[Part 1] Simon Pegg gave his opinion about Star Wars Prequel fans, “I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good. They’re not.” If you’re an original trilogy purist, like Pegg, then DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront is your game. I will admit that this version of Battlefront is the definitive experience for original trilogy fans, it’s like living in the universe, the sounds of a tie fighter and how it shoots, the iconic hum of the lightsaber, even the Sarlacc Pit, everything is here. However, Star Wars Battlefront would have so much more potential with the prequels in play, and at times it can suffer for it’s narrowed focus.
Reviewing this game has been thoroughly difficult to keep the massive Star Wars aficionado out of picture. The huge fan wants me to scream to you how great this game is. Night one I played four and a half hours straight of multiplayer, I haven’t done this for a multiplayer game in years. The fun factor is at a max in Battlefront, there’s something so enticing about the world around you and how beautifully the environments are capture that breath the atmosphere of the acclaimed franchise. The game is easy to get a grasp of and DICE avoided making it a Battlefield clone with a skin. They were the smart choice to make the game.
While I enjoy the third/first person shooter gameplay, an absolute highlight is how engaging and perfect the aerial combat is. I’ve had a blast playing the flight combat mode, every X-Wing and Tie Fighter model looks perfect and the contained blasts of lasers coming from an A-Wing, their individual sound compared to the furious screech of a Tie Interceptor make matches addicting. You target an enemy star fighter with the left trigger but to get an effective shot you must be in direct range of actually shooting them, limiting homing missiles to a power ability that refreshes in appropriate time. This makes for fluid air combat and never dull moments with a plethora of AI ships to shoot as you search for the player controlled ships. Shooting down a player controlled opponent is challenging and rewarding. My only complaint is that hero ships such as the Millennium Falcon and the Slave 1 have far too much health and often can take over 1/3 of a match to take down even with other player support.
The few maps in the game are satisfying and lush with Star Wars content to appeal to the fans, even if there isn’t a huge variety in what is currently available. We’re given a few variations of Tatooine, Hoth, Endor, an Imperial Hangar, and a charred black rock world. These are great because they cover the iconic locations we know in the original trilogy, but this is where the prequels could be put to good use. Though each map we visit is absolutely stunning in detail and probably are the most beautiful maps ever created, you’d better get used to desert, snow, and forest because that’s much of the entirety of the game.
While the prequels are by no means a great example of Sci Fi movies, they still offer a solid variety. The volcanic planet Mustfar from Revenge of the Sith was easily one of my favorite maps from Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Kamino would also make for an excellent map (yes I know there wasn’t a huge clone/droid battle on with planet but it made Star Wars Battlefront 2 such a thriving game with such varied content. What we get with DICE’s Battlefront is a Star Wars game that’s very immersive of the films rather than more free exploration, I’m happy with that but I vie for more as a player. Also it’s a head scratcher to me why the Death Star wasn’t really included in the game and the lack of dogfights in space is palpable.
We get six heroes to play as, all with their own strong and weak suits that are incredibly fun to play as. Depending on how you use your character you can become a powerhouse. Let’s just say in a strange 1 vs. 1 match, I was able to defeat Darth Vader with Han Solo. Guess Han kept a better hold of his blaster. Bad jokes aside, I really enjoy the feel and perks of each character. Han is obviously long range, but the feeling of force choking a soldier to death as Vader or electrocuting someone as the Emperor, it doesn’t really get much better than that. There are also these rare moments where Luke and Vader will lock sabers and there will be a power struggle in a button mash to see which player gets the hit off first. This happened after a few hours into my playthrough and made for a tense and unexpected moment.
While many reviewing sites have began holding out to give multiplayer games a final score due to the online component, lucky me, I’ve been able to play about 8 hours online with very minimal issues. I’ve had no problems connecting to games, the only minuscule things I’ve noticed are a slight twitch of lag when a bunch of heroes are fighting, your character is often unable to move. This also happens a small percentage of the time during dogfights. Otherwise, Star Wars Battlefront supports fluid games, no frame rate drops, and a gorgeous online performance. However I’m not sure how long it’ll last.
[Part 2] After 36 hours of playtime I’m starting to grow tired of certain modes because of the game’s limited variety in heroes and maps. Not only that but some game modes shine brighter than others. Fighter Squadron, Walker Assault, and Heroes vs. Villains are particular highlights in the game that offer a fresh, unique, and enjoyable Star Wars experience. Other modes like Hero Hunt and Blast just give us bland covers for kill the leader and team death match.
This incarnation of Star Wars Battlefront is almost seemly a blueprint for future versions of the game. By giving the player a fixed focus of the original trilogy we can relive classic moments from these timeless movies in engrossing environments. Star Wars is a galaxy full of potential and iconic imagery that could have greatly benefited from content from the prequels because as much as I love playing as the six heroes, it isn’t enough. The same goes for the map variety. With these shortcomings in mind I still have to say that I have had an absolute blast with the game. Fighter Squadron is especially addictive and I always have a grin on my face when the imperial march starts when I get to play as Darth Vader. The sound is absolutely incredible and the classic John Williams score is put to beautiful use. When you shoot down a tie fighter or you blast a rebel away you’ll hear little blips of the score that just make it that much more satisfying to play, I feel like a kid again and that I’m a Jedi Knight, like my father before me.
Star Wars Battlefront is a game made for the fans. Fan service is at a maximum – primarily for those who love the original trilogy, but even the moderate or casual Star Wars fans alike. I can’t say I would recommend it to just a causal shooter fans as Battlefront doesn’t have the complex shooting mechanics that other games on the market boast. It’s not a game that’s really too inviting for those kinds of players because there aren’t even any scopes to use for guns in the game. If you like or love Star Wars, I’m surprised you’re still reading this. Go join me in the beautiful galaxy far far away that DICE has so lovelingly realized.