Star Wars Battlefront Review: Always Shoot First
Greg Johnson / Nov 23rd, 2015 No Comments
Star Wars has a long and varied history in the video game industry, but no video game adaptation has shared the critical success of Star Wars Battlefront. Originally released in 2004 and followed by an even more popular sequel the next year, the original Star Wars Battlefront featured class-based gameplay. A lot has changed since Star Wars Battlefront 2 launched in 2005. The 2015 version of Star Wars Battlefront is an obvious attempt to bring the series’ classic gameplay into the modern era of shooters.
Combined with a new focus on perk and weapons customization, many of the things that made the original Battlefront games so appealing are back. But the game’s greatest accomplishment is bringing the famous events and locations of the Star Wars films to life in an immersive experience.
Attack of the Walkers
Star Wars: Battlefront features a variety of gameplay modes, from Walker Assault to Heroes vs. Villains. Walker Assault, the game’s biggest mode, pits teams of 20 against each other; one team of Imperials must defend AT-AT Walkers while a team of Rebels attempts to destroy them. This hectic mode is where the game shines, recreating some of the film franchise’s epic large-scale moments while producing new memories of its own.
Meanwhile, Heroes vs. Villains has those same sides attempting to kill three iconic characters, which are player controlled, of the opposing side. There are other game modes, each with their own objectives, but all of the battles and maps are built for fast-paced gameplay. Attempting to “camp” in areas of the arena will result in few kills and certain death.
Players should instead be constantly throwing themselves headfirst into the action and pushing toward the objective. This isn’t to say that blindly wandering into fire is a smart maneuver, but the team that wins matches is more often the team that is moving up together. Sticking with teammates as you work to pass each mode’s objective is encouraged; a high kill-death ratio will yield rewards, but completing the required objectives nets higher dividends.
There is an interesting dynamic between the Empire and Rebels in the game, and it is an issue of balance that could be appealing or disappointing, depending on your own point of view. The Empire has access to AT-ATs and AT-STs, coming at its enemy with brute force. Meanwhile, Rebels should be taking cover and strategizing ways to take down enemies. The beta exposed this issue, but developers scaled down orbital strikes and made other in-game tweaks to provide for a better experience with the game’s full release.
A Galaxy United Through Division
It’s often said that a multiplayer experience is only as engaging as what users put into it. If this is the case, Star Wars: Battlefront is an incredibly enjoyable experience. One of the most important things the game does is take out in-game voice chat. This may seem like a major misstep at first, but the lack of annoying players clogging up soundwaves helps you get deeper into the world of Star Wars. Voice chat is still available through a party, so you’re able to strategize with teammates if you wish.
Another interesting gameplay decision is the partnering system, which allows players to choose a partner for matches. During combat, players who die will respawn next to their partner. This is an important feature, so partners are randomly assigned before a match. Remember when your teacher forced you to partner up with someone in your class you barely knew? This is the same concept, forcing players to cooperate with each other. If your partner dies, it is often best to wait for him or her to respawn before moving forward.
There are no classes in Battlefield, although heroes are dominant when obtained. For the most part though, no single player is more valuable than another. There are improved loadouts available as you level up and spend credits, but ultimately every player is a foot soldier. This helps provide balance to the game, but it takes away from its replay value.
Variety is the Spice of Death
Blasters are the main weapon in Battlefront, but Star Cards allow players to customize their abilities and equipment to complement their blasters. Each player is allowed to make a hand of three cards. While there are no set classes in the game, cards give players the freedom to create their own play styles, and it works perfectly within the context of the game. Need to take out a vehicle from long range? Switch up your Star Card hand for a loadout that will help you destroy it. More Star Cards can be bought as you earn credits.
Much has been said about the game’s lack of campaign and single-player options. But there is plenty of variety in Battlefront. In addition to the various multiplayer game modes, single-player tutorial missions are available. These levels teach players how to play the game and provide some fun objectives. Much like Call of Duty’s zombie mode, survival missions feature waves of Imperials attacking one to two players. This can be extremely fun to play with a friend.
Star Wars: Battlefront is a well-crafted multiplayer experience that provides perfect fan service. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, this is a must play. Some of the most iconic scenes from the film franchise are recreated in a way never before possible, and it makes for quite the experience. The lack of a single-player campaign is disappointing, but there is plenty of variety in the multiplayer-focused Star Wars: Battlefront.
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