As The Dust Settles…| LTTP Battlefront Review
Star Wars Battlefront absolutely nails the nostalgic feel of Star Wars. Finally, we can put down our imaginary lightsabers and fictitious blasters, and we can wield the power of the force! From wrapping up AT-ATs in a tow cable to jetpacking about on The Forest Moon of Endor, the title brings all the exotice landscapes to life. With a picture-perfect recreation of our favorite locales paired with music/sound effects almost directly pulled from the Star Wars Universe, the only thing left are the characters, and they absolutely crush that aspect too.
That first experience of grabbing a hero pick up and diving head long to push back the Empire with Luke Skywalker is sublime. Add in a battle with a player-controlled Darth Vader, and you have an epic moment about which we’ve all dreamed. While the lightsaber battles are a bit iffy, the magnitude of Tie Fighters and X-Wings battling above you, blaster bolts whizzing past you, and stormtroopers and the rebels jetpacking around you cannot be understated. The moment to moment gameplay is nearly untouchable. But, with the game in all its glory, it does have quite the glaring hole in its minimal content and bloated Season Pass.
Battlefront releasing with 12 total maps featuring three environments is a far cry from its predecessor which featured 33 maps spread across 16 planets. Sadly, the dearth of playable maps becomes quite apparent after playing only a handful of hours. With my experience playing Battlefront on PC for what I can safely say at generally “peak hours,” it’s difficult to find full playlists outside of Walker Assault, which is the titles 20v20 main mode. While replayability generally is a case by case basis, Battlefront is sorely lacking in maps, especially with the vast Star Wars Universe from which they pull. The map number in and of itself is pretty disappointing, but the details of the season pass only further complicate the issue.
The season pass will be comprised of 4 expansion packs featuring 16 additional multiplayer maps, which we can surmise entails a total of 4 separate environments if the 4 maps per environment relation holds true. Additionally, the season pass will have four more heroes and villains, 20 new pieces of “galactic tech,” and four new game modes, quite a bit of content for the price of $50.00. Price is entirely relative to each person, but it’d be hard to justify throwing down $110 to have all the content since release. With the map situation a murky mess, I’m happy to point out that the gameplay is rock solid.
The game modes featured in Battlefront are really your standard fare for a multiplayer title but with the added sheen of the Star Wars Universe painted across it. Walker Assault is the most sought after mode as it pits 20v20 battles featuring AT-ATs, various aerial vehicles and hero pickups along the way. It’s really the showcase mode that you’ll have your friends and family gawk at when you show the latest Star Wars offering on a gaming system. Two modes that stand out for me, however, are Heroes vs Villains and Drop Zone.
Heroes vs Villains is a 6v6 matchup where 3 players from each team control a Hero (Luke, Leia, Han) or a villain (Vader, Palpatine, Boba Fett). When all heroes or villains are eliminated, the round switches, and those that weren’t able to play as an iconic Star Wars character may have the chance in the next round. Drop Zone has you secure five drop pods (one at a time) before your opponent. Once you hold one for the required amount of time, it spawns four powerups, and another falls from the sky. The game mode is pretty straightforward, but it does feature some chaotic fun.
And fun is exactly what you get the majority of the time you play Star Wars Battlefront. But for everything the title has going for it, there’s seemingly something trying to drag it down. The locations are painstakingly recreated from the source material, but there just aren’t enough to keep things fresh. The multiplayer modes are fast chaotic fun, but the omission of voice chat kills any semblance of teamwork that might exist. It’s difficult to say how easy it should be to find a match, but it certainly shouldn’t be this difficult a little over one month from release.
A slight savings grace, however, is the surprising survival mode and training sections. Both modes can be played in co-op or solo, and they are actually quite fun. Training mode features short segments of gameplay that have a slight (very slight) story crafted around them. One has you flying an X-Wing through Beggar’s Canyon, while another has you whirring around The Forest Moon of Endor. Yes, they are tutorials in the sense that they are there to teach you the various different control methods, but they are quite fun and addicting.
Addicting is the perfect word for Star Wars Battlefront. It’s the game you play endlessly, while still being quite attune to its shortcomings. You’ll begrudgingly play the same maps over and over because, well… it’s Star Wars. The gameplay is fun, and it’s nearly impossible to get over how the title looks and sounds.
Star Wars fever is at an all time high with the release of The Force Awakens, and Dice’s Battlefront capitalizes on that masterfully. The moment-to-moment gameplay is unrivaled in the gaming scene. There isn’t a single title that gives you the presence of dueling Luke Skywalker as you control Darth Vader with Tie Fighters and X-Wings battling it out overhead and AT-ATs trudging along right beside you. What it seemingly lacks in pure depth is made up for in its sublime gameplay and ridiculously perfect image quality and graphical fidelity. If you can stomach essentially paying for the game twice to have a nice-set of maps, it’s a no brainer.
As for a recommendation of Battlefront, that’s really a tough sell. On the one hand, the game looks and sounds stunning! It plays pretty well too. Anyone with a hint of Star Wars fandom will quickly pick up on these key staples. Having said that, the frustration of having difficulty finding a game during peak hours is maddening. Of course there’s the season pass, but having to shell out $50 for more maps is as close to exploiting your user base as it comes. And with confirmation that this will all be old trilogy content, it’s a shame no content from The Force Awakens will be making it to us.