Star Wars Battlefront is somewhat of a mixed bag. At times it manages to capture everything I imagined about what an ideal Star Wars game should be but the very next moment I can’t help but wonder if the game knows what it’s doing with itself.
One of the first things you will notice about Star Wars Battlefront is its striking graphics and post processing effects. I am actually surprised at the level of fidelity that D.I.C.E. has achieved with Star Wars Battlefront. The detailed post processing effects and the implementation of a physical based deferred renderer makes Star Wars Battlefront one of most beautiful games of 2015.
D.I.C.E.’s attention to intricate details is praise worthy and it seems that the developer left no stone un-turned in ensuring Battlefront remains true to the franchise’s art-style and aesthetics. I will cover the game’s several graphical benchmarks in a follow up head to head analysis across all platforms, but regardless on whatever system you will play Star Wars Battlefront on, you can’t help but observe a significant improvement in visual quality compared to Battlefield 4 and Hardline.
"D.I.C.E.’s attention to intricate details is praise worthy and it seems that the developer left no stone un-turned in ensuring Battlefront remains true to the franchise’s art-style and aesthetics."
Sound design for the most part is fantastic with guns along with Walkers sounding as authentic as they can compared to the movies. However some of the developer’s original score just sounds wrong at several places. Even famous movie one liners are downright awful at times.
Despite the startling production values, the gameplay in Star Wars Battlefront is one of the best that I have experienced this year. Unfortunately, all of this lasts for only a couple of hours. My first concern with Star Wars Battlefront is that the guns don’t feel right. At times I felt no substance or heft behind my shots…making shooting in a shooting game a rather light affair. The next big problem is that game modes like Heroes vs Villains just feels like tacked on, serving as a filler of sorts. My assumption is that this mode was merely added to serve as a fan service. I mean who does not want to play as their favorite and famous Star Wars character? The problem with this mode is that each character has limited number of abilities and you won’t feel to play it more than a couple of times.
My third big complain with Battlefront is the low map count will eventually result into repetition. The game ships with 12 maps spread across 4 planets but the balance seems off. For example, the Supremacy and Walker Assault modes have four maps whereas Drop Zone has six in it. The lack of maps was already getting a lot of negative feedback from fans and ultimately it hurts the gameplay variety found in Star Wars Battlefront.
However not all is dark and gloomy as the Supremacy, Drop Zones and the Walker Assault are clearly the standout modes in the game. Supremacy is a 20 v 20 multiplayer mode in which players would need to take hold of the opposing team’s command posts in a limited amount of time. Each team begins with two command centers under their belt with the fifth one up for grabs. Consider the Supremacy mode a throw back to the Momentum mode found in Call of Duty mixed up with the Conquest mode from the Battlefield series.
"Surprisingly, the solo missions are quite fun, specially the Survival mode where the player needs to fight against 15 different waves of Imperials with each wave becoming increasingly difficult. After each wave ends, drop pods and supply drops can be retrieved. However a single player campaign mode is sorely missed."
In Walker Assault mode you are given two options. Play as the Alliance to stop the Imperial from reaching your base or take the role of an Imperial and make sure you escort the Walker to the rebel base while fighting the rebels. Both of the above mentioned modes are extremely satisfying and perhaps offers the best Star Wars experience in a video game. Drop Zones is a fast paced, action packed mode and is essentially a King of the Hill type 8v8 mode in which players need to capture and take hold of the pods falling from the orbit. Once you take control of pods, you will be awarded with bonus points and the fun thing about this mode is that the number of pods will increase if you fail or manage to capture them.
There are several other modes in the game including Fighter Squadron which is essentially a spectacular dogfights mode along with destroying the enemies’ transports. The Blast mode is essentially Team Deathmatch and it’s so simple in its mechanics that it serves nothing but filler content. The Droid Run which is essentially a Domination mode is fun at first but it just pales out as you play more and more.
Surprisingly, the solo missions are quite fun, specially the Survival mode where the player needs to fight against 15 different waves of Imperials with each wave becoming increasingly difficult. After each wave ends, drop pods and supply drops can be retrieved. However a single player campaign mode is sorely missed.
"At the end of the day Battlefront’s best moments lies in Supremacy, Drop Zones and the Walker Assault modes. It is where I think the game delivers a true Star Wars experience."
I believe that D.I.C.E. showed off to much in the game’s beta resulting into missions which you might have already played such as the epic Walker Assault mode. The problem with almost every mode, barring a few, is that the breathtaking experience will only last for a few hours before you start wondering whether you are doing the same thing over and over again. The game uses a level up and unlock system which means that you need to rank up which will result into credits which can then be used to buy special abilities, items and cards. And as I mentioned above, that most new weapons you unlock are hardly satisfying.
At the end of the day Battlefront’s best moments lies in Supremacy, Drop Zones and the Walker Assault modes. It is where I think the game delivers a true Star Wars experience. Several things that were only possible in movies such as taking down a Walker or seeing a X-Wing crash with impressive explosion and destruction effects are truly a sight to behold in these modes. At this point it will be interesting to see how long will Battlefront is able to hook up players with its uneven multiplayer experience. If only this game had a proper single player experience, the end product could have possibly been a worthwhile investment for every fan out there.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Supremacy, Drop Zones and the Walker Assault modes are the stars of the show, impressive visual effects.
Low map count, repetition creeps in due to less variety.
Players will eventually suffer from repetition in Star Wars Battlefront. It's one of those games that you won't be playing for a long stretch at a time.
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