Star Wars: Battlefront I and II are games loved almost as much as the original trilogy of Star Wars films, and with good reason – at the time, they blended the concept of the Star Wars universe with the action of a Battlefield game superbly.

Now that DICE is trying its hand at an instalment in the legendary franchise, we’re presented with an incredibly large difference in opinions on the new title, which, if we look closely, was always going to be the case.

 

What made the original Battlefront games so great?

Developed by Pandemic Studios, Star Wars: Battlefront released in 2004, during the peak of LucasArts’ Golden Age of Star Wars titles, thrown in between Knights of the Old Republic (2003) and Republic Commando (2005).

At the time, fans were stunned by the amount of freedom it offered – class-based combat in large-scale battles, where players were free to play how they see fit (infantry, vehicle, or air); and all in the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars Battlefront rebel shooting walker

The gameplay was also simple enough, with each class generally having a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a grenade. Although the balancing between a few of the classes/factions left a lot to be desired (in some maps, you just know from the outset which team will win), it worked incredibly well, for one key reason – it was fun.

Star Wars: Battlefront II released in 2005, alongside Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and sought to improve on the elements the first instalment captured so well. For a lot of fans of the original, the game improved in some areas (space battles are a big example), and lacked in others (the AI remained only marginally improved from the original.

Overall, however, the Star Wars: Battlefront titles are arguably two of the most loved video games of all time – and definitely two of the most loved Star Wars titles.

 

What has changed since then?

In order to look at DICE’s Battlefront, we have to look at how the gaming industry has changed in the 11 years since the first game in the series.

The hardware we game on, from PC to console, has drastically improved, bringing with it advancements in technology and experiences that we couldn’t even think of. Even in just the last few years, we’ve played technical masterpieces like Grand Theft Auto V, experienced masterful storytelling in The Last of Us, and played countless more games leaps and bounds over Star Wars: Battlefront in every way.

Not only that, but the way we play games has changed – we’ve come to expect more out of our games straight out of the box to justify our purchase. A lot of the time, we also expect there to be certain game modes included, such as a single-player mode (just look at all the flak Titanfall and Battlefront have received).

Both the industry and consumer expectations of the industry have shifted dramatically since 2004, which brings us to DICE’s Battlfront.

 

What’s wrong with DICE’s Battlefront, and why is it doomed?

To put it simply, it’s quite fun.

DICE’s Battlefront is a modern take on a classic game and a classic cinematic universe. And, to be honest, it’s a lot of fun. The weapon options are simple, the sound design is incredible, the environments are stunning, and it’s a whole lot of fun to play.

Star Wars Battlefront battle on Hoth with Darth Vader standing in front of walker

People have problems with it that seem to range from ‘It’s too much like Battlefield’ (which DICE develops) to ‘It’s not enough like Battlefield’. The most confusing argument I’ve read after the public Beta is that there just simply isn’t enough depth. Let’s analyse that.

The original Star Wars: Battlefront had class-based combat, and each class had two weapons. Both sides, either in the Clone Wars or Galactic Civil War era, fought in a game of Conquest (control the bases across the map). That was about as deep as the game got.

DICE’s Battlefront has more weapons available for selection (even in spite of no class-based gameplay), a whole lot more game modes and gameplay options, a levelling system that rewards players with items to equip in-game, far better gameplay balancing (even though there’s still plenty more work to do), and so on.

For everything it’s criticised for, it still gets a lot right. The reason Battlefront is doomed to fail is because times have changed.

If the team at DICE had have made Battlefront as simplistic and easily-accessible as the previous Battlefront titles, they would be (and is being) criticized for dumbing the game down; if, instead, they had have made it more complicated and intricate – even like Battlefield and its unlocking system, for example – then they would be criticized for straying too far from the series’ roots.

Ultimately, when they took on Battlefront as a project, they were damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t. With a franchise this loved, one that’s been stagnant for this long, there’s no way it could have gone off without a hitch.

After what I played in the beta, I’m looking forward to Battlefront based on what it’s trying to be, rather than comparing it to the previous entries in the series (especially given this game is more of a reboot than a sequel). Whether that will make the game better or worse; we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Markie Straub

    Say that to the 9 million people who played the Beta, compared to the 3 million who played Destiny. You’re judging it based on the Beta, there will be so much more coming on full release, plus huge chucks of DLCs with so much content. It’s not doomed to fail, it’s gonna be a BIG hit especially with the upcoming movie. I LOVE the game and I can’t wait to grab it on launch.

