It’s difficult to not be completely biased when it comes to a game with as much nostalgia and is as visually stunning as Star Wars Battlefront.
Immediately noticeable is the level of detail that is displayed everywhere you look once in-game, from the snowy peaks of Hoth to the incredibly detailed, natural dreamscape that is Endor – everything looks incredible. I inserted Star Wars Battlefront into my Xbox One disc drive with a strong degree of skepticism, expecting to be strongly disappointed. I was wrong; at least to start with.
From the menu screen I was met with two different choices: ‘Multiplayer’ or ‘Missions’. While waiting for my posse to jump online, I decided to give myself a run-down of the ‘Missions’ section.
Missions: One or Two Player Action. One of the biggest disappointments of Star Wars Battlefront is the lack of a single-player campaign. As a childhood Star Wars fan, the ability to cruise the streets of Tatooine, hands gripping the wheel of my Landspeeder, in such incredible detail was something that I have given a lot of thought to since Battlefront was first announced. The ability to fight wave after wave of Imperial soldiers in ‘Survival’ mode does little to relieve that desire, although it does help.
Multiplayer: Online Games for 6-40 Players. Having moved on from the depressingly small amount of single-player options, it was fast time to explore what multiplayer had to offer – a task which would prove far more involving than I initially anticipated. Opening the multiplayer menu, I was greeted with the following game modes:
- Supremacy, “Drive the enemy off the planet in all-out warfare”
- Walker Assault, “Massive Imperial walkers descend on a Rebel stronghold in an epic game of attack & defend”
- Fighter Squadron, “Hop into your Starfighter and dominate the skies”
- Blast, “Defeat more enemies than the other team to win the battle”
- Cargo, “Steal the enemy cargo while protecting your own”
- Drop Zone, “Capture more drop pods than the enemy to win”
- Droid Run, “Fast-paced action with three moving droids to capture and hold”
- Hero Hunt, “Play as a single hero against a squad of enemies”
- Heroes Vs Villains, “Round-based combat with mixed teams of heroes and infantry”.
Having dabbled for a while in each game-type, I couldn’t help but feel there was something critically missing – sure, it was absolutely wonderful to hurl through space, bringing down enemy TIE Fighters in ‘Fighter Squadron’, but the fact that 80% of the time, head-on collisions resulted in two ships merely bouncing off each other, as well as the basic control structure and dismal lock-on system, it left a lot to be desired.
‘Blast’ pits Rebels against Imperials in a battle over vast countryside, players fighting to gain more kills than their enemies, yet it feels slow-paced while maintaining that frantic adrenaline rush. ‘Walker Assault’ is definitely the stand-out for me. A faster-paced, all-out warfare game type where colossal scale maps are utilised to encourage teams of 20 to choose one of three different options of attack or defend and slaughter their foes.
The control structure throughout all game-types is familiar, with the exception of most guns not having a reload (regardless of how often I hammer the ‘X’ button on my controller). Anyone who has experience with a modern FPS will not have issues picking up and playing Star Wars Battlefront. And despite a few jagged edges here and there, the visuals Battlefront has to offer is quite impressive, truly bringing the world of Star Wars to life in photogenic form.
Overall, Star Wars Battlefront is a game that I liked, but didn’t love. Its impressive visuals and incredible soundtrack appease the senses, but after a few hours of game-play, the thrill and nostalgia wears off and you’re left with a game that doesn’t deliver where it matters. A friend of mine said it best: ‘DICE fundamentally dropped the ball when they gave Storm Troopers the ability to shoot with accuracy’.
Sadly, it feels as though the only thing carrying this game at this stage is the Star Wars title. If you’re looking for an in-depth game that lets you immerse yourself in the glorious Star Wars universe, sadly, Star Wars Battlefront is not it.