Star Wars Battlefront review
When playing Star Wars Battlefront, I struggle not to wonder off into its landscapes. Not only do they boast outstanding visual fidelity, but also provide players with extensively detailed worlds that beg to be explored.
Whilst roaming Tatooine’s iconic deserts can be therapeutic, and exploring Luke Skywalker’s home is nostalgic, these are temporary moments of calm in an otherwise chaotic game.
Eventually, as I often found when walking away into the distance, you will be discovered by enemy soldiers and dragged back into the battlefield.
Luckily, Battlefront’s settings are just the start of a long list of its triumphs. Sure, the game does have a few flaws, but actually playing Battlefront is so fun that it’s difficult to ponder on these issues.
Star Wars Battlefront is clearly not a single-player experience. If you’re not playing online, it wants you to be playing split-screen multiplayer with a friend, and if you’re not doing either of those you’re usually earning credits for you to spend on multiplayer items.
This is a far cry from the extensive offline modes found in 2005’s Battlefront II, but I’m okay with that.
Instead, Battlefront attempts to return to the basics, and focuses much more heavily on crafting a similar experience to the first ever Battlefront in 2004. It succeeds, recreating the chaos and scale that made made that game so special.
At some points, it’s almost impossible not to be in absolute awe of the spectacular size of the battle.
Tanks the size of skyscrapers tear through the forests of Endor whilst spaceships dogfight in the skies above. At times, the scale can be belittling, and it’s during these larger matches that Battlefront shines.
Luckily, the gameplay here lives up to the same high-quality as the game’s graphics and scale.
This is mostly due to the excellent weapon design.
The primary weapon choices are all extremely fun to use, but finding a weapon that perfectly suits your play style is ridiculously rewarding. Since weapons don’t need reloading, they all require cooling down if too many bullets are fired. This keeps weapons balanced, as more powerful weaponry are limited by their ability to fire multiple rounds.
The sound design with these weapons is also excellent. When shot, an armour shaking thud can be heard, and only emphasises the power of the weaponry around you.
Additionally, equipment such as jump packs and power-up items create an interesting strategic element to gameplay. When perfectly timed, using one of these items can save your life or allow you to continue your killstreak.
The temporary weapons you discover on the battlefield are also appropriately empowering. From the unique sound of a Thermal Imploder exploding, to the gorgeously rendered shields, Battlefront has created an exciting array of weapons to keep players alert.
Whilst the weapons and equipment on offer are all exceptional, more variety would have been welcomed in regards to the primary weapon choices.
Previous Battlefront related titles have provided a variety of weapon choices for players to choose from. Not only were ordinary blaster rifles available, but more alternative weapons such as flamethrowers, arc casters, and light grenade/rocket launchers. This variety is lacking here, and it’s a shame to not see these available.
Whilst the majority of the multiplayer game modes available are based on modern shooter concepts, there are some returning modes from the original games.
Supremacy is a clear successor to the previous games’ Conquest mode. Its pacing and scale allow Supremacy to become Battlefront’s best mode, and the truest to original games’ gameplay.
Cargo replaces Battlefront II’s version of CTF, Fighter Squadron is Space Assault, and Heroes vs Villains is Ground Assault. All of these are modified for better balancing, though.
Unsurprisingly, these modes are Battlefront at its best and provide its most iconic moments. Sure, the brand new Walker Assault mode boasts an impressive sense of scale, but it simply cannot recreate the pure chaotic fun of these more classic games.
Even with all of its successes, though, Battlefront cannot escape its biggest flaw.
If you have no interest in multiplayer, or simply don’t have a strong enough internet connection, Battlefront is worthless. It’s difficult for me to say this, as I’ve had an incredible time immersing myself in its battles, but it’s an undeniable truth.
If you exclude the tutorials (which is a large chunk of the single player content), you have four remaining game modes for offline play. All of which are not worth playing if you’re not using multiplayer (as these games earn you more credits for multiplayer items). There is no replay value, and no real motivation to play.
As a split-screen mode, playing offline is enjoyable, but provides only a taste of the online multiplayer content. Survival mode is particularly well-made, and better reflects the scale of the online battles.
It’s a shame more time wasn’t invested in creating a better offline game. It’s still fun, but certainly not worth the asking price. Hopefully more content will be added with time, but for now it is simply a distraction from the online multiplayer.
As a whole, though, Battlefront is one of the most excellent games of this year. It’s a fun and chaotic experience that will bring joy to many Star Wars fans. An excellent addition to the series, and I look forward to seeing its inevitable sequel.