There has been many, many rumblings and arguments about the content of Star Wars Battlefront. From the moment it was announced, to five minutes ago on various forums. Being a Star Wars branded title, of course the game would sell massively, with a huge marketing campaign to boot. Not to mention the imminent release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. If however, you were to remove Star Wars from Star Wars Battlefront, would the game be anything special?
Whether you consider it special even now, is debatable. Sure, it features the Empire, the Rebels, X-wings, TIE Fighters, A-wings, Speeder Bikes and the Millennium Falcon, not forgetting the handful of heroes you can play as as well. If these vehicles and characters were to be replaced by new, unknown characters, as if this game was a brand new IP, would it be enjoyed as much or more so?
At launch, Star Wars Battlefront included 12 maps. Realistically, the game included 4 planets with multiple maps taken from that general map location. I could be wrong, and I’m open to correction, but there were 4 maps to my knowledge, just restricted to playing space depending on the mode. If this wasn’t Star Wars, the game would receive even more bother from the gaming community. Sure, one new planet is coming in December, adding two new maps. Or is it one map, with a large and a small playing area for different modes?
The season pass pricing and inclusions won’t change here, as even the most loyal Star Wars fans are debating its cost and its content. $50 for 16 maps, more than what the main game offers. This isn’t unlike other shooters though, but at least it’s more content?
There’s no questioning the sights and sounds of Star Wars Battlefront, but if not for the Stormtroopers, Rebels and iconic vehicles littering the battlefield, would it be as exciting? There would be no nostalgia, no sampled lines from the movies, no reason to shout memorable one-liners to your friends over the headsets. Hoth would just be an icy mountain location. Endor would just be a dense jungle. Neither would have any meaning or history.
The gunplay of Star Wars Battlefront is very simplified compared to other modern shooters. While welcoming to people of all ages and gaming ability, it’s not intended to win over hardcore Call of Duty or Counter Strike players. It’s accessible for any and all Star Wars fans. Take out Star Wars, and it’s just a very simplified shooter. A dull one, even.
If you replaced the characters from – say Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 – with Star Wars characters, it would be an immensely fun game, with killstreaks allowing you to take control of Star Wars vehicles, or play as one of the various Heroes. It would be fun either way, with or without Star Wars involved, as it’s a fun, deep game.
Star Wars Battlefront introduced tokens across each of the game’s maps that allow fans to spawn as vehicles or as Heroes, giving everyone a chance to play as these special units, something that has been the subject of debate amongst the community. I don’t personally oppose the idea, as it’s a fun, different mechanic, where each title in the same genre does its own unique thing. Change is good. Everyone in Battlefront has a chance.
The game has since hit the market, and reviews have been resonating around the 7 mark. We don’t review games by scores, and our very own Paul enjoyed the game as a massive Star Wars fan, but likewise, taking Star Wars out of Battlefront may have lead to lower scores, and a dull, bland shooter. Are we giving it credit based on the franchise in which is spawned?
I have spent roughly 8 hours on the game since it went live on EA Access, even playing it post launch. While fun, I worry for its longevity, and can only ponder if the Star Wars name is the only thing keeping it going. Then again, for many – This wasn’t the Battlefront you were looking for.