    • reallydude?

      My friends and I fell victim to the negativity that came after the E3 reveal, every bit of information that came after that just dampened our spirits even more. The negative people all over the internet didn’t help either. We played the beta and were very pleased and are eager for the release! Sure, it isn’t the same as a decade old game, but it is high quality and a ton of fun.

      Season pass is overpriced but it is nothing new in the age of DLC.

  • Markie Straub

    Say that to the 9 million people who played the Beta, compared to the 3 million who played Destiny. You’re judging it based on the Beta, there will be so much more coming on full release, plus huge chucks of DLCs with so much content. It’s not doomed to fail, it’s gonna be a BIG hit especially with the upcoming movie. I LOVE the game and I can’t wait to grab it on launch.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    The game will be a financial success even if it doesn’t hit critical acclaim. For me the nuance of the game is lost and it just looks like a reskinned Battlefield game without a single player component that would have made me want the game.

    • reallydude?

      It definitely looks like a reskinned Battlefield. But after the beta, most people agree it feels nothing like a Battlefield.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    The game will be a financial success even if it doesn’t hit critical acclaim. For me the nuance of the game is lost and it just looks like a reskinned Battlefield game without a single player component that would have made me want the game.

  • PEdiPRANTA

    It’s not doomed to fail. This is your particular opinion. Yes, the game is more casual than the competition, but this doesn’t make a game bad!
    I loved the beta and I really like the fact that the game dare to be as far as it can from today’s shooter formula. Remember when we used to have fun playing shooters? That’s what I had playing this game.
    I think this game will be a major success, but if it doesn’t I applaud Dice to try to make an original game and just like you wrote yours, my friend Alex, this is my OPINION.

    • reallydude?

      “I’m so tired of shooters, they are all the same” – gamers
      “Battlefront is too different! What do these crazy developers think they are doing? The game is crap because it is not enough like game A and game B” – the same gamers

    • reallydude?

      “I’m so tired of shooters, they are all the same” – gamers
      “Battlefront is too different! What do these crazy developers think they are doing? The game is crap because it is not enough like game A and game B” – the same gamers

  • PEdiPRANTA

    It’s not doomed to fail. This is your particular opinion. Yes, the game is more casual than the competition, but this doesn’t make a game bad!
    I loved the beta and I really like the fact that the game dare to be as far as it can from today’s shooter formula. Remember when we used to have fun playing shooters? That’s what I had playing this game.
    I think this game will be a major success, but if it doesn’t I applaud Dice to try to make an original game and just like you wrote yours, my friend Alex, this is my OPINION.

  • rudero

    Love the old microsoft shills out to try and put as much hurt on a game for the holidays. greta job.
    and i remember everyone of these sites slobbering on titanfall of which had half the content of this game, worse graphics, worse frame rate and less game modes…
    we all know it is not ea you are all after. shame on you all.

  • rudero

    Love the old microsoft shills out to try and put as much hurt on a game for the holidays. greta job.
    and i remember everyone of these sites slobbering on titanfall of which had half the content of this game, worse graphics, worse frame rate and less game modes…
    we all know it is not ea you are all after. shame on you all.

  • Hvd

    its a fun game.the movie is coming out which will push sales big time.there is no good space shooter on pc.it will sell 1,000,000 im sure.the question is the longevity of the game and the expensive season pass..if this game is so bare bone and ill this 4dlc was announced shouldnt it have been included at launch?

    what happened to the good old days where you get a game and it comes out with maybe 2 expansions a year ahhh the good old days of gaming how i miss you.

  • Chuck Green

    I just know I won’t be purchasing it after playing the beta. I can’t point out any one thing that was really bad but overall it just didn’t grab me in any way.

  • Jerry Curlan

    hahahahahahahaha, oh you’re cute.

  • PachterStation

    It doesn’t matter what you get with a season pass and how much you pay, it’s for losers.

  • Andy Weber

    This article made 0 points on why its doomed to fail. Wtf did i actually jsut read…. honestly

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