Check out Our In-Depth Star Wars Battlefront Review!
After last week’s hectic display of marketing genius by Lucasfilm and Disney for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I had to spend all weekend going through Star Wars Battlefront for Playstation 4. The game itself is very straightforward and easy to use. There are no insane button combinations, nor are there any zoom buttons to push which makes this game perfect for beginners. The user interface is easy to use and the game is well rounded.
I only have one true fear in this world: game install times. Before throwing the game in I recalled horror stories of the time it takes for the game to be installed on my system. After hearing about wait times of up to 4 hours for installation, I was hesitant to stick around while the game installed on my system. Thankfully, the installment screen was definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen, and incredibly entertaining; you get to run around as Darth Vader and take out as many rebel soldiers as you want. This is when you get the first feel for the game, learning what the health bar, power bar and action controls are. This installation mini game gives you a great feel for how it feels to play as a hero. Even though the installation is long, it is well worth the wait since the installed game makes load times go much faster.
Main Menu (94/100)
The main menu is as plain and simple as it gets. Unlike other menu screens, Star Wars Battlefront is very simple as far as color and layout is concerned. The only issue with the simplicity is that it makes the player ask: where is everything else? After about 5 minutes of exploring, you can get a feel for where everything is pretty quickly. Besides the gameplay graphics, this main menu really sets the scene for how the rest of the game will operate. Classic Star Wars music composed by John Williams fills the background with sound.
The missions section of the game is what you could consider the ‘campaign’ of the game. Without a linear storyline, the missions section is dedicated to Training, Battles and Survival. Each individual mission within those sections is allotted a star amount. The goal is to achieve the maximum amount of stars possible in each subsection. The training section goes fast, the battles are tedious and the survival rounds are just too long.
The battles in this particular game are not based on traditional ‘team deathmatch’ format that many gamers are used to. In that particular format, the objective is not only to kill the opposing team but to collect the coins that they have dropped. Each coin is 2 points and the first team to reach 100 wins. This is a fun spin on the traditional gameplay modes but, it gets very tedious after a while. The AI does not help in the collection of the coins either. One nice aspect as far as customization is concerned is that you can pick and choose which weapons you would like to use. This allows the player more flexibility in the way they wish to play the game.
Survival is much more difficult and includes a longer gameplay time. Do not expect to finish a survival game in less than 15 minutes. This involves waves of enemies coming to eliminate you along with heavy armor such at AT-STs and heavy gunner units. In order to get all of the stars you must get all 5 collectibles on each map. It can be done, but it is also difficult to do with everything else that is going on around you. Even though Star Wars Battlefront isn’t designed for a campaign-like storyline, the missions that you are given outside of online multiplayer are lacking in depth and interest. The training section took me less than an hour to complete.
The multiplayer in Star Wars Battlefront is very fast paced and exciting. Some maps are big, some are small and others are just hard to navigate and figure out. From the main menu, the player can feel both overwhelmed as well as excited. With many different gameplay options, there is no place a first time gamer can go except for the “Blast” gameplay mode. We are all used to being able to have local guests play online with us, however, this version of Battlefront doesn’t allow you to do that. This is frustrating for those who enjoy playing in a group together against other online players.
Blast is by far the most popular. It features a team deathmatch type feel and can be a fairly quick match. The keys to this game mode are to keep moving, keep your aim up and don’t overheat your gun. The lack of complex button pressing makes this easy for anyone who just needs to get a quick game in. You are able to customize your player with different types of weapons, outfits and cards to use while playing. The customization is a nice touch, however, it does allow players who have more experience and more powerful weapons to beat up on beginners who just want to have fun. Unfortunately, for you Call of Duty fans, there are no customizable gun colors or ACOG scopes. But you can change between female and male as well as grow a pretty cool beard. Other than the card customization and selecting a blaster, there is no inherent benefit to changing your appearance. If you end up playing the multiplayer, save your credits and get a better blaster.
The gameplay itself is fun but gets old after a while; with very few maps, the games seem to repeat themselves. While the gameplay is fun and engaging, the way you respawn is not very conventional. The amount of times I respawned only to be killed immediately was a little ridiculous. It is nice that there is no respawn wait time and if you want to grab a snack you can sit at the menu until you are done and return to the game later, however, they do not have a complex methods for respawn locations.
Other issues include the size and design of the maps. The engine that the maps are running on allows everything in the map to be altered, and the graphics themselves are fairly nice. The issues lie in the ability to move with ease. Objects that look like you could easily jump on to end up being too high. Also, on some maps, it seems impossible to use cover for protection or to move around without running into something. This makes it very difficult to move within a map with confidence. Some maps are too large to truly get a feel of the map and others are just too small to gather your thoughts and develop a strategy. Hopefully, the season pass has more diverse and open maps for players to use.
Other game modes provided can be fun and engaging, being able to fly an X-Wing starfighter has its ups and downs. The direction that Batttlefront took as far as being able to use vehicles is pretty interesting. Of course, as in any game mode, practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to excel in your first go round.
The Bottom Line (77/100 Overall)
Star Wars Battlefront is a very fun game. I remember playing it on my old Playstation 2 and having an absolute blast. The graphics in this game are phenomenal and out of this world, and the sound and picture clarity is next level. The lack of actual content and riveting missions is where the $59.99 price tag will hit you, but with a $30 season pass it might be worth it. The additional content and trophies you can collect give you incentive to continue with the game play but aren’t enough to keep you around forever. Dramatic changes will need to be seen in the season pass to make the full sticker price of the game worthwhile. The lack of local guests being able to play online is very frustrating. The maps are visually stunning but aren’t conducive to gameplay. My suggestion: find a cheaper price to the game, don’t pay full price for it. If you do, pray that the season pass will bring more to the table. Star Wars Battlefront is a very fun and interactive game, but I think Entertainment Arts has a long way to go before they make a Star Wars Battlefront that is able to fit everyone’s needs.
Enjoy the game and, “May the Force be with you!”