Photo from EA DICE
By Janelle Clausen
For an entire decade, “Battlefront II” rested in its cradle of power. Talks of a sequel came and went. But then came EA DICE, trusted to lead its development.
“Battlefront” has returned. And with final projects looming overhead like a fleet of Star Destroyers, this game was my only hope.
Rebels and Stormtroopers stormed across the landscape in every battle. For a while, I forgot I wasn’t in the icy desert of Hoth, or desperately fighting to hold my ground in the musky forests of Endor.
There is absolutely no denying this is “Star Wars.”
The graphics are perfect from the level of the blaster bolt and explosive sparks to the detail of the AT-ATs and glistening desert of Tatooine. The sound is naturally produced, capturing blaster shots and explosions in completely authentic ways. The integration of music from the movies as the battles twist and turn, meanwhile, is absolutely beautiful.
But your eyes (and ears) can deceive you. Don’t trust them.
“Star Wars Battlefront” is impressive appearance wise. Honestly, part of me can’t bear to let a gorgeous game like this out of my sight.
Unfortunately, while the levels are beautifully crafted, there aren’t very many. When some downloadable content (DLC) come out, it’s likely you’ll have to give an arm and a leg (or two) to get them.
It’s just another shooter game (“Battlefield,” in particular), but in a “Star Wars” skin, and it took away more than it added.
It’s a good thing… from a certain point of view.
The game controls are simple and easy to pick up. They’re similar to basically every other shooting game (right trigger to shoot, left trigger to aim, click right stick to elbow things in the face, etc.).
Piloting a TIE Fighter or A-Wing is as easy as it was in the original “Battlefront” games, wisely avoiding “Battlefield’s” tricky control scheme.
It also features a wide variety of game modes ranging from eight to 40 players like Blast (Team Deathmatch), Walker Assault (40 player madness), Drop Zone in “Call of Duty” and Hero Hunt, where an entire squad is hunting down one of the iconic “Star Wars” characters. There’s something for everyone’s taste.
But modes like Fighter Squadron, while exhilarating in the first few matches, are lacking in more complicated objectives than “shoot the transport” and “shoot each other.” These battles are exclusively on the planet, rather than in space like “Battlefront II.”
In Walker Assault, where the AT-AT approaches your base and you need to utilize satellite uplinks to make it vulnerable, you can technically punch an AT-AT to death. This is the epitome of how cartoony the game can be.
Often times, in face to face confrontation, it can come down to luck who wins in shoot outs. At some points, multiplayer truly felt like it was a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
The random field power ups range from thermal imploders to orbital strikes. In a way, they serve as an equalizer that rewards playing and going out in the open. It doesn’t skew the games in favor of someone on a killstreak.
There’s a reasonable amount of customization. Cards, basically “Call of Duty” perks, add variety to each character set up.
Appearance can also be changed, although aliens cost 17,000 credits each (expect to get 600 credits per game) and are only available at higher levels.
Scout Troopers and Shadow Troopers aren’t available until level 40 and 50, respectively. Furthermore, weapons can’t be customized.
Also, there are no Wookiees in this game. Not even Chewbacca (how can you have Han Solo without Chewie?) But that’s just a pet peeve of mine.
The same goes for Luke Skywalker’s “Episode VI” attire utilized throughout each battle, including Hoth (which took place in “Episode V”). At least Boba Fett’s notably more badass.
If you’re into single player modes, this game is a trap. It’s not the game you’re looking for, especially for the cost. There’s barely any campaign to speak of. Survival mode has been seen in basically every shooter game in the last five years. The missions are also a little short for a “Star Wars” game.
A campaign like “Battlefront II’s”, which featured the first person perspective of a 501st Legion Clone Trooper, is gone. Also gone are the days of selecting a faction and conquering the galaxy like in the original “Star Wars Battlefront.” We lose a strategic element that was present in the earlier games.
That being said, the Clone Wars do not exist in this game. It’s focused solely on the Galactic Civil War (the original trilogy), kind of like how “Battlefield” seemed to focus exclusively on Americans and Russians.
This is a missed opportunity for some extra variety, although I can understand why it was excluded. It’d get too complicated. Plus, there are far fewer opportunities for customization when it’s literally clones against droids.
Ultimately though, the Force was average with this one.
It was said it would destroy conventional shooter games, not join them. It was to bring balance to the next generation, not leave it in darkness.
You may find my lack of faith disturbing, but I refuse to let my love of Star Wars blind me. The game is good, not great.