Breaking my Back(log): Star Wars: Battlefront (PC)

Star Wars: Battlefront is a game that has been in a weird spot on my backlog. I initially purchased it on release for the PS4, but never quite played it enough to feel like I had given it a fair shot. This month, I finally got around to playing more of it, albeit after an extensive adventure and on a new system.

Moving halfway across the country is hard, especially when all your friends still reside back in NY. Fortunately, It’s easier than ever to keep in touch. Between social media, video games, and even traditional games through the internet (I started a DnD campaign utilizing Discord and Roll20 this last week), it’s almost impossible to tell your friends you don’t want to talk to them.

When I reached my destination (middle of nowhere Texas...literally look up “San Angelo” on Google [too lazy? Here's a map]), my computer promptly died. I had built my PC four years ago… it seemed a perfect time for a new one. I proceeded to spend a week researching the parts that I wanted, budgeting the build, and salvaging parts from the old build (pretty much just the storage). After piecing out my “dream PC” I put the orders thru and waited for the parts to come in.

As if by divine intervention, once the PC was built and running, and I fully grasped the power of my GTX 1080, I discovered that Origin (EA) was selling Star Wars: Battlefront for $5. I had owned the game since its launch on the PS4, had liked it, but really only ever a little bit of couch co-op with my buddy Bob. This was our first chance to play a relatively new PC game together via the internet, on comparable systems  (I had built Bob a computer earlier this year, which far outstripped my old PC), and check another game off of my backlog.

My first thought, when I booted up Battlefront was, “damn this game is pretty on Ultra”. That thought was immediately followed by “what an idiot I was, purchasing the Season’s Pass with the PS4 version”. Yes, I was one of those unfortunate few, who regardless of the warnings, purchased the game on release with the added content, and far overpaid for a mediocre experience. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, but it always was found to be lacking in some way or another.

Now, on the PC, with Bob on headset, and a mouse in hand, the game was amazing. The controls felt tight - although admittedly, I am no connoisseur of FPS games. The atmosphere within the game, with its attention to detail of the environment and equipment was stunning. I absolutely loved playing through wave after wave of enemy Stormtrooper, testing my abilities on Master mode, reminiscent of our middle and high school years playing the original Battlefront on a PS2, in front of a massive standard def TV. This game was now almost everything I had hoped for (still a bit salty about the lack of a Galactic Conquest mode).

While I have loved every moment of playing Battlefront on the PC, and the quest (building a PC worthy of a beautifully rendered game) to this point has been enjoyable; the game has allowed me some introspection and the ability to explore a shortfall of mine, and an issue that the gaming industry has as a whole. Pre-ordering content…

As I’ve already stated, I preordered the Season Pass for Battlefront on the PS4. Now, I don't want to discuss being disappointed that it wasn’t as much as I hoped for (it wasn’t), nor how stupid I was for doing so (I was); rather, I do want to speak a little to what preordering content allows the team developing a game to do. See, at this point, it didn’t matter what nor how much content EA gave me. I had already paid for the game. I wasn’t going to be getting my money back, and I had left no onus on EA to prove to me why their game was worth it; I had already paid them upfront.

This is the lesson I want everyone reading this to take away, and the lesson I have taken from this experience. It doesn’t matter how wonderful, nor how disappointing a game turns out to be, preordering a game without knowledge of what the final product may be is, and should be approached as far more risky than we currently allow ourselves to grasp. The “Fear of missing out” needs to be reigned in, and companies should not be “held accountable” for giving us our money’s worth, but rather should have to prove themselves worthy before we open up our wallets.

I ended up putting about 40-60 hours into Battlefront on the PS4, and while I wish I hadn’t pre-ordered, nor paid for the Season’s pass, I did enjoy my time with it. However, the hours I’ve spent on my $5 copy of Battlefront for the PC, and the experience I had with it, have already surpassed that of the PS4 version. I look forward to Battlefront 2’ but, I won’t be pre-ordering it this time around... I think...