A disclaimer right off the top: I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. Star Wars has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember- even before gaming! I’ve grown up playing Star Wars games, full of amazing experiences, like Knights of the Old Republic; and not-so-amazing experiences, like Demolition. When Disney bought LucasFilm, not only did they acquire a massive film franchise, they also got the gaming side, toys, and everything else! Gamers were uncertain what this acquisition could mean. Off the bat, they canceled the really appealing 1313 title, a game we would later come to find out would be a coming of age tale of Boba Fett. Not long after, however, they announced a partnership with Electronic Arts….
Here we are now, in a new era of Star Wars! The partnership between Disney and EA has brought us Star Wars: Battlefront, from DICE, the makers of the impressive Battlefield franchise. I’ve spent a hefty amount of time playing Battlefront across Xbox One, PS4 & PC, in fact, I’ve hit the current level cap of 50 on the Xbox One side. I even bought the Star Wars: Battlefront Limited Edition PS4!
The first thing you notice when you grab Battlefront is the lack of a single player campaign. As a fan of the franchise, I would have loved to have even a 6-hour story campaign to play through, but I understand that most people really only play games in multiplayer these days. However, there are missions that can be done solo or with a partner, and you can see how you rank with your friends upon completion of the missions. Found within these missions are three categories: Training, Battles, and Survival. Training gets you familiar with the various controls of the game’s vehicles (X-Wings, Speeder Bikes, AT-STs, and Snow Speeders) as well as controlling a hero character (Darth Vader or Emperor Palpatine). Battles pit you versus a friend or the AI across Hoth, Tatooine, Endor and Sullust. You can choose to either have a regular battle or a hero battle in this mode. The current heroes are Luke, Han, Leia, Darth Vader, Palpatine, and Boba Fett representing the Light and Dark Side. Survival can be played solo or with a partner, fighting 15 waves of AI on the four different worlds mentioned before. You can choose from regular, hard or master difficulty in this mode.
This game was really built for multiplayer, and it shines! The various modes allow from 6-40 players to play from smaller intimate to massive epic settings. The game launched with nine multiplayer modes: Supremacy, Walker Assault, Fighter Squadron, Blast, Cargo, Drop Zone, Droid Run, Hero Hunt, and Heroes vs Villians. About a month after launch, there was a tenth mode added, Turning Point.
- Supremacy: Up to 40 players with vehicles and heroes. Your goal is to drive the opposing team off the planet by holding more zones.
- Walker Assault: Up to 40 players with vehicles and heroes. Your goal as the empire is to protect your walker through three phases till it reaches its target. As the Rebels, you try to activate Y-Wing bombing runs to disable the shields and allow the walker to take damage.
- Fighter Squadron: Up to 20 players in ships with heroes and AI. Your goal is to destroy as many of the opposing fighters as possible, while protecting your transports and destroying theirs. The Empire has Boba Fett in Slave 1 as their hero, while the Rebellion calls upon Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon.
- Blast: Team deathmatch with up to 20 players.
- Cargo: Up to 12 players try to acquire and hold all of the cargo to win the match.
- Drop Zone: Up to 16 players fight to be the first to acquire 6 drop pods.
- Droid Run: Up to 12 players try to hold 3 droid targets that move across the map.
- Hero Hunt: Up to 8 players with 1 being the hero. The normal soldiers try to slay and become the hero. Player with the highest points win. You earn points by getting kills with the hero, or landing the killing blow on a hero.
- Heroes vs Villians: Up to 12 players. Each team has their 3 heroes active, the goal is to eliminate the opposing heroes to win the round.
- Turning Point: Up to 40 players with vehicles. The Imperials are trying to fend of a surging Rebel offensive, as the Empire is being driven back.
DICE has announced that more free and paid content will be coming throughout 2016.
The gameplay in the game is quick-paced, and quite easy to pick up and play. If you’re worried that you’ve not played the most recent war games, and don’t think you’re up to snuff to play in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, fear not! Not only are the controls easy to understand, the game is very good at using the tutorial and solo missions to teach you what you need to know to go online.
The visuals and audio in this game are top notch; I’ve never played a Star Wars game that feels more authentic than this. You really get the sense that you are in the Star Wars universe. DICE went out of their way to make their textures and effects as authentic to the original films as possible. The audio, too, is so good! The thermal detonators, blasters, ship sounds, and character chatter all sound terrific and really lend to you being immersed in your experience.
For the collector, as you progress through the game, you have various things you can unlock. Some are aesthetic pieces, like how your character looks or an emoticon, but others are quite important as you build out your hand this way. You earn credits as you play, which are used to buy star cards, like thermal detonators or a jet pack, as well as traits and other power-ups. As you progress through the game, you will accomplish goals that unlock items in the diorama- an odd little concept, but interesting nonetheless.
In all, this game is quite good. Any fan of Star Wars will find hours of enjoyment, and come to realize their favorite modes. As for me, I adore Fighter Squadron. I think that mode alone is worth the cost of admission to play the game! I still play that mode almost every day! I look forward to seeing what additional content we receive as this game continues to mature with more free and season pass material. I strongly recommend this game, and hope you enjoy Star Wars: Battlefront as much as I do!
Let me know what you think in the comments below or over on Twitter!
In all, this game is quite good. Any fan of Star Wars will find hours of enjoyment, and come to realize their favorite modes.