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Force Choked

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by Alvin Colon

Recently, I went on a mini Twitter rant. It was direct towards EA and Dice regarding the announcement of their upcoming title, Star Wars Battlefront, having a $50 Season Pass, much like Call of Duty or Battlefield. I wanted to wait a bit to write this article because I wanted my anger to subside. $50 is EA attempting to ‘Nickel and Dime’ the consumer to dish out additional money for a game with minimal content.

Let me be very clear with what I’m about to say. I loved the Star Wars Battlefront Beta. I played it on both PS4 and Xbox One. It was the most fun I’ve had with a FPS all year.

Allow me to be even clearer with what I’m about to say next…

I don’t oppose expansions, map packs, season passes or any other type of DLC. I’m not opposed to paying $50 for a Call of Duty or Battlefield season pass. The games have hours and hours of content. I oppose EA and the price of the Star Wars Battlefront Season Pass.

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Personally, I’m going on record to thank 343 Industries for ruining Halo: The Master Chief Collection. That mistake along with the Halo 5: Guardians Beta is most likely why we ended up getting a Beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and Star Wars Battlefront.  If it weren’t for you guys  releasing a broken multiplayer we wouldn’t be able to get these Betas and ultimately have a better Day One  multiplayer experience with these upcoming titles. Let’s face it, the Day One experience is the most crucial time of any gaming release. Developers have finally caught on that it’s important to have the online multiplayer work flawless day one. I’m confident that these games will work flawless when they are released this year.

There are 3 contributing factors to justify DLC. You need at least 2 of the 3 in order for it to make sense.

  1. The original product is worth $60
  2. DLC is reasonably priced.
  3. There’s a passion for the game where you are hooked and crave more. It’s no mere purchase. You’re a fan.

Star Wars Battlefront only has one of those factors.

Let’s compare Star Wars Battlefront with its direct competition this holiday seasonHalo 5: Guardians and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

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Halo 5 will release on Oct 27, 2015. It will have an 8-12 hour campaign, 20 competitive multiplayer maps at launch, 15 free downloadable maps after launch, and Forge 2.0. On top of that, it will have an eSports presence with the “Halo Championship Series.”

On Nov 6, 2015, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will release with an 8-10 hour campaign, 16 competitive multiplayer maps at launch and a new zombie co-op experience that has its own story and XP-based progression mode. Along with that Call of Duty has one of the largest eSports scenes. Like Call of Duty titles in recent memory, it will have a $50 season pass that will add layers to multiplayer and zombie modes.

All you will have to pay is $60 to kick off the fun.

Star Wars Battlefront will release Nov 17, 2015. It will not have a single player campaign. It however has an offline mode called Missions where either solo or cooperatively you will take on bots. Battlefront will launch with 12 competitive multiplayer maps at launch with various game modes. Star Wars Battlefront will also have a $50 season pass that will consist of 4 expansions that will release after launch.

How is this worth $60 with a $50 promise of future content?

The numbers don’t lie. It is 100% unjustifiable. Halo 5 and Black Ops 3 come fully stocked with single player campaigns; additional features to play coop with friends and top notch award winning multiplayer that have a competitive scene. Halo 5, at first glance, is the best deal because DLC is free. Black Ops 3 comes with the most content at launch. Topped with a $50 season pass you’ll be able to add more multiplayer maps and zombie modes. Star Wars Battlefront comes with the least amount of single player content. Mission mode is only there to train you so you can be prepared to play the competitive multiplayer, which only comes with 12 maps.

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The argument can be made that the Battlefront experience will be the most enjoyable multiplayer experience this holiday season and that it will have the most accessible multiplayer this holiday season for new comers.  Star Wars Battlefront is created for wide appeal. The target audience aren’t the hardest of the hardcore gamer. It’s the Star Wars super fans, kids and a casual audience. The game is mechanically simple and it doesn’t take long to master the games ins and outs. Since the game is getting a T rating, it’s the safest choice for the holiday season. It’s an easy sale. It’s a Star Wars game. No guns, but blasters instead. No bullets. The game is made for a casual audience. Never do you get the same sense of anxiety during a multiplayer match like you would in Halo or Call of Duty. You play, laugh and have fun whether you win or lose.

The problem is that we get a fantastic competitive multiplayer, but they expect us to dish out an additional $50 for a season pass when you don’t have as much content as your competition at launch. It is pretty obvious that the game was rushed so it could come out just in time for Episode 7 to drop in theaters Dec. 18. If Dice took its time in delivering more content this may have won Game of the Year. It will win many awards and sell like gangbusters, but Star Wars Battlefront could have been a benchmark in competitive multiplayer gaming. Unfortunately EA is being EA about this.

It’s unjustifiable, it’s ‘Nickel and Diming’ the consumers and it’s a shame because 9 million people played this beta and a majority of people fell in love.

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