Published on April 4th, 2016 | by David Guild0
Not Quite A Review: Star Wars Battlefront
We would love to review every game that comes out but due to being short manned and short on time in the physical world, we just don’t have the ability to bash through a game at a reasonable rate of speed, especially if the release period is at a busy time of other games.
So for quite a while now I’ve been playing with the idea writing down my thoughts on the games we did miss, not a full blown review as that wouldn’t be fair but something quite close to it and the first on that list will be Star Wars Battlefront which came out late last year.
Since its release back in November I’ve racked up a ‘time played’ of 3 days, 5 hours and 1 minute, but I’m still only the low rank of level 15 and my skill as a player hasn’t improved all that much but god damn it I’ve had fun playing it.
Star Wars Battlefront has been a long time coming and after a release of quite a few disappointing Star Wars games, The Forced Unleashed to name one, fans have been crying out for an epic game. We had our hopes up for 1313, that supposedly put you in to the shoes of the bad ass bounty hunter Boba Fett but sadly the game was cancelled. Then in 2013 EA obtained the exclusive rights to develop Star Wars games. EA already had some experience in that department thanks to BioWare but at the E3 press conference DICE announced that they will be releasing Battlefront which will be built on its Frostbite 3 engine. It wouldn’t be the sequel to the much loved Battlefront series but a reboot. So that’s the unneeded history lesson out of the way let’s talk about the game …
Coming towards the end of 2015, Star Wars fans were high as a kite with excitement as not only were they getting quite a stunning looking game to play but Episode 7 was finally getting released under new owner Disney, it was a fantastic time to be a Star Wars geek.
Star Wars Battlefront released in November and got us pumped up for the movie and why not, the game looked beautiful. I remember the notification finally popping up on my Xbox One that the game was ready to play and I jumped on and loaded up the game mode ‘Walker Assault’ and just sitting there with my jaw hitting the floor, wowing at how magnificent Hoth was, and seeing how massive the battlefield was. I joined as a Rebel and looked onwards from the bottom of the map, seeing these two enormous AT-ATs slowly walking towards their goal and seeing wee skirmishes all over the map and not only on land but in the skies while Tie-Fighters were trying to hold off the Rebels A-Wings and Snowspeeders.
I started to make my way forward through the trenches to reach our mission objective which was to activate the uplinks and protect them so we can call Y-Wing bombing raids on the ever closing AT-ATs. Rushing pass lasers and thermal detonators expositions game me a shiver right up my spine due to how fantastic the sound production was on this game. If I actually had time to close my eyes, the games sound effects alone would make me feel I was in the Star Wars universe.
But then an announcement popped up, Darth Vader has been spotted on the battlefield. Looking upwards you see this black cloaked figured holding a red lightsabre and he is walking your way. He was dicing up my band of brothers as we were helpless to defend against his lightsabre attacks and the power of the dark side while he force chocked the chap next to me and then BAM! The uplink was over run and I was dead. You know the expression “like a deer in headlights”, well that was like me, I couldn’t move or shoot, all I could do was look on while men got torn through by Vader and then myself.
Yes, I know I’m probably the only one that’s ever happened to but its thanks to DICE and the details they put in to the visuals and sound of the game that made me feel like I was part of the Star Wars universe, taking me back when I ran about the woods as a kid with my friends recreating the small battles on Endor with our wooden laser rifles and shouting “pew pew pew”. Star Wars Battlefront made me feel like I was a kid again and to me that’s probably the best thing a game can do.
The more I play the more I fall in love with the game, even though I’m not getting better but that isn’t entirely my fault. Most of the modes on Battlefront are objective based meaning you are either attacking/defending areas or capturing pods to name a few modes but a lot of players treat the game like a death match. So while I try and do my best to reach a critical mission objective, I’m also facing hordes of Stormtroopers who can now find their targets better compared to their movie counterparts, while my side are either happy with picking daises or blasting Stormtroopers for giggles to rack up their kills. This was mostly an issue at the start of the game but while the player count drops and fans of the series stay, we are starting to see battles more even in which games can go either way.
I’m not going to go in to every mode and unlockables as I’ve already over ran but I should mention Fighter Squadron which is a mode for fans of the X-Wing series and granted it’s no way nearly as technical and demanding as the famous series, it still scratches that itch, so here is hoping EA sees the numbers and fans asking for a return of the series. The ships in the game handle pretty well and simple to control. Up to 20 players take to the skies along with NPCs who act as cannon fodder, but like the ground based games, heroes can be called on and nothing will make a fanboy giggle and bounce in his seat like flying the Millennium Falcon, it puts a smile across my face just thinking about it. These hero ships are quite over powered though and can take quite a number of shots to take down especially if the pilot is as good as Han Solo who can manoeuvre the Falcon like a ballet dancer in collecting power ups and then returning to the battlefield to take down more opponents. The Fighter Squadron is far the easiest mode to get in to and probably a good way for newbies like myself to rank up and gain credits, plus it may boost your moral as even the worse players can have a lucky match and get in to the top end of the leaderboard.
So I better bring an end to my story of playing Battlefront, I admit I didn’t mention much negatives but the game is a solid arcade shooter that most fans of Star Wars can get behind. Granted you don’t play a Jedi but being either a Stormtrooper or rebel solider you feel more part of the Star Wars universe. The downfall of the game can well be the amount of modes in the game and its over-priced season pass which is now more expensive than the actual game, with each additional of maps, I believe the player count will dwindle down as I feel a lot of players won’t pay for the extra maps and characters. Shooters should look towards 343 and what they done with Halo, making map packs free and charging for cosmetic gear and drops. This will allow the full player base to still play with each other and die-hard fans to spend money on extra gear, the formula is tried and tested.
I should also mention that while the game is mostly multiplayer focused there are single player missions but nothing too major but worth a shot and it will give any newbie some practice before diving in to the main game. You can even play the missions with a friend.
So that’s it, Battlefront may not be the game the fans really wanted but it’s a step in the right direction, the attention to the sounds and look of the universe is outstanding and makes this fanboy feel warm and fuzzy.