Star Wars Battlefront – Review
People were excited to hear that we were getting another Battlefront game, as was I in a sense (even though I was sort of bored with previous titles) And because of that I have strong feelings of split opinions. Some people will love the game, and no doubt people will be disappointed with the title. Let’s dive into my review, and let’s go on this journey together.
Some people would describe this game as a “reboot” of the old Battlefront series of games, which were some of the most fun shooters you could sit down and play with some buddies. Sadly, moving into this iteration of the franchise, a lot seems to be missing that made those games great, and well…enjoyable. Now, don’t get me wrong there’s some good little things inside this game, but mostly I was faced with stuff that disappointed me to no end, or captured my attention for an hour or two, so at least there’s a small amount of fun to be inside.
First off, we seem to have a severe lack of content for a $70 game (that’s the price here in Canada, so). From my time spent with the game, and I’ve sunk a good 8 hours into it at this point, we seem to have an extreme lack of maps. Now, from what I could tell we have some pretty large maps that seem to have been “mined” and split into chunks through-out each game mode. Sure, you’ve got the titans like Hoth, and Endor but everything else isn’t that interesting and just feels like a lazy attempt to push the game out quicker. In these smaller game-modes it seems like they took sections from the larger maps, and re-purposed assets and locations. It just feels lazy, and lacks variety seeing the same environments over, and over. It’s really confusing that we don’t have more locations like the Death Star, Dagobah, etc. Then again, the overpriced Season Pass comes with 16 maps, so it’s no surprise we’re lacking maps in the core game. Feels kind of like a way to force people into buying it, which isn’t cool.
Then we have the weapons, which there seems to be an alright amount, but they all sort of feel the same, and don’t offer much variety in terms of gameplay. Back in the older Battlefront titles you’d play as specific classes, and that worked so much better than these silly “Cards” that we equip to our character. It just doesn’t jive all that well, and just leaves a lot to be desired at the end of the day. Now, people can argue that there was a lack of weapons in the original games, which is fairly true, but I have a feeling that if they kept the class system that we all enjoyed then maybe the combat, and everything else would actually be fun.
Which drives me into the next segment of the game, and the fact that it doesn’t handle that well. There’s a lot of jank in this game, and the guns don’t feel that great, and it’s just really repetitive. The movement system is fine and dandy but there’s a lot of issues here with the shooting mechanics, and over-all gameplay. Most of the modes in the game aren’t that fulfilling, save for Heroes vs Villains which soon became the only mode I’d play when I’d boot up the game. Even then, the mode would only hold my attention for an hour at max, due to my earlier complaints about lack of levels, and gameplay variety. Hell, there’s a superb lack of heroes in this game as well. The Villains get Darth Vader, The Emperor, and Boba Fett where as the Heroes get Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. I was sort of let down that we didn’t get to see other characters hop into the fray like Chewbacca.
The other modes are your typical “Battlefield” fare, considering this is by the same developers (DICE). At the end of the day it feels like a lazy attempt on doing a Star Wars reskin on a subpar Battlefield game. The only other mode I saw myself enjoy for small spurts was Fighter Squadron which is just a small-scale fightership battle over the same handful of levels. Yeah, Space battles are completely gone which is just a shame as those were some of the best moments in the old games.
Again, moving on to another thing that seems to be lacking is vehicles. You’d come to expect some pretty insane vehicular combat in a Battlefront, and even a Battlefield game, but we don’t really get that either. Vehicles are no longer scattered around the maps for anyone to find and drive, you’ll have to resort to finding these “tokens” which spawn you as a vehicle, so there’s no getting out if you’re in danger, and there’s no driving around with buddies as a tag-team, which is equally confusing for the Snowspeeders since that was one of their primary purposes in the film. It doesn’t make sense, and feels like a huge step backwards.
Now, I’m probably annoying you readers with the constant “lacking this” and “lacking that” but it’s true. There’s not even a true singleplayer experience here. Now, atleast in the old games we had some form of a Campaign, or solo experience but here it just feels like something that was thrown in last minute. You have these missions that you can play that usually consist of wiping out hordes of enemies, or completely small objectives, and these little missions last between 5-10 minutes. There’s not much meat to them, and most of them feel really dry, and copy/pasted. You can even tell that these missions were meant to played cooperatively with a friend as they all have that option, and they’re just god-awfully boring to do solo. There’s not much joy in these.
My buddy and I are huge “Survival” fans and we love taking on waves of enemies, but we just found ourselves more bored, and tired after five minutes than anything with the Survival Missions.
Now, as I mentioned there’s some nice little things tucked away into Battlefront. First, and foremost the game looks gorgeous, and really captures the environments from the films exceptionally well. Running around Endor and Hoth is sure to put a grin on any Star Wars fan’s face. Out of all of the environments in the game, Endor may just be the most beautiful looking environment I’ve seen in a game for a long time, so that’s saying something.
Along with the beautiful visuals, we have spectacular sound design, and music. The blasters sound brilliant, and hearing the explosions, and sounds of Tie Fighter’s soaring overhead can really put you into the universe we have here, and for some people that may just be enough to dive in, and check the game out.
Star Wars: Battlefront just left me kind of…underwhelmed and wanting more. For a game with this kind of price-tag, the fans deserve content, and Battlefront just seems to be lacking on all accounts. It feels like a huge step backwards from the previous games, and most of the time it just isn’t fun after about an hour. You’ve got about two enjoyable game-modes out of around 10 or so (I can’t recall from the top of my head) and even then they lose their appeal fairly quickly, and found myself going off to do something else. However, the sound design and visuals are some of the best I’ve seen/heard in a game this year, and for that alone I’m sure it will be worth the price of admission for some of you.
As a massive Star Wars fan, I was really hoping for something great here, but instead was left with a sour-taste in my mouth. However, if you ever find yourself looking at a copy of the game for $20-30 then it’s totally worth that price, but right now I just can’t recommend it, (especially with the announcement of the fucked up Season Pass scenario) unless you somehow find it under your Christmas tree. That’s okay too.
In the end, Battlefront is all style, and no substance.