It was a long, hard wait, but EA and DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront is finally here, bringing players back to the famous sci-fi/fantasy universe once again for crazy, large-scale intergalactic battles and some quick lightsaber action. But despite all the hype surrounding the latest entry in the multiplayer series, is the end result any good?
Star Wars Battlefront
Developed by EA DICE / Published by EA
Available on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Reviewed on PS4.
Star Wars Battlefront is a series famous for its large-scale battles that had players vying for position against a ton of online opponents. This newest Battlefront keeps the tradition going, this time with impressive visuals, excellent audio, and highly entertaining game modes, but it also feels a bit shallow as well with overly simplistic gameplay and lack of content.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the awesome visuals and authentic sound that really do a great job at capturing the authentic Star Wars feel. From gorgeously detailed and fluid character models that look straight from the films, set pieces, environments and special effects that are authentic and make you feel like you’re part of the movies, to the accurate sounds of blasters, starships, and the classic score that’ll sweep you into shape and read for battle, Battlefront absolutely nails the aesthetic and sound of the franchise, and is probably the best one video game representations of the series to date, both in terms of authenticity and scope.
The gameplay is also pretty solid too, though it’s solely a multiplayer affair. Just like previous iterations, the game is all about players stepping into the shoes of either the Imperial Army or the Alliance, and contending against each other across a variety of large maps aiming to take each other down. Players can be either Stormtroopers or Rebels, and shoot at each other in either first-person or third-person viewpoints. Thanks to DICE’s experience with multiplayer shooters like Battlefield, the gameplay is rock solid, with fantastic gameplay that feels great. It’s a simpler multiplayer experience than other games in the market however, since players only carry one main weapon as other sidearms and secondary weapons come in the form of recharge-based cards, and can only jump and crouch and dash as opposed to the plethora of movement mechanics seen in other games in the genre, making it a pretty casual affair that might bore first-person shooter aficionados or those looking for a competitive experience. For others though, it’s quite a fast and addictive experience that’s backed by the faithfulness to the franchise.
The game also features pick-ups that spawn randomly throughout stages, allowing players to use special weapons like grenades and rocket launchers, defensive items like bubble shields and droids, vehicles like X-Wings and Tie Fighters, and the all-powerful and recognizable heroes and villains, like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and more, adding some variety to the simple gunplay while letting players gain some new and cool abilities for a short period of time, a signature feature of previous Battlefronts. While there’s a variety of powerups, they’re all pretty balanced and straightforward to use, and really help create some chaos on the field.
At the end of each round, players will earn currency, which will allow players to purchase new weapons, cards (which are the secondary weapons you can take into battle), and appearance customization options, allowing players to tweak their gameplay style a bit while rewarding frequent play. Most options and secondary feel pretty balanced though, so higher level players won’t have a bigger advantage over lower levels, though they’ll have more toys to play with.
The game also features quite a few game modes that do an excellent job at capturing the essence of the franchise while keeping all the classic multiplayer modes the shooter is known for. Supremacy brings the classic Battlefront experience back, allowing players to control bases in order to push into enemy territory and conquer their main base, Blast, which is the typical team deathmatch, Droid Run, which has players vie for control of three constantly moving droids to win, Walker Assault, which has rebels attempt to stop AT-ATs from reaching home base, and more. All of these modes are unfortunately online multiplayer only, and it would have been great if players could at least do some split-screen online multiplayer or play against bots.
For split-screen and single player modes, Battlefront only brings only one option: Survival. Survival has players play through fifteen waves of increasingly difficult enemies. The mode offers various difficulties so players can challenge themselves across the four available maps, but it’s lacking content, so single players or couch co-op buddies really won’t find much here, which is unfortunate.
And that’s pretty much it. While the game does feature a few weapons and game modes, you’ll see all the content pretty quickly, and then it’s pretty much the same thing over and over again. A single player mode or other challenges would have done a lot to add much more to the experience, but as it is now, it’s a simple, fun, but ultimately lacking experience.
Star Wars Battlefront is a welcome return of the series, finally bringing the classic series to current gen consoles. While it’s lacking in content and options, it’s a fun game that’ll keep fans of the franchise and shooters busy for quite a while.