PS4 Game Review – Star Wars: Battlefront 2 – The EA empire strikes back….

PS4 Game Review – Star Wars: Battlefront 2 – The EA empire strikes back….

So I may be the biggest Star Wars fanboy you know. I have seen the 1st movie well over 400 times, I watched it every single day for over a year when we got it on VHS.

So when it comes to Star Wars content, I may be a wee bit bias.

I thought the EP1 – 3 trilogy was not that bad, I have watched all the animated series and loved every minute (well maybe not the Jar-Jar moments) and I am in the minority thinking the new trilogy thus far is outstanding.

So when it was announced that Star Wars Battlefront 2 was going to have a full story mode, I was more than thrilled. We may finally get some answers to what happened in the 20 years spanning Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

What Star Wars: BF2 delivers is a great addition to the Star Wars universe, but sadly due to some seemingly dubious business practices of their publisher EA, many of you may have passed on this game.

I am here to tell you to go buy it anyway, not because I like EA, but because if you are a Star Wars fan in any way, you owe it to yourself to check this out, it really is that good.

The game was seriously revamped after the community backlash about loot boxes and level progression, and it is completely playable and most of all fair.

I will circle back to that at the end.

The game itself starts during the events of Return of the Jedi, with you as a rising star in the Empire.

The story is pretty great, it will take you to places only spoken in Star Wars lore, you will see why star destroyers are crashed on Jakku, how Kylo knew to go there to find the map to Luke, how Luke got the compass that lead him to exile island and many more bits to fill in the movies.

The game play itself is exemplary, this is a very well crafted shooter, controls feel very natural and the weapons powerful.

But where the game seriously shines is in the flight missions, bombing runs on star destroyers, flying down the gullet of a repair vessel destroying shield generators before blowing up a docked star destroyer, dog fighting over trade blockades in the Millennium Falcon.

It is all fantastic and definitely bows to the fanboys of the world.

The single player story is not terribly long and on hard can be about 10 hours long or so, but front to back it is very enjoyable and challenging at times.

Once this is complete you can move onto the multiplayer side of things which is really the heart of the game.

Long after the story fade you will be playing the MP online.

Now I hung up my controller many years ago for online multiplayer games, but for the first time in probably 5 years I dove in with both feet.

The mission are just so well crafted you can’t help but want to come back for more.

You have a few game modes to choose from, some better than others.

There is a Heroes vs Villains, which is just as it sounds, pick you favorite (unlocked) hero and jump in again other over powered villains.

There is a Starfighter mode, that is in my opinion one of the best. You fly objective based missions against the enemy, either attacking of defending. Things like breaking a blockade, then taking out the bases defenses, and finally attacking a power core to blow it all up. That is just one of the example of the 5 or 6 missions of this type.

There is also a ground war type battle of similar style, moving ahead, taking objectives, very mush like Battlefield Bad Company from many moons ago. These battles are huge though, with vehicles, heroes and 40 players (plus bots) thrown into the mix. The maps are large enough to accommodate this no problem.

You also have the typical team death-match games with 6v6, and a pseudo “ctf” sytle game as well.

All of which I never found to be unbalanced.

One of the big slams EA had was that progression seemed to be to weighted towards grind, and fans (and idiots) seemed to think that PLAYING the game was an unfair way of unlocking stuff, and God forbid they have to actually play more then 5 minutes to unlock everything.

So sadly EA bowed to these loudmouths and changed the game, so much so that in a single weekend I managed to unlock all the Heroes, something that previously would have taken weeks, was a simple walk in the park and WAY too easy. But hey, we are in the generation of trophies for all those who show up, and if you cannot get your immediate needs met, than said media is utter garbage.

It is unfortunate that those vocal minority have the loudest voices. Because they are a blight on this industry.

But I digress.

There was also the loot box controversy, a one two punch in the face for EA sadly. They set out to have loot boxes unlock abilities that would give you an edge in combat, an edge which mind you, you would have anyway through natural progression and unlocking things in time, but loot boxes doll out the new skills for each class.

Well considering you could buy the currency needed to open them (beyond what you earn through playing) people saw this as Pay to Win multiplayer and very unbalanced.

The part that people forget though, is natural skill plays a lot of winning a match, just because you have an uber rocket launcher skill, does not equate a win, not if you can’t hit the side of a barn with it.

But again, the whiny babies (who never even played the game yet) cried so hard and loud, that EA decided to pull the purchased credit aspect, so you could no longer buy the tokens needed to open a crate, and instead, had to play and earn credits to open them.

