In honor of Star Wars Day, I wanted to write about Star Wars: Battlefront a little bit and share some of my hopes and fears in lieu of its Fall release. I love the first two Battlefront games. I lost hours to Battlefront 2’s Galactic Conquest mode and both games really drew me in with the squad based combat. They both felt innovative and like its own game before DICE had its huge modern day success with the Battlefield franchise. I have high hopes for the new Battlefront this year but I am a little nervous that I will be let down due to some constraints.
A major appeal to fans of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 were the awesome space battles. A new feature from the first of the series, the space battles were amazing and responsive and felt fluid to the normal combat. You could fly from hangar to hangar, blow up big ships, other enemy fighters, etc…It was something I really enjoyed in the game and I was hoping it would be an integral part of the new game. Unfortunately, at the Star Wars Celebration event from April 16-19th in Anaheim, EA and DICE revealed that space battles were a thing of the past and that the new Battlefront would not feature them. This might not bother some, but it bothered me. As someone who really enjoyed the space battles, I thought they could work well in a “Conquest” like mode where both teams had to fly to a neutral “Base B” location and try to capture it through space battle. Teams would eventually land in the “B Base” hangar and fight on land for the location. I feel like without space battles the game loses a potential gameplay element that could have pushed the game from good to great.
When everyone saw the teaser trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront with the speeder bike and the AT-AT, people (including me) immediately thought they were both going to be pivotable vehicles. While this may be the case, according to EA and DICE, the AT-AT experience will be completely on-rails action. This takes away a lot of player freedom and potentially the course of where they want to go on the map. From what I understand, the player who pilots the vehicle will only be responsible for targeting and shooting at enemies. I am still glad that you have some control over the AT-AT, I just wish I had complete control over it.
My biggest concern with the new Star Wars: Battlefront game is that it does not feature a single player campaign. As a guy who focuses more on single player games anyway, I was a little bummed out. I realize that DICE’s primary focus and more popular mode is multiplayer, but the original two Battlefront games had campaigns and even the Battlefield games have campaigns. Now, I realize that it would probably be hard to tell a good story since the games are based solely on the original trilogy, but it would still be nice to have something. Even though the first two Battlefront’s stories were not amazing, I really did enjoy learning about the 501st and the clone/storm troopers.
I realize this article has been full of mostly complaints. I really am excited for this game. I am a huge Star Wars fan and I am still very excited for the release of this game. That being said, I have a lot of fears for this being just another Battlefield game in Star Wars skins with nothing new added. The Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim really shocked me with learning that my favorite part of Battlefront 2 (space battles) would not be in the game, there would be no single player experience, and that there would be on-rails sequences. I still believe this will be a good game. I just worry that with the lack of features, it might not be a great one. Time will only tell as Star Wars: Battlefront is set to release this Fall.