Star Wars Battlefront has finally arrived, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time with it. To say that there’s been a lot of hype surrounding this game would be an understatement. But while it doesn’t live up to all of the hype, it’s still an extremely fun game that captures the fun and essence of Star Wars.
There’s a wide variety of modes and games in Battlefront, from your basic capture the flag style (Conquest) to aerial combat, to escorting droids from the enemy base to your home base. But the standout mode is Walker Assault, a Hoth based map where Imperials try to get their AT-AT’s to the Rebel base, and the Rebels try to call in airstrikes to defeat the walkers. With 40 players on each side, the ability to play as hero characters like Han Solo and Darth Vader, and ship tokens that let you fly X-Wings, to call Walker Assault “chaotic” would be putting it gently. Starting up this mode is not recommended for people first trying out the game, but when you do get into the mode, it’s a full on nostalgia assault on your Star Wars pleasure centers.
Luckily with all of the chaos of playing online, the respawns are quick and even have the ability to put you back in the game next to a partner on your side. As someone who hated having to wait for people to revive me in Destiny (or any other online shooter for that matter), this is a very welcome change to the online shooter, and one that I hope is picked up in other games as well (unless it already has and I just didn’t know).
Playing as the hero characters is also a ton of fun as well. Trudging your way into battle as Darth Vader is pretty awesome, and the sense of fear you inspire from your enemies is very cool. The same goes if your opponents play as a hero character. Hearing “Luke Skywalker has entered the battle” from your commanding officers inspires a real sense of “oh crap”, and trying to face off against a hero character solo is not a wise move, unless you’re really, REALLY good at the game.
As fun as Battlefront is, it doesn’t feel like a complete game. Sure, there’s a wide variety of modes, but there’s no single player campaign like the Battlefront games of old. This is a game designed for people who love playing online, so if you’re not as inclined to play games against other people, you might want to sit this one out. The only single player experiences on here are training missions, survival challenges, and hero modes, so there’s no way to enjoy Walker Assault with 79 bots and just you playing the game. Not only that, but there’s not a lot of customization for your character. Sure, you get 8 different types of humans with even more hairstyles, but if you want to play as an alien race? Better level up pal, and hope that you only want to be an alien rebel soldier. Oh yeah, you also can’t battle in space. X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and other ships are constrained to the skies above the battlefields.
Despite these quibbles, Battlefront is still a really fun game, and a must play for all Star Wars fans. We’ve had a long gap between Star Wars games, and Battlefront, for the most part, scratches the itch. With this solid foundation laid out in this game, EA’s primed to make arguably the ultimate Star Wars game when they eventually start work on the sequel.