before that are the cheap and easy. EA's Battlefront is like candy versus an actual meal. There's really nothing more to it. You might feel bad later after the elation wears off, there's little to no extra reason to have in the first place but it feels good at the start. Now there may be people out there who actually like this game and that's fine. Personally I'm going to be waiting for the next Star Wars game. Can we get that Darth Maul game within my life time? Maybe a different RPG entirely like the Knights of the Old Republic series. Or how about something completely new. Something no one ever thought of before. Personally, I'm not going to belly ache over EA's vision of Star Wars. Because that just means its just a little more closer to Bioware's RPG hands, or DICE's excellent gameplay or even The Sims' versatility. Come on, EA. Give me some more Star Wars. Make it great. Make it memorable. Make me not regret downloading Origin and give me something great to play. Free games every so often are cool, but I want you to destroy my wallet with the most amazing experience of my life. I want to play this new game and think, "This is it. This is the last game I ever need to play in my entire life." I want this game to ruin everything else that comes after it. I'll be here, waiting.

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