Star Wars Battlefront is the first big Star Wars game to come out since EA has acquired the exclusive rights to make triple-A games based on the franchise. It is also a sort of sequel/reboot to the fan favorite Battlefront series, so needless to say, the game had a lot of expectations to live up to. One would think that a multiplayer-centric game by DICE, the studio behind the multiplayer-centric Battlefield series, would be a perfect way to start EA’s lineup of upcoming Star Wars games. But alas, Star Wars Battlefront is too light on unique content to establish any real lasting power, and ends up feeling like any old Battlefield game with a Star Wars re-skinning.

You can divide Battefront’s multiplayer experience into two main categories: “Big and Epic” and “Fast and Intense”. There are two modes that fall under the Epic category, and they are both basically a variation of Control Point, each with its own twist. Supremacy is a fight to control key points in the map, with the front lines constantly shifting back and forth. It’s a fun mode, and the sheer number of players in the match is enough to make sure you’re never far from the action, be it in the sky or on the ground. However, the main multiplayer mode that will keep you coming back for more is Walker Assault.

Similar to Supremacy, here you’ll also be fighting to hold territory, but with one side constantly attacking and the other trying to hold back the attack from as long as possible. As the Empire, you’ll need to escort two giant AT-AT Walkers across the map. It is up to the rebels to hold on to transmitters scattered around the map and call in for a Y-Wing bombardment to help take down the Walkers. This mode is the only one that truly captures the essence of playing as the Empire or as the Rebels. As the Empire, you’ll march ever forward, crushing the rebel scum under the heels of your AT-STs, and even get to man the power cannons of the massive AT-ATs. Playing the rebels actually requires you to utilize guerrilla tactics as you try and earn those few precious seconds until another bombardment renders the metal behemoths vulnerable to your attacks. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to man a small A-wing and recreate that famous scene from the battle on planet Hoth. Walker Assault is undoubtedly the best Star Wars multiplayer experience to be had.

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Unfortunately, the other modes are not that impressive. You have your Team Deathmatch, your Capture the Flag, and your two variations of Domination. These can be fun, but never hold your attention for long. Special mention goes to Fighter Squadron mode, as it offers a unique and incredibly entertaining gameplay. This mode is completely decapitated to dogfights between X-wings and TIE-fighters (and A-wing, but who in their right mind will pick an A-wing?). The main objective is to defend your transport ships and destroy those of the enemy, but shooting down the player-controlled and AI spaceships also does the trick. Maneuvering is simple and intuitive, and chasing down a hostile craft through the ashy sky above Sullust is an adrenaline-filled delight. As an added bonus, you have the change to contorl both the Millennium Falcon and Bob Fett’s Slave I. Both ships are powerful beasts that can dominate a match, and require strategic teamwork to take down.

While Slave I and the Millennium Falcon are unique to Fighter Squadron mode, other modes have iconic characters of their own. These heroes and villains are available to play in both Supremacy and Walker Assault, as well as the two dedicated modes: Heroes vs. Villains and Hero Hunt . The Empire side gets Darth Vader, The Emperor and Boba Fett, while the Rebels have Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. Each of these special characters has its own strengths and abilities suited for different type of players. Leia is more a support specialist, with healing and shielding abilities, while Boba Fett is a ranged heavy-hitter with a jetpack and missiles. Some are more fun to play than others, but none give you that sense of power you’d expect. Sure, they can dish out and take a lot more damage than your average stormtrooper, but they simply don’t have enough different moves and abilities to make them feel like the powerhouses they should be.

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Another thing that doesn’t feel as enjoyable as it should is the single-player experience. True, Star Wars Battlefront is mainly a multiplayer, and the single-player missions are there to offer a short of training environment, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be good. Playing single-player is not only boring, but it also doesn’t prepare you at all for the multiplayer. The missions consist of mostly shooting down waves of AI bad guys that offer very little challenge. The only thing these are good for is maybe letting you mess around with the hero characters, and learn to use their special abilities. Even that can be done in one of the dedicated hero modes, where after a few rounds you’re already proficient enough with Vader’s force choke to take on those puny rebels.

But Battlefront’s biggest issue is the gameplay itself. It is simply as shallow and as generic as it comes, with nothing to set it apart from other multiplayer shooters. As you play and accumulate points, you get to unlock more weapons and more items to use during combat but, at least at the beginning, none of them are all that different or useful. You have to level up quite a bit before you gain access to the more interesting items, like the jump pack or the barrage, so the long first hours of the game feel like a battle uphill towards the promise of better gear. That better gear does make Battlefront a bit of interesting to play, and manages to break the monotonous gameplay a bit. It’s rewarding to experiment with different loadouts until you find the one that is best suited to your style. However, even one you’ve unlocked the more impressive gear, Battlefront still ends up feeling like a re-skinned Battlefield game, with out unique hook.

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The gameplay doesn’t’ offer anything that sets the game apart, but the visuals and sound sure do. From the very first glance, it is clear that Star Wars Battlefront is a Star Wars game. From the iconic soundtrack to the incredible visuals – everything is Star Wars. If you ever wondered what it will be like to speed through the forests of Endor on a speeder bike, or man the snowy trenches of Hoth, Battlefront is probably as close as you’re going to get. The level of details of every ship and vehicle is astonishing, with everything feeling like it was taken directly from the Star Wars universe. Sullus is a welcomed edition of the familiar set of planets we saw in the movies, and offers a unique look with its own terrain and obstacles. The only place where the presentation falters is with some of the maps. Especially those on Endor, some maps can get a bit confusing to navigate, since they lack a unique spin or recognizable landmarks.

Star Wars Battlefront is a game that completely relies on its looks and source material. It offers nothing interesting or unique in turns of gameplay, and ends up feeling like another Battlefield game with a Star Wars theme. There are a couple of multiplayer modes that really shine, and will hold your attention for enough time to get your money’s worth, but don’t expect a very diverse experience. The decision to focus on multiplayer isn’t inherently bad, but there’s simply no enough multiplayer content to justify the lack of a deep single-player experience. Star Wars Battlefront is a decent multiplayer shooter, but is still parsecs away from being the ultimate Star Wars game.


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