Star Wars Battlefront (2015) Review

No game pushes the limits of reasonable criticism like EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. What this game lacks in content and depth it makes up for in nostalgia and immaculate attention to the source material, so detailed it’s common to get caught just staring at your surroundings. For old school Star Wars fans, Battlefront delivers on an awesome scale. Focused around the original trilogy, the game stays true to what made those films so magical. AT-ATs have never looked better or felt more powerful. Piloting the Millennium Falcon, Slave One, TIE Fighters, X-Wings, and more has never felt more exhilarating. However, with a rather aggressive DLC campaign and very little content wise, Battlefront does fall flat in more than a couple of areas.

Find yourself running along side Lord Vader himself, as he force chokes rebels and you pick off the stragglers one by one, and you’ll find yourself at the heart of what makes this game shine. Moments like these have captured the imagination of Star Wars fans and non-fans alike, and the game has already sold 12 million copies. Alongside iconic characters like Leia, Luke, Han, Boba Fett, and the Emperor, the maps are really the stars of the show. Not only are they extremely detailed but they’re also really well planned out. There is rarely a time when you don’t feel like you can’t find good positioning on the battlefield and when playing with a partner, through party chat, the ability to communicate your position helps you gain an advantage over other players and dominate from the start.

Fast paced and dynamic gameplay keeps you on the edge of your seat and casual controls level the playing field so no one constantly dominates the matches. Team balancing is great in larger modes like Supremacy and Walker Assault but in smaller matches like Cargo and Drop Zone, there can often be matches that are very one-sided – eight storm troopers against two or three rebels. A realistic representation of asymmetric warfare perhaps, but when this happens it’s all the way back to the main menu to try again.

Though Battlefront comes with several different multiplayer games modes, Walker Assault is where everything really comes together. It brings all the most fun aspects of the game together in a massive all out war where you truly feel like you can help make or break it for your team. The ability to play as a Hero is available as well as piloting many different types of ships. This mode has really given us the best Star Wars gaming experience to date. Conversely, modes like Hero Hunt and Droid Run feel a bit thrown together and take away players from game modes that are actually worth playing. Lack of any storyline at all was a big complaint among fans during the lead up to launch. There is, however, a Missions mode with offline or local co-op modes. Playing solo can get challenging and boring quickly, so playing with a buddy is probably the best idea.

The big question Battlefront and EA are posing is whether this game is worth another $60? The only way to answer is it depends how much you love Star Wars. Fans are going to purchase Star Wars Battlefront and all its DLC, just as a collector would buy a $150 Star Wars LEGO set. The depth lies within the lore. To the common player, this purchase might seem lacking. To committed collectors it’s another gem in their ever-growing shrine to Star Wars, but you can go without purchasing the DLC and still get the feel of what the game is like.

The practice of announcing DLC but not telling players exactly what they’re paying for is becoming very commonplace in the industry and EA, along with Battlefield developers DICE, have readily adopted this trending business model to the chagrin of many players.

Despite Battlefront‘s lack of depth and variably worthwhile game modes, it is one of the most expansive and visually stunning Star Wars games to come out in a very long time. Fans of Star Wars will love it for its ability to stay true to the Star Wars universe. Walk around Endor or Hoth, as beautiful 1970s-esque explosions go off in the background, massive AT-ATs knock down huge redwoods, while Imperial and Rebel soldiers alike race past, and you’ll experience some of the most striking moments you’ll have experienced as a player and fan.

However, it is severely lacking in content and depth. Its minimal playable modes are very fun but limited, and its DLC campaign will put a sour taste in the mouth of anyone who likes buying their games complete. For those on the fence, its nostalgic appeal and accessible gameplay far outweigh its shortcomings. In the end it hardly matters – with 12 million copies sold since release, EA have nothing to worry about.

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