One of my favourite games on the original Xbox was Star Wars Battlefront II. I spent hours playing the game and strategising how I would next conquer the universe. When my Xbox finally died I went out and bout a PSP bundle with the game just so that I could keep playing.
I was relying on EA to recreate the sheer brilliance of Star Wars Battlefront II and they didn’t let me down! The game truly felt original and the added features help it go a long way. The core gunplay of this Battlefront reboot is very reminiscent of the older titles in the series, with a simple arcade-like feel to it. You can play from either a first or third-person viewpoint, with both options having their advantages; it’s a little easier to aim and shoot in first-person, but third-person gives you a much greater situational awareness. This isn’t the first game that DICE and EA are helping to reboot, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is due for release in May.
With all the people complaining about the lack of storyline and maps to play on I have to say I’m not part of that crowd. Star Wars: Battlefront has never been about the storyline, it’s about giving gamers the chance to experience epic battles from behind the gun of one of the small guys just fighting for their life. As for the maps, Battlefront had 12 maps at launch and two more have since been added with the free Battle of Jakku update. 14 maps is more than enough to entertain for hours in my opinion. My only disappointment was that they didn’t include Galactic Conquest, the game mode that Star Wars Battlefront II was built around, where you play as either the Rebel Alliance or the Empire and wipe out the opposition through planet and space battles.
The graphics alone are stunning. DICE have managed to bring the original trilogy to life in a spectacular way and the locations genuinely feel like you’ve stepped inside them. Star Wars Battlefront runs at 60fps across all platforms and the results are amazing. On the Xbox One however, the resolution is only 720p resulting in more aliased edges and a higher level of shimmering on fine distant details. The audio is also extremely well done, if your lucky enough to have a 7.1 headset the immersion is incredible! Looks like it time to add that new Turtle Beach headset to your wish list!
When starting the game for the first time, players are invited to take part in a series of tutorials. Unlike many other games these are actually quite fun! You are given certain tasks to complete but it’s done so well that I felt a little disappointed when it was over. My favourite part of the game was racing through the forests on Endor, the immersion was perfect and the visuals were second to none.
One really cool addition is the ability to change the look of their rebel/empire soldier. The outfits are pretty standard when you first start playing but as you level up you get access to much cooler stuff. Once you hit level 40 you unlock alien heads for your rebel soldier.
As a die-hard Star Wars fanboy I hate the idea of helmetless Stormtroopers, it just doesn’t feel the same. Personal opinions aside it does actually mess with how easily recognisable each team’s soldiers are when at a distance. The best way to determine if that is a friendly rebel or evil Stormtrooper running at you is to look for the iconic helmet. Many times I have been on the lookout for the iconic helmet only to be gunned down moments later by a stormtrooper without one. I would have much preferred it if the Stormtroopers kept their helmets on but instead were given more armour customisation.
Compared to the first two games, players get access to a lot more vehicles this time around, including AT-ATs and the famous Millenium Falcon. Wait… you’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?… It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!
Power-ups can be found all over the maps, allowing for features like Rockets and Shields, piloting a space ship or an AT-ST, or summoning characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Boba Fett. The hero tokens can be hard to come by, but when obtained, you’ll get a sense of joy when playing as heroes and villains that will take you back to when you were a kid playing with your Star Wars action figures.
Playing as one of the heroes is is much different to the prequels, the graphics and sound is incredible, along with the large amount of damage you can inflict! Aside from the obvious power trip, controlling these characters just feels great. A careless player will cut a swathe through his enemies but will still die in moments. Take your time to pick your battles, however, and Battlefront will make you feel like a virtual Jedi master.
Overall Battlefront has been far from disappointing, clearly my opinion differs greatly from many others out there but as a Star Wars fanboy I might be a little biased. If you want an experience that offers the closest you’ll get to be being part of the original movie trilogy then this is it, but don’t pick up this game with the expectation that it will be Battlefield: Star Wars Edition, it’s not! Star Wars Battlefront is very much it’s own game and with that, has it’s own style.
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Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Xbox One