At its very best, Star Wars: Battlefront provides massive battles with nostalgia-inducing fanfare. Storming the snowy trenches of Hoth in huge 40 player matches, while X-Wings and Tie-Fighters are engaged in epic dogfights overhead, is an epic experience. Duking it out against the opposing team for points of interest becomes a back and forth, as both squads struggle to seize control. Then, as soon as you think the battle has been won, you hear it–Darth Vader’s theme inching closer and closer to your position. That’s when you realize that things are about to get a whole lot messier.
Unwilling to give in to Star Wars’ most unstoppable force, Darth Vader, you storm his way to at least put some level of hurt on him, but even getting within 10 feet puts you at a disadvantage, as Vaders’ force choke smothers you into submission with ease. Certainly victory has been ripped from your clutches.
These kinds of moments will make any die-hard Star Wars fan squeal like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert, but the lack of substantial single-player content, and a slew of boring online options force pushes some of the shine off this game. We’ve been waiting 10 years for this title, so does it fill the X-Wing shaped holes in our hearts?
A simple shooter that runs buttery smooth.
As I mentioned above, Battlefront does have some epic moments that will fulfill every Star Wars fan’s dream of joining the galactic battle. You’ll be able to create a loadout using cards you unlock, equip a blaster, and some hell-inducing items to wreak havoc with on the battlefield. It includes a pretty standard leveling system, which will unlock better equipment as you progress.
A slew of vehicle options also make their return to the series. Depending on your match type, you can jump into an X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, or other fan favorite Star Wars vehicles to attempt to control the battle on different fronts. The ease of going from the ground to the skies is impressive.
But, the best aspect of this game is how well it runs. The gameplay is buttery smooth, and not once did I run into any issues–something that DICE has become infamous for. I can’t stress enough how incredibly impressed I am with the lack of stutters, even in the more concjested areas of battle. 60 frames per second for the win!
Game modes galore.
Most of you have already expressed your displeasure for the lack of single-player campaign. The sad truth is that Battlefront does feel like a shell of what could have been a great game, because the offline co-op modes and offline versus modes are nothing but a distraction. So, with that being said, a robust list of multiplayer modes was crucial, and while the game does include a fair number of game types, it still feels like the content is lacking.
There are a total of 9 modes that you can play while online. If you want to feel like you’re in an all-out Star Wars battle, Supremacy is absolutely brilliant. It’s arguably the best match type of the bunch as well. Here you’ll be battling it out in a scuffle between two teams of 20, with each side pushing their opponent back to the edge of the map to gain the victory. It’s the one mode that feels like you’re actually in an epic battle for galactic supremacy. Going from taking out rebel scum on the ground, to then piloting a Tie-Fighter to help the cause from above is an epic feeling you can’t experience anywhere else. Watching X-Wings and other aerial vehicles also purposefully crash into things is also quite exhilarating.
Then, there’s Fighter Squadron, where you’ ll get to control some of the most iconic ships from the beloved series and participate in epic dogfights against opponents for aerial dominance. 10 year old me would absolutely adore this experience. Heroes and villains don’t take a prominent role here, but instead their ships are the centerpiece. It’s definitely one of the highlights in the package. Who hasn’t dreamt of throwing on Han Solo’s garbs and piloting the Millennium Falcon through massive blaster-filled skies.
Heroes vs. Villains is hands down my favorite mode. It pits two teams of 6–with half of each team being assigned as a hero/villain–against each other. Both sides’ objective is to take out the special characters from the opposing team. First to do so at least 5 times, wins. What’s so fantastic about this is that the main characters only have one life per round, and it goes on for 5 rounds, with each round randomly selecting players from the teams to play as one of the heroes/villains. You’ll have a good chance of experiencing the corrupting power of the dark side and the wondrous side of the force. It’s unbridled fun to say the least.
These are the most entertaining game modes and not enough to keep you hooked for very long. The other choices available are standard multiplayer modes that throw in a Star Wars twist, but again, nothing special. The game still feels, sadly, empty despite the 9 modes.
Fanfare done right.
Despite all of the content shortcomings, there is no doubt that DICE put a whole lot of effort into making everything about this game feel true to its source material. From the sound design, to the small details in character models and weapons, everything in this game looks bloody gorgeous and accurate to the content it’s trying to replicate.
The sound design in particular is spot on. I still get chills every time I boot the game up because it does sound like I’m about to start watching one of my favorite films. Even lightsabers being unsheathed make that satisfying sound we all know and love.
For those that want more than just PS4 and Xbox One trophies and achievements, you can complete an in-game mosaic by meeting certain requirements like playing a certain amount of games. It’s a nice in-game touch to let the most dedicated players showcase their dedication.
Even the character customization will please most fans. It includes multiple races from the franchise, so you can create almost any character you’ve ever dreamt of making. Just know that you’ll have to progress in levels quite a bit before unlocking the cooler options.
The power of wielding the force.
Then there’s the heroes/villains from the beloved films. Boba Fett is a complete badass. Juking through the skies with my missiles and flamethrower made me feel like the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. I must applaud DICE for the making all the movie characters fit into the game without completely breaking it. Darth Vader’s Force choke is no joke, and Luke’s Return of the Jedi force push as all the more frustrating to be the victim of. A capable player can shift the tide of battle with one of these powerhouses. But, like the rest of the game, I wish there were more. 6 special characters isn’t enough to keep things varied, and they only take prominence in two game modes.
Star Wars: Battlefront can be fun, and I’m by no means saying that this game is a pile of Tauntaun manure. That said, I find the game disappointing, and the gameplay can quickly grow stale. All of the attention to detail when it comes to character models and maps is impressive, but I need more substance. Also, though I believe EA gets unfairly criticized, the price of the season pass really stings this time, because the game seems to be lacking on so many fronts. There’s not enough here to recommend this over other recently released shooters on the market. And I will say, an actual campaign would have gone a long way in making this a worthwhile package. Buy this game, but only when you can find it on the cheap.
- The game is gorgeous and not once did the frame-rate stutter.
- There’s so much fanfare in the package. From the sounds of lightsabers, to the “pew pew” of blasters, Star Wars fans will instantly appreciate the attention to detail paid to every little item.
- Some of the multiplayer modes are fun– for a while.
- Not enough content outside of the multiplayer component.
- Character mobility feels dated at times.
- You’ll be bored within a few hours.
- There needs to be more substantial content even online.
- Heroes/villains underused.
3 Storm Trooper Burritos out 5 Burritos.
This game was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 copy of Star Wars Battlefront. The game hit stores Tuesday, November 17 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.