With the Star Wars movie franchise now taking off bigger and arguably better than it’s ever been, it took a pretty huge game to rise up to meet them. Luckily for fans everywhere, Star Wars: Battlefront was such a game. Released in 2015 -- the same year as The Force Awakens -- Battlefront won over fans with its superb visuals, epic memorable maps and smooth controls. A reboot of the original Battlefront franchise, in order to incorporate the new continuity of the films, this latest iteration saw you join players online across a variety of maps and situations. You could control the rebellion on Hoth, fighting off the AT-AT Walkers of the Empire, or join the Imperial forces and protect the mighty Death Star.
When a game is as successful as this, a sequel is inevitable, and this year saw the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II. Unfortunately for fans, the game has garnered significantly mixed reviews, with some websites outright hating the game. It hasn’t helped that the game has been heavily criticized for its dependence on in-game purchases in order to progress and unlock fan-favorite characters. Through any controversy, however, memes are born, and CBR has found the 15 most savage Star Wars: Battlefront Memes!
This now infamous speech, from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, has become a genuine viral sensation. The speech, given by Palpatine to an impressionable Anakin Skywalker, is a mysterious and creepy anecdote about Darth Plagueis the Wise and his complete power over life and death. It’s a powerful moment in an otherwise mediocre film, and as such it’s struck a chord with the online community.
Following the fiasco that EA finds itself in, it may seem a little unfair to kick them while they’re down. Still, comparing them to a Dark Lord of the Sith doesn’t seem entirely inappropriate, and the dig at the end of having to pay for the story is just too good. If Episode III was an EA game, chances are you’d have to pay to unlock one of the best parts of the movie.
14 THE CHOSEN ONE
Another iconic scene was this one from Episode III, this time near the climax of the film. Following an epic battle across the lava rivers Mustafar, Obi-Wan Kenobi leaps ashore, claiming the high ground and with it, victory. Seeing that he himself won a battle against Darth Maul when the Sith apprentice was looming over him, Anakin decides to chance it too, getting his legs cut off in the process.
Taking a dig at EA’s attempts to get as much money out of players as possible (one site claiming that you’d have to spend upwards of $1200 to unlock everything), this joke just encapsulates everyone’s frustrations with that kind of business model: namely that if you don’t want to spend any more money on a game, be prepared to fight against other players that have deeper pockets and unfair advantages.
There are moments in first-person shooters that are less about the action and more about the emotional beats, like this one from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare from 2014. In the opening scene of the second mission, you’re encouraged to “Press F to Pay Respects” during a funeral scene.
The moment has been widely mocked for being inappropriate and darkly hilarious, resulting in the phrase taking off as a meme in its own right and leading to online communities posting the letter F anytime they want to pay respects. In CoD, paying respects this way even led to some players earning a promotion, which is probably why EA would have charged for it! We kid, but you can’t blame some folks for making a joke at their expense, especially using a meme so widely known as this.
12 NOT CLEAR!
Once the news about in-game purchases and the dreaded loot crates started to emerge, the fan community was rightfully angry, and when a community gets angry, they can change the world. It didn’t take long before EA released a statement that said it would be turning off all in-game purchases. Great news, right?
Well, that victory was short-lived, as within that same statement it was clear that this was not a permanent solution at all, and just a temporary measure to try and appease fans and allow the outcry to die down. Once people saw through the ruse, it didn’t take long for that very same community to turn on EA once again, creating funny -- if painfully accurate -- memes like the one above, which is a twist on one of the more memorable elements of the Star Wars Battlefront II trailer.
When a game already costs roughly $80 to purchase on its own, you’d at least like to know that you’re getting the full game for your money. Unfortunately for fans of Star Wars: Battlefront II, that just wasn’t the case, and if you wanted to play as someone like Darth Vader, you’d either have to fork over more money or play roughly 40 hours of gameplay for the privilege.
Having to earn rewards in games is nothing new, and players are all about working -- sometimes even grinding for hours -- in order to unlock sweet prizes, but 40 hours feels like a lot of work for something wanted by so many. Throw in the fact that other fans could just pay more money to unlock immediately and you can see why the game is called Casinofront.
With the new Star Wars Battlefront II becoming something of a farce, it didn’t take long for players to figure out that there was already a game called Battlefront II that had excellent gameplay, longevity and -- most importantly -- didn’t cost anything more to play than the single upfront cost of the disk.
Released in 2005 for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and PSP, the original Star Wars: Battlefront II was a critical and commercial success and a sequel to the original game released the year before. With the ability to play as Imperial troopers in different eras of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, as well as playing as Jedi and defenders of the Rebellion, many fans were dusting off their older consoles to give this game a spin rather than be disappointed by the new release.
9 OUT OF TOUCH
For a company that seems on the cutting edge of modern gameplay, it looks like EA is out of touch when it comes to what the fans really want. No sooner had the news gotten out about microtransactions, loot crates and in-game purchases that the fan community went wild, and EA’s name was dirt.
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened in gaming, and EA isn't exactly alone in charging players for bonus content, unlockables and progression advantages, however, this is perhaps the biggest -- and definitely most notorious -- modern example of it happening in a triple A title like this. Perhaps it’s time that big companies take notice of how gamers like to play, and hopefully, if enough fans vote with their wallet then EA, and others will pay attention.
