Is it wise to pre-order Battlefront? Probably not.
I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars universe. But I can't help but be cautious of the new Battlefront. I understand why others are excited: we haven't seen anything but speculation and teasers for over a decade.
Why pre-order a game from a series we haven't seen in a decade?
I know there are a lot of negative articles going around about this game and some counters defending it. This article certainly won't be gushing with praise, yet I feel it's important to note the underlying feeling most people have that makes them doubt this game. A lot of other articles seem to be missing the point.
Why pre-order a game from a series we haven't seen in a decade, especially when it's coming from a publisher and developer who don't exactly have the best reputation lately? (Not to mention the fact that the developers need to have the game ready by the Episode VII movie release means relatively short time for development.)
Of course I'm talking specifically about EA. While DICE may be the actual developers, we as gamers have seen time and again that the developer/ publisher relationship in the industry is strong, and has caused many would-be-great games to falter or fail outright - as we've seen in titles like SimCity, BF4, and Destiny. Developers in the industry are in a tough bind, and often seem to compromise quality in order to meet publisher wishes. (As the saying goes, don't bite the hand that feeds you.) Naysayers can chalk it up to flukes, missteps, whatever. But there is definitely a trend here, and it has been going on for a LONG time in the gaming industry. And I'm not convinced that Battlefront will be the exception.
Wall of shame
The recent cybersquatting site dedicated to the new game also has a pretty hefty list that shows just how domineering EA has been in decades past when it acquires new studios and IP.
Even this infamous poster comparing previous features to the new sequel does make a point, regardless of how premature it is. Maybe these changes are for the better, who knows? Although, it doesn't give a good impression about the game. I'll reserve final judgment until the game is out.
Move along there's nothing to see here...
The first reveal trailer for Battlefront was an exciting and interesting introduction to the game, and we were supposed to be excited enough to base our pre-order on it. But that's not really gameplay, is it? And how true is it to what you can expect from the final game?
While many were excited for the reveal trailer announcement weeks before going in, when I actually got to see it, I felt a bit mislead. Primarily because I was expecting actual gameplay and not just game engine footage. Although I appreciated the gesture of showing anything at all, the fact that the gameplay was only shown to the actual attendees of the Star Wars Celebration event left me a bit peeved. I didn't seem to be the only fan left wanting as AJ, MWN seemed to be echoing my reactions. Only later, after I had time to digest the video, did I figure out that this was more of a way to hype up casual gamers and to stave off hunger until the E3 showing. Which will certainly be pretty good.... I'm hoping.
Deluxe Edition and EA's long standing DLC milking
It seemed like an oddly generous offer...until they packed all the pre-order bonuses into a glorified "Deluxe Edition" which will cost an extra $10.
The announcement that the Battle Of Jakku will be free to anyone who purchases the game after launch day, and the fact that pre-order customers will have early access (a full week before non-preorder customers) seemed like an oddly generous offer.
...Until they packed all the pre-order bonuses into a glorified "Deluxe Edition" which will cost an extra $10. Too good to be true, I guess? To add to this, concern over the developers milking the game with DLC has become an equally common topic for critical articles about the game. The DLC concerns apparently caught the attention of Battlefront's producer, Jesper Nielsen, who went on record to state otherwise:
"Please don’t make me break what I can and cannot say, but if you think there’s anything we’re not including in the game to save it for DLC, I can tell you you’re 100% wrong. In this project, I’ve never heard anyone say 'Let’s not do this for launch so we can do it as DLC instead'. Ever.”
However, as I have stated earlier, that may not be up to DICE to decide.
Be excited, but dont be fooled.
Despite the overladen sense of dread/negativity some may have picked up from this article, I only wish to convey some important points to consider before you hit that pre-order button.
We're all aware of how risky it is to pre-order games. In fact, TotalBiscuit has done one of the best videos on this subject to date. I'm still looking forward to this game, but given those involved in making it and the decade-long hiatus from the franchise, I think I'll wait until AFTER the reviews come out on this one.