We broke down our impressions of loot boxes (loot chests) in Shadow of War, explaining how they ultimately serve to cut down the time you spent grinding in the actual game. While not benign like simple cosmetic bonuses, Shadow of War's loot chests aren't mandatory. That differs pretty heavily with the early beta impressions for Star Wars Battlefront 2 which critics are accusing of being more in line with pay-to-win systems.
In Star Wars Battlefront 2, player characters can earn combat upgrades via Star Cards which you can earn by opening loot crates. These upgrades are actually pretty significant, like increased defense against damage, or better attack stats. These are necessary skills needed to level up your character and so far they're only attainable through crates you can either earn through daily rewards, purchase using in-game currency, or purchase using real money.
What's worse is that legitimate methods of crafting star cards are difficult since in-game monetary rewards are standard across the board, regardless of performance. So if you want a chance at a Star Card you really need, crafting is a way more difficult process.
As Eurogamer's Robert Purchese writes, "Put simply, this is an exploitative and greedy system I'm surprised has made it this far. Question is, will EA let it go the whole way, or will it use a saving throw and alter the system for full release?"
There is something about the timing of Battlefront 2's release that coincides with the ongoing debate in the gaming community regarding loot boxes. But of the games listed as "offenders" so far, Battlefront 2 is the game critics are singling out as having a particularly hostile loot system.
We will reserve our full judgement until the full game is released. However, if the beta is any indication, the loot system in Battlefront 2 could be one of the more controversial in a year already debating loot implementation in games.