This has been a hell of a holiday buying season for us gamers. Already we’ve gotten Halo 5, Fallout 4, Tomb Raider, Lego Dimensions, and on Tuesday we’ll get the game many Star Wars fans have been waiting for, Star Wars: Battlefront.
A month ago DICE and EA gifted anyone who wanted to sign up the free beta a chance to play the game. A ton of people, and your’s truly took advantage of opportunity and had a blast. However, a fun beta doesn’t always mean a fun full game. I’m happy to announce though that Star Wars: Battlefront is a indeed a fun game, mostly.
First off the elephant in the room, the lack of a single player story mode. This is indeed lacking in this game and is sorely missed. Whether it’s playing a rebel or imperial grunt or one of the heroes a story mode, even a short one would have been welcomed. This game is gorgeous and would benefit from a story mode where you could not only play but also get lost in the graphics. You can’t really do this in a multiplayer slug-fest because if you do you’ll probably end up dead.
There is, however, a single-player mode which more or less feels added on just to pad the game. There is battles mode and hero battle mode, both have the same principle, you face off against AI controlled bots and as you kill them they drop tokens worth anywhere from 2-5 points. First side to 100 wins, and trust me, you’ll win. The only difference between regular and hero is in hero battle you play as Luke, Han, or Leia, everything else is the same.
Next up is Survival, which pits you against wave after wave of Imperial soldiers. This mode is okay with a friend but on your own it gets kind of boring, while playing it I just thought to myself, I’d rather be playing multiplayer online.
With the lack of a single player story there better be a lot to play in mulitplayer, and luckily there is.
There are a host of different modes in multiplayer to keep you busy for a long time.
First up there is Walker Assault, which we all played a ton of during the beta. This mode is basically a recreation of the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. It’s an objective based map where if you’re the Rebels you have to destroy the AT-ATs and if your the Imperials your goal is to protect the AT-ATs long enough until they can destroy the Rebel’s shield generators. Both sides however have to capture areas, these areas allow the Rebels to call in Y-Wings to bomb the hell out of the AT-ATs or if your the Imperials capturing these terminals to prevent the Y-Wings from bombing you.
On this map, not only can you run around as a snow trooper or rebel soldier, but you can pilot AT-ATs, AT-STs, TIE Fighters and Interceptors, or X-Wings, and A-Wings. This map and game provides a lot of variety, my only complaint is I wish there was a few more maps to choose in this game mode. Though this is a massive map with a lot to do, but after a while it does get a bit tiresome, hopefully down the road with some DLC we’ll get some more map packs for this mode.
Cargo, this mode is basically capture the flag. You have to invade your opponents side of the map and take their cargo back to your base, it’s as simple as that. If you like capture the flag (and I do) you’ll like this mode.
Droid Run is a lot like other games King of the Hill mode. You have three droids wandering around the map and your team must claim them and then protect them. The goal is to claim them all by the time the time runs out. Where this differs from other King of the Hill games is that the droids just wander around the stage so when a droid gets captured you can’t just go back to the same spot, you have to locate the droid. This adds a new challenge to this game mode and it’s a lot of fun.
Supremacy is just a mode where you have to capture points and force your opponent back and if you capture all the points you win. In the end I wasn’t really a big fan of this mode, but these kind of modes I’ve never truly liked so this isn’t the game’s fault.
Blast is your basic team deathmatch. You run around the map and it’s a race to get the most kills in the round. Very simple and very fun.
Drop Zone is another variation on King of the Hill. These pods get dropped in on the map and your team must race to capture them and which ever team captures the most pods by the end of the round wins. Still fun, but surprisingly not as fun as Droid Run.
Hero Hunt is a one vs all mode where one player is the hero and is tasked with killing as many Imperials as possible while trying not to die. When the hero dies he becomes just a grunt soldier and the grunt who killed the hero becomes the hero. In the end who ever has the most kills win.
Heroes vs Villains is a 6 v 6 mode where three players are Heroes or Villains and three are grunts (you switch roles each round) and the goal is to kill the other teams heroes. You get unlimited responds as a grunt, but if you die as a hero you respond as a grunt. This mode lets you run around a Darth Vader, the Emperor, Boba Fett, Luke, Han, or Leia. This mode is a blast and was one of my favorites.
Fighter Squadron, I might have saved the best mode for last. Fighter Squadron has to you flying either a TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, X-Wing, or A-Wing. Your goal is to protect your transport and destroy the enemy’s transport while also taking out as many of their fighters as possible. You can also find hero tokens on the levels to take control of the Millennium Falcon or Slave I which take a lot more damage to kill and deal out plenty of damage.
As you progress in the game your character levels up which allows you use credits you earn in each game mode to purchase cards which can be used in the game modes (except for Fighter Squadron) as specials which once used has to refill. You can pick up different various of grenades, guns, and special abilities. You can have two weapon types equipped and once special ability. Also you can use your credits to buy new blasters to use in your load out for the game, which, every time you die you can switch to a different blaster.
DICE, who developed this game is quite adept at first person shooters and have taken all of what they’ve learned and added it to the Star Wars universe. A lot of people were afraid that this would just be Battlefield re-skinned as Star Wars, thankfully it is not. This game carries on the Battlefront games from the past and brings them into the new generation of consoles and PCs.
As far as the presentation for the game is concerned, the graphics of this game are gorgeous, it feels like your watching the movies at first and not actually playing the game. The graphics are just stunning and it’s not hard to get lost just staring at everything, in fact I’ve been killed by just staring at some of the scenery.
The sound is great, all of the classic Star Wars sounds from Lightsabers, to blasters, even the Wilhelm Scream are present, this is a Star Wars’s fans dream.
As far as the way the game plays, it plays just like most FPS’s on the market so if you play those (especially Call of Duty or Battlefield) you’ll be right at home here. The only thing that takes getting used to is flying the vehicles because those controls are different from controlling a person.
Final Verdict: Star Wars: Battlefront is a fun game with a ton of modes to suite your needs for the type of FPS battles you want to partake in. However the amount of different game types do not make up for the lack of an actual single player story mode (which sadly seems to be the trend in shooters these days), I would have liked to have had some kind of a story mode, even a short 6-8 hour one.
As far as game modes are concerned this has four modes I really enjoy playing which is unusual for shooters for me, usually per game I like only one or two modes. In Halo it’s team slayer and capture the flag, in Gears of War it’s Warzone and King of the Hill, in Star Wars however, I like Droid, Fighter Squadron, Heroes vs Villains, Walker Assault, Drop Zone, Cargo, and Blast. I can switch in between all of them and not care and just have fun.
I know it’s too early to tell, but I feel this will be a shooter that I’ll come back to time and time again, especially in between big releases. I’ll just pop this in and live my Star Wars fantasies.
I give this a rating of 8.5 out of 10.