Game Reviewed: Star Wars Battlefront
Release Date: November 17th, 2015
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 4], Xbox One, PC
Genre: Action, Shooter
Rated: T for Teen
Star Wars is known far and wide – its impact in the hearts and minds of millions is unparalleled and the battles that take place in its universe are legendary. With the recent revival of new movies coming out and continuing a strong presence in television, it was about time that a classic Star Wars game finally make its long-awaited return. Many gamers where disheartened when word about the third installment of Battlefront was in development, only to be abruptly cancelled after being nearly completed. But after being picked up by Electronic Arts, Star Wars Battlefront was officially being developed by DICE, creators of Battlefield, and to finally make its way to millions of hyped fans. When it finally arrived we received a polished, and beautiful game; a game that wows while simultaneously being disappointing.
Let’s get this out of the way: Star Wars Battlefront is drop-dead gorgeous! Never before has a game captured the look and feel of the movies like Battlefront has done, and to a magnificent effect. Perhaps the most stunning game so far this console generation, Battlefront has pushed DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine and gave us something to truly marvel at. From Hoth to Tatooine and from iconic vehicles like the X-wing to character models, everything looks phenomenal. The sound department receives the same care and attention as the visuals – John Williams grand symphonic scores drive the tense moments of combat, blaster fire and thermal detonator explosions sound just right, and the roars of Tie Fighters and X-wings amid aerial dog fights make this THE Star Wars experience fans and gamers have been missing.
Playing as either, infantry, Heroes or Villains are all great ways to play. As soldiers of the Empire or the Rebel Alliance, you can choose your loadout by picking from a variety of blasters and an arsenal of skills, a jumpack, and secondary weapon. Starting off, you can play in the standard third-person perspective or switch to first-person if it’s more to your liking. You can also play as iconic Heroes and Villains from the original trilogy like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, and Emperor Palpatine.
As expected from veteran developers, Battlefront plays exceptionally well. The gunplay is accurate and tight, the action is chaotic and fast, and the vehicles control just how I imagined AT-ST and X-wings would handle. And playing as the Heroes and Villains is a blast as you shoot, slice down, and toss bolts of lightning at cannon fodder.
There is however, some issues that I have with as far as gameplay. With 10 online modes that can take place across 18 maps (including the Graveyard of Giants map) , some that throw a Star Wars spin on traditional team deathmatch, capture the flag, and territories modes, while offering some suited to the franchise like Heroes vs. Villains and Walker Assault, there is surprisingly a lack of content here.
Some elements of Battlefield is here, including level progression and level unlocks, but they way the game rewards you for playing over and over again isn’t worth it. They got rid of classes and replaced them with a horrible Star Card system that can be purchased with credits that are earned by completing matches.
The Star Card serve as a way to create a custom class, but when playing and testing out much of the cards there are certain cards that everyone uses, and that’s because they are clearly better than the others. And perhaps the biggest joke is that there are only 15 primary weapons to unlock, and the character customization is a awful with only the best character unlocks being only available after level 40 and higher.
But my biggest complaint is not with it’s online offerings, but with its single-player; there might as well not be one to even talk about! Ok, that may be a slight over-exaggeration, but when you look at the last two console Battlefronts and see there is only a training mode, single battles, and a horde mode clone, you can already figure out the problem with this: they got rid of Galactic Conquest!
This may not be an awfully big deal, but with an emphasis on multiplayer and providing what seems to be a few snippets of a single-player thrown together at the last minute, it feels like we aren’t getting the full package. Here is an example of a terribly missed opportunity. You have the story already gift-wrapped for you, so all that is needed is to following the events of the original trilogy, putting together an amazing campaign mode that cannot only be played as a single-player experience with the option to lan or couch co-op, but it would’ve worked just as well in multiplayer too!
With more and more games focusing multiplayer and withholding any meaningful single-player experiences, you need to make sure that what you’re presenting to the table is not only fun, but has that certain hook that makes players want to come back for more. Titanfall didn’t have a whole lot on its plate either, but what it did have was insane mech gameplay with great controls both in and out of a Titan, plus, I never got tired of hearing “prepare for Titanfall”. Instead of a Galactic Conquest mode and trying to find it’s own hook outside of being Star Wars, DICE found it more worthwhile to spend all of its resources on a diorama. A useless diorama…
And this, dear readers, is what I’m talking about; DICE took almost everything good from the past Battlefront titles, threw them out the window, tossed in a slick coat of paint with shallow gameplay, and called it Battlefront. But if you stop for a moment from ogling the graphics, take a step back, and really see the game for what it is, it’s essentially Battlefield: Star Wars with no story and not nearly as in-depth multi-player customization or meaningful rewards.
There is so much potential for this game to be the epitome of a Star Wars game that it hurts. Perhaps the best looking game ever, let alone a Star Wars game, top-notch gunplay, and some of the modes unique to Battlefront were pretty fun, but you can only play them so much before you feel the fatigue and get bored. What we have here is an unfortunate case of style over substance.
And yes, I know this review is super late. Sorry!
Overall Rating: 2.75/5