Review – Star Wars: Battlefront
If Star Wars: Battlefront didn’t have those first two words in its title, this review would have been a lot easier. Something like this:
“Battlefront is a gorgeous but shallow game that’s short on multiplayer content with no single player campaign to play through and a grossly priced ‘season pass’ that, while it costs almost as much as the game itself, might bring the title up to an acceptable amount of maps and modes if given enough time.”
Add those first two words to the title, however, and it’s harder to dismiss it. Star Wars is a powerful franchise, and there’s something to be said for feeling like you’ve stepped into one of those movies. Developer DICE does a fantastic job of that, with amazing graphics and sound that’s ripped straight from the films. Even when you miss a shot, and as a Stormtrooper you should miss about 90% of them to keep things consistent with the subject matter, the spray of sparks is near-identical to what was seen on the silver screen. Ripping through the forests of Endor on speeder bikes looks fantastic, and there’s no end of scenic vistas lifted from the films to check out.
While the graphics and audio are top-notch, the gameplay doesn’t hold to that high standard. The weapons all feel very similar, and though that may be a drawback of the laser-based offensive firepower drawn from the property, it results in different loadouts not feeling unique. In addition, the maps are gorgeous but not particularly well designed or balanced. Playing as the Rebels on some maps is an uphill struggle, for example, especially when you’re pit against Imperial troops backed by AT AT and AT ST firepower.
Coming from DICE, makers of the stellar Battlefield series, the shallow gameplay loop – with quick time to kill and ultra-fast respawns – feels like it was aimed at a very casual audience. It didn’t seem to matter whether I had a good game or not, it never felt like I made a difference in the outcome. Even a dominant performance didn’t feel like it was anything special. This is anything but the ‘Battlefield with a Star Wars facelift’ release that people expected, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing I really expected more from the game.