So after writing an article about the BETA of this game, I was excited and nervous for whether this game was any good, and on reflection the force is strong with this one, but unfortunately not for long.
Graphically DICE the maker of Battlefield titles have always been known for their extremely pretty games that you can blow into a million pieces, and I can easily say they did not disappoint with Star Wars Battlefront. Offering 12 multiplayer maps with 2 more on the way for free set on Jakku,this game simply looks fantastic with the glistening ice of Hoth to the dense forests of Endor. This game looks superb and EA did a fantastic job in providing fan service in regards to environments and graphical fidelity.
Moving from the stunning visuals, it is also well worth mentioning just how good the sound design is in this game. The classic Star Wars sound tracks we all loved in the movies and games play throughout and really get you pumped to get straight into action, while the effects in this game whether it be the swoosh of a light saber or laser fire of an AT-AT really feel authentic and get you immersed in combat. DICE claim they were granted access to the Star Wars sound archives and it definitely in my opinion lent to the legitimacy and enjoyment of the game, unintentionally making me recreate blaster sounds out in public which I am not ashamed of.
So this for me is where things kind of get murky between me loving modes due to being a massive Star Wars loyalist, and disliking as an objective games who just spent £45.00 and wanted value for money. So Battlefront comes with a simplistic and fun enough array of single missions which recreates scenarios from the prequels, along with the inclusion of a survival mode which is wave based. I like how DICE have included a split screen option for these modes especially survival which is sorely starting to lack from many first person shooters now-a-days, and gives me a chance to play with a buddy or alternatively go head to head against him in large-scale battles which is a nice move from DICE.
So the big bit, the multiplayer. Battlefronts multiplayer currently includes 9 game modes which are blast, fighter squadron, supremacy, cargo, droid run, walker assault, drop zone, heroes vs villains and hero hunt, which if you have played any battlefield prior most of these modes will be very familiar. Personally I spent most my time between supremacy, blast, heroes vs villains and walker assault, with the rest being either weaker versions of mentioned modes or similar to Battlefield game modes I never played.
Blast is your straight up team death match which is fine, but supremacy is your classic Battlefield 5 point control which I think for the dynamic of the game just works much better. Heroes vs villains is tons of fun simply because I can be Luke Skywalker and characters have been well-balanced since the BETA, and walker assault is an objective based match centred around the battle of Hoth and is tons of fun all be it for a certain amount of time. In terms of modes I think DICE offered up some really cool and interesting game modes but like most first person shooters, fail to really move away from many generic game modes as offered in the Battlefield series leading for me to get bored quite quick due to lack of maps in rotation.
So if you already haven’t guessed you get to play as either the rebel alliance or empire with some simplistic customisation, character and weapon options, which is probably the biggest disappointment with the game. So in terms of character you can unlock skins by level which was a nice surprise, with alien races being unlockable in later levels for rebels and a bad ass shadow trooper for the empire which is cool but ultimately shallow.
In terms of combat, customisation is very primitive in comparison to key first person shooter franchises, lacking any gun customisation what so ever, a small array of guns and a 3 pick card system that offers equipment or perks which does not offer much in the way of tactical play. This is really annoying as I believe weapons are being added in the season pass which is criminal considering as the current offering is terrible, meaning if you want to get more options of longevity out of the game you have to pay rather than enjoying the content so much that you want to support DICE in extra content being released. This has really hit the game hard as it lacks real personalisation in terms of loadouts along with certain cards being straight up useless in various game modes, with the later level unlocks giving you a straight up power which will really annoy casual players who play less and therefore die more from no level balance.
Mechanics wise there is not alot to say, DICE are known for making first person shooters and they are very good at it. The first person action in comparison to newer games feels quite slow due to no wall running or sliding as introduced in Titanfall and brought through into Black Ops 3, but still feels fluid and fun with a third person view chucked in for on the fly switching which actually was useful when entering indoor areas. Picking up items on the map floor is fun and the new editions since the BETA such as the auto turret can lengthen your life, but could be implemented better e.g. randomised spawn as dedicated players know what and where the pick ups are meaning i did not manage to pick many up without being destroyed by a camping rebel. Playing as the iconic characters is one thing DICE really got right balancing the systems from the BETA playing as Vader, i just wreaked havoc on my enemies while being cautious of my power usage which has a cool down and if used pre-emptively could result in my death.
All in all DICE did well at giving the fan fare us Star Wars loyalists want prior to the film release, but in terms of actual gameplay it feels shallow, basic and therefore lacking longevity. The thing that really frustrates me is EA decided to put basic components such as maps and weapons behind a pay wall, which is expected but the content is so scarce from launch its unjustifiable when compared to Call of Duty or Battlefield which has plenty of maps and expansive customisation options. In conclusion this game is undeniably tons of fun and I can not hate it because its Star Wars, but unfortunately it will have a very short life in terms of longevity unless your willing to pay for the season pass which I am not due to initial value for money.
- Fantastic graphics and sound design
- Some really fun game modes
- Great fan service
- Scarce customisation
- Not enough maps or weapons
- Lack of maps makes the game feel repetitive
- Matchmaking is unbalanced