When you release a new game with the same title as an older one, comparisons are inevitable. Games go through remakes and updates all the time, from Halo to Resident Evil to Final Fantasy, all have seen major updates and re-releases of past installments in the last few years. The new Star Wars: Battlefront II wasn’t exactly a remake of the 2005 original, but rather the franchise was restarted for modern gamers and more advanced systems.
The outcry from fans and the distinctly muted reaction from the critics regarding this latest installment has made those comparisons a little easier on the older games. The graphics may not be as cutting-edge as the modern game, but there’s something to be said about having a complete game for one single price.
7 FRIENDLY FIRE
Who can forget that iconic, heartbreaking moment from Star Wars: Episode III, when Emperor Palpatine gave the mysterious and deadly Order 66 to all of his Clone troopers? The order, once given, instructed all of the troopers to slaughter every Jedi they had previously been sworn to protect, wiping out a significant proportion of the Sith’s enemies in one fell swoop. Many of the more memorable secondary and background characters were killed mercilessly in one sad montage.
If you were to switch on Friendly Fire in a Battlefront game, you may have some understanding of what the characters went through in the movies, as your teammates and friends would now have the ability -- accidental or otherwise -- to wipe you out before you’ve even had the chance to fight the good fight.
6 BEFORE THE DARK TIMES
Many younger fans may not have the opportunity to do this that older fans will, but given the choice to either play a brand new game with microtransactions and in-game purchases, or a classic game that’s complete when you pick it up, many people would choose the latter.
The original Star Wars: Battlefront II is 12 years old at this point, meaning tracking down a copy may not be that easy for some, and for others, they may not have a console that can play it even if they do. If you can though, the original 2005 game is worth tracking down and sitting down with, if for no other reason than to remember a time when companies weren’t trying to squeeze every penny out of your gaming experience.
5 DARTH WALLET
This is, unfortunately, the state of gaming today. Yes, it’s possible to progress through Star Wars: Battlefront II without spending any more money than what you originally paid, and yes you’ll still be able to unlock everything that players who fork over cash do. The trouble is that the game isn’t designed for you to enjoy that way.
Think about it, if EA wants you to spend as much money as possible on in-game purchases, they’re going to make that the more appealing path to follow, meaning that trying to get by without spending a penny is going to be a far less enjoyable experience overall, and ultimately could lead to the game not being worth playing. That’s the extreme example of what could happen, but you can see why gamers are upset.
4 JUST ANAKIN
One of the more infamous examples in Star Wars: Battlefront II of the difference between spending extra money in-game versus not, is that of a character like Darth Vader. Arguably the most popular character in all of Star Wars, Vader is an unlockable character in the new game, but, however you choose to go about it, unlocking the ability to play as him is going to cost you.
You could never directly pay cash for characters like Vader or Luke Skywalker, they were only ever available through in-game credits. Earning the 60,000 credits initially needed (it’s now dropped significantly thanks to backlash) would take an estimated 40 hours of multiplayer gaming. There were ways and means of acquiring extra credits, however, through loot crates which can be bought using crystals, but those crystals cost real money.
3 JUMP AROUND
Once the floodgates open with in-game purchases, where will it end? That’s the subject of this meme, which takes a funny yet terrifying glimpse into our gaming future by imagining what retro games would have been like had they followed a similar business model. Locking the number of jumps Mario can make behind a paywall would be just the start.
How about limiting Sonic the Hedgehog’s top speed unless you pay extra, or limiting Master Chief’s bullet’s? This may seem pretty facetious, not to mention familiar if you’re a fan of mobile gaming, but free-to-play games are a little different. There, the creators have to recoup their costs with in-app purchases, whereas with triple-A titles that cost around $80 with a much larger audience, this seems unfair.
2 SWIPE TO PLAY
By now, for many fans, the name EA is synonymous with excessive microtransactions and unfair charges. There’s a reason why EA’s comments on the subject have become the most down-voted comments in Reddit’s entire history after all. So with that business model in mind, why not cut out the middle-man entirely and set up credit card functionality directly into your keyboard?
It’s obviously a joke, but the scary truth is gaming is an expensive habit, and microtransactions only make your favorite past-time more expensive. Some would argue that it’s been this way for a while now, what with DLC that costs extra and in some extreme cases make the game not worth playing without, but loot crates, in-game purchases and countless unlockables is another level entirely.
1 VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET
Let’s face it, all the outcry in the world won’t make a difference if EA still sells millions of copies of the game. It may be true that sales of the physical copies of Star Wars: Battlefront II are down 60% over that of its predecessor, and the mainstream news coverage on channels like CNN and BBC certainly can’t have helped, but let’s not forget the season we’re all heading into.
Not only is Christmas the busiest time of the year for shoppers, but there’s a little movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi on its way too. Either one of these factors alone may have been enough to boost sales of Battlefront II, but combine the two and millions of people may not be able to resist the urge to buy the game, meaning EA won’t have learnt anything from the initial outcry
What do you think of the Battlefront II backlash? Let us know in the comments!