A win for the great unwashed, a loss for EA.

I think the most disturbing part is people do not realize the impact this has. Due to the failed success of Star Wars BF 2, we now may not get a BF3. Their collective pissing and moaning, may have forever changed what we get to play.

I would rather take a game made with nefarious business practice in mind, and play around that system, then to never have it at all. But that’s just me.

Lastly we have the visual presentation.

This game looks amazing… like jaw on the floor, holy crap how did they make endor look so real, amazing.

The game truly shine in it’s HDR presentation, with colors popping off the screen and the inky blackness of space forming a canvass for some epic space scenes, debris almost feels 3d in floating junk yards, and the sheer amount of moving particles is staggering.

It really makes the game feel alive.

The sound presentation here is top notch as well, with ships zipping overhead with DTS:X enabled, to the amazing WhirrrrrrBOOOM of Jango Fett’s mines rattling your teeth with LFE, the first time I dropped one and heard it I was grinning to myself ear to ear.

Visually and sonically, it doesn’t get much better than this.

All in all, the game was fantastic, front to back great, online and single player.

I know this review is in the minority here, but I am giving it a solid 9/10 and a must play for anyone who loves Star Wars.

PS4 Review – Prey – your prayers have been answered

PS4 Review – Prey – your prayers have been answered

So I am a rather big fan of sci-fi horror, dating as far back to the 70’s when Alien was released, and through my life I am always on the hunt for a good space horror.

This hit a pinnacle for me with 3 games in the last decade, Dead Space 1 and 2 and Alien: Isolation, three of the best sci-horror games ever made. And since Alien: Isolation was released, there has honestly been nothing to fill the void.

That is, until now.

Prey take a lot from its brothers and sisters in the genre, and adds in its own flair.

While not edge of your seat nail biting like Dead Space was, it still manages to keep you on edge from start to finish.

You have a choice when starting to play either a male or female character, which is an odd choice for a game in this genre and the first of its kind I believe. Whichever you choose will dictate some of your email communications, as they are written from the other sibling.

The set up is simple, and been done many times before, you are on a space station, things have gone south, the place is breaking down and seemingly abandoned, and you need to put the pieces together and find out what happened to everyone.

Where the game really shines though is through the skill tree advancement and combat.

Once you progress far enough, you can start to acquire alien abilities through neuro mods. Thinks like telekinesis, mind control and shape shifting to name a few.

This really adds to the first person shooter combat. It is not a mere run and gun, you need to play strategically, you have to plan each encounter (on hard at least) or you will be splattered all over the walls in no time.

The enemies themselves are what really adds to the tension here, as they are a race of shape-shifting chameleons. The can become any item in the environment. The coffee cup on a desk could be a mimic in waiting, ready to pounce if you get close enough.

This keeps you constantly on edge when entering new locations, as you never really know where they are hiding.

In addition to the usual FPS combat, there area few zero G segments of the game as well, this brings a whole new level of complexity into the fights.

Prey was also surprisingly large, for a shooter this game clocked in at about 28 hours for me on Hard mode, the space station itself is incredibly huge, and while you will be back tracking from time to time, it is typically in different segments of a previous area, add in the free space outside the base and it is simply massive.

The only real complaint I have about the games as a whole is, compared to modern day shooters, Prey feels rather dated.

This could be due to the troubled development of it, it was originally meant to be a true sequel to the original Prey game from the Xbox 360, that saw marginal success.

It came as a bit of a shock that a game that did not do too well was actually getting a sequel.

They debuted it at E3 many years ago, and it was suppose to have a completely fresh take on FPS, as you were going to be a bounty hunter of sorts.

After that initial reveal the game seemingly disappeared off the radar, only to emerge a couple years ;later at E3 again as a space horror.

And I think this is where the game kinda stumbled, much like Duke Nuken Forever, this started development years and years ago, and I think they must have carried forward some of the core engine, because things like animation, lighting, etc, feels like something from around 2010-2012. The way NPCs move, and such, just feels older for no good reason.

Not that it is bad, but just not what you make expect from a game from 2017.

All in all Prey was a fun game to play, and on Hard mode it did add a real challenge, with many many deaths ensuing. This is really in my mind the only way horror games should be played, on as hard as possible, as it really adds to the survival type feeling, and every encounter becomes a struggle to survive.

While not ground breaking, Prey gets a solid 8/10, and a recommendation to all the sci-horror fans out there.