It is every Star Wars fans wish for anything related to the movie franchise to be perfect. Be it games, Lego, animated series or Cosplay (for example). I for one expect a lot as I was brought up on the original Star Wars trilogy and even had one of my early crushes on Harrison Ford. I will be honest and state now that I have not played any related titles previous to Battlefront for various reasons which is pretty bad. So I have been playing Battleffont and wanted to share my thoughts with you all!
During EGX where I first played the alpha demo, I was like a nun with concussion. Everything was pretty and shiny and encapsulated the feel of what Star Wars is. It was beautiful. Straight away the Walker Assault was a battle we wanted to win. I was determined to pilot an AT-AT and was so irritated when another Stormtrooper swooped in after a perfectly aimed jet pack landing, stealing the vehicle power up and disappearing to create chaos. What a git! Still, who can blame them? It was all very fun and the co-op horde mode was also pretty enjoyable even on the alpha.
Then the beta was released and everything was looking a little more polished. It was nice to join friends and relish in the happiness Star Wars can bring. At this stage I was still keen to buy the game even if the partner/party settings were intermittently playing up or just did not make sense. I assumed this would just be a beta issue that would be fixed before launch.
Release day came upon us and I ensured I had the day off so I could enjoy the game without many interruptions. I thoroughly enjoyed the installation of this game (something you will likely never hear said again) as I ran around as Darth Vader taking out waves of enemies. I thought it was a little inspired as there is nothing worse than waiting for the game to be ready to play these days. After 10 minutes, I was content that I had done enough damage with Lord Vader to convince anyone that I belong to the Dark Side of the Force. But the install hadn’t finished and I was left wishing that maybe it would have been nice to try out another hero or villain to keep me entertained. Still, when the game had installed, I was ready to kick butt.
The beta featured Walker Assault and Drop Zone as the main gamemodes along with some missions which I honestly did not try out at the time. The complete game offers many more modes for you to get stuck in to. Cargo (capture the flag), Droid Run (domination), Blast (team deathmatch) stand out among Hero Hunt and Heroes vs Villains. There’s a lot to choose from and keep you busy. I personally have a soft spot for Fighter Squadron because you can pilot an X-Wing, A-Wing, Tie Interceptor or Tie Fighter and basically fly around trying to blow other people up. It’s great fun and visually quite impressive. I have found myself sticking to multiplayer most of the time just because the missions appear to have been buggy for some friends of mine and now that the Battle of Jakku is available, there is another mode to try to master.
I do like that you swap sides after completing a match so you will be Rebel and Imperial at some stage. As you rank up you can change the appearance of your Stormtrooper (to give them a human face) or your Rebel (and give them the same human faces). I don’t really see the point in doing it to Stormtrooper myself until you get into the rank 40s/50s when you can unlock the awesome Speeder Stromtrooper among others which are way cooler. The rebels I get though. Still, I would rather unlock cards and blasters until I’m happy with what I’ve got so I don’t waste credits I earn from matches. My favorite part has been the rare occasions when I did manage to get the Hero/Villain power ups so you get a few minutes of glory taking out the opposition. The vehicles are also good fun but usually short-lived as you get blown up or just crash out of poor judgement. Having said that, I seem to be very unlucky at picking up vehicles and Heroes regularly. I know I could just play a few rounds of Hero Hunt to make up for this but it’s a lot more fun on Walker Assault where you feel like you’re contributing to an objective. I have to say though, you might get a kick out of defeating a Hero/Villain as you see your name come up on the screen. I personally was a fan of watching Kuniku take out Emperor Palpatine with a melee attack. We saved a video. It was awesome. Still, if you don’t fancy the hunting mode, then you’ll run around the map trying to find the right power up icon to give you the opportunity. I think it would be nicer if you could have the choice to respawn as a named character on occasion to share it out a little.
Graphically and audibly this game is beautiful and I can’t fault it. Having the film score play while you battle is amazing and it is just stunning to look at. It is a fun game to pick up and play but I don’t feel compelled to play it for hours on end unless I’m joining in with friends. But having said that, I can happily spend a couple of hours shouting at the TV because I shot someone way before they saw me! The blasters range from good to alright and some have been tweaked lately to improve or need depending on how they were previously. I haven’t unlocked all of these yet but I tend to run with the heavy blasters even though the rate of fire is pretty rubbish. The cards are what I have been working on mainly as I really wanted my Jet Pack. Then I got it and really wanted both my impact grenade and Pulse Cannon (essentially a busted sniper)! Luckily, you are given the option to have two hands so you can set one as your primary which is…. handy. I suggest testing out all of them as the different charge cards can actually be useful and it has taken me by surprise that I actually changed what my preferred skill would be. Well worth spending your hard-earned credits on.
Let’s talk about the gameplay because once you get passed the Star Wars sheen it is just basically Battlefield multiplayer with an awesome skin. It might just be me but I feel that respawning is a pain. You end up right at the back of the map to run all the way over to the objective to fire at an unsuspecting target who casually turns around and nails you with exactly the same blaster. Then you are right back at the other end of the map getting spawn killed. I know it happens in most games (speaking from Destiny and CoD experience) but it is a little frustrating. I may also suffer from lag but I also seem to die an awful lot considering most of the time I’m pretty accurate and unload my laser on someone for them to one shot me with a blaster that causes less damage or is the same mine. You can dream that this game is perfect but sadly it isn’t the case. I know a lot of my friends might not agree but it’s not a pop at Star Wars (because I love Star Wars), it’s an issue with the development and execution of the gameplay. Hopefully, with updates it will improve but I’m a little complacent.
I genuinely enjoy this game. It’s the little things that make me smile and I love jumping on a speeder bike on Endor and immediately killing myself by crashing into a tree rather than anyone else. I just feel like it hasn’t really got much else to offer. But ultimately, does it need more? The format works otherwise people wouldn’t spend hours playing. My concern is that the season pass is currently £39.99 and I feel like it’s a high price tag for much of the same unless they add more game modes and maps to spice things up. EA and DICE have provided fans with an enjoyable game to immerse you in a Galaxy that we all love. I’m just not sure if it will continue to maintain audience numbers unless they knock down the season pass price and throw in the odd additional DLC to keep us coming back for more.