A brief review of Star Wars Battlefront, an analysis of the light and the dark side of Dice’s newest release.
Like most of us the prospect of a new Battlefront game was enough to induce sweaty palmed excitement, I was hooked on the Star Wars series from my first viewing on VHS video and the original Battlefront games stood out as some of my favourite titles.
The scope, the story and characters, all iconic and incredibly powerful parts that made up a greater whole.
These factors were what I was looking for in the new Battlefront game, once again I would partake in epic battles in exotic locations, command the classic Star Wars vehicles and most important of all become the series most iconic hero’s and villains. All of this action rendered in stunning visual detail, backed with an epic score courtesy of John Hurt and supported by all my console pals.
Or so I thought…
The end result, although visually very impressive, left much to be desired from a modern first/third person shooter. The first and arguably most important gripe I had with Battlefront is the lack of a single player campaign, what on earth was Dice thinking? I accept whole – heartedly that an online experience is a crucial ingredient to a successful video game, but the lack of an immersive single player campaign when it comes to a game of this scale is heart breaking. Even more devastating when you consider there is no co-operative split screen mode for online matchmaking. The offline missions available to play split screen feel rushed and limited.
The weapons are largely indistinguishable with not a lot to set them apart, a curious aspect of gameplay as the lack of a secondary puts so much focus on the weapon itself. A really positive aspect of the weapons formula however is not including the Pulse Rifle (Battlefront’s sniper rifle) in the primary weapons, the rifle is only available if assigned as a power up and this has helped prevent the camping phenomenon that’s so common in some other first person shooters.
The selection of hero’s and villains is disappointing: Princess Leia, Han Solo or Luke Skywalker if playing as the rebels. The Emperor, Darth Vader or Boba Fett if playing as the empire. This seems sparse given the plethora of character choices in the Star Wars universe.
The voice acting for these characters is so cringe worthy it almost ruins the experience entirely. However charging round the map as Darth Vader force choking enemies is still inherently badass and incredibly good fun.
That’s not to say that Dice have not done a good job, the settings are fantastic and there are some great game modes. Walker Assault stands out as one of them; the battles are epic in scale and the mix of playable vehicles and hero’s make for an impressive experience that has kept me coming back for more. I also love the power up dynamic that Dice have implemented, having cool down times for items like Thermal Detonators and the aforementioned Pulse Rifle make for smooth game play. The vehicle and special weapons scattered throughout the map are thrilling to discover and if used correctly can wreak havoc on the enemy team.
I do feel this was a missed opportunity, especially if compared to Battlefront 2 in all its space battle-y glory. Instead of a supercharged version of the originals Dice has produced a triumph of style over substance. I am sure that time has not run out and improvements will be released, so time to dive back in and open up your wallets people, the DLC is coming…