Star Wars Battlefront is Gorgeous Fan Service, But Not Much Else

Ever since EA and Disney announced their partnership to bring more Star Wars games to the market a Battlefront reboot helmed by DICE, the developers of the Battlefield series, was inevitable. The pre-release material showed us all the right stuff: gorgeously rendered Stormtroopers and Rebels mixing it up in iconic locations with tantalizing glimpses at the famous heroes, villains and starships thrown in for good measure. Now that Battlefront has been out for a while, how has this seemingly killer formula measured up?

There’s no getting around it: Star Wars Battlefront is quite possibly the best looking and sounding game I’ve ever played. With no last-gen version to hold it back, DICE went all out on recreating assets from the original trilogy down to the smallest scratch of paint on the X-Wings. DICE leaned heavily into their location research and promotional shots of the material they got from LucasArts as part of their marketing and their dedication to capturing the look and feel of the first three movies paid dividends.

The game has an incredibly diverse range of environments befitting its source material. One moment you could be fighting it out on Tatooine with the twin suns setting behind you, next having a high-noon showdown (or snowdown) on the brilliant white plains of Hoth. While there are four planets total (including Sullust which is mentioned in Return of the Jedi but never seen), there are actually 12 or so maps spread across the different game modes.

While Battlefront looks and sounds incredible, there isn’t much there to keep you coming back after the first few sessions. By adhering so slavishly to the original trilogy, DICE may have accidentally shot themselves in the foot by featuring blasters that only appeared in those movies. While there is a nice selection of classic Star Wars firearms on display, you’ll probably find yourself gravitating towards one or the other most of the time.

There are some cards that you can use to customize your loadout, but for the most part I’ve just seen people using the jet pack, a grenade and one of the two powerful special rifles. You can also customize your avatar, but that’s the same selection of heads copied/pasted between the Imperial and Rebel side, Scout and Shadowtrooper for the former and a couple alien races on the latter. Who ever heard of a Stormtrooper without a helmet?

The game modes are also fairly shallow, especially Fighter Squadron. While Fighter Squadron is cinematic and it’s great to mix things up as an Imperial or Rebel fighter (and the addition of AI ships means every one feels like they can down another pilot), there isn’t much to see after a round or two. You fly around, take control of the Millenium Falcon or the Slave I and…that’s about it. There isn’t much of a carrot to chase in Star Wars Battlefront and as tantalizing as its visuals are, you’ll have seen it all fairly quickly.

Even though DICE has a roadmap for Battlefront for the next year, including some free content and the paid DLC, it hasn’t been able to entice me to come back aside from random Walker Assault sessions here and there. I was kind of hoping after Battlefield: Hardline died on the vine that Battlefront would carry me through until the next great multiplayer shooter came along, but because you can blow through the whole Battlefront experience in a few hours I’m back to Battlefield 4 for the time being.

Has anyone else played Star Wars Battlefront? What has your experience been with it?

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

2 thoughts on “Star Wars Battlefront is Gorgeous Fan Service, But Not Much Else”

  1. I’m tempted to get Battlefront, purely because I love both first-person shooters and Star Wars, but I’m expected to pay £50 for what’s largely considered a limited game. If I can find it cheaper somewhere at some point, I’d definitely get it for the Survival mode and multiplayer on occasion, but the current price is daylight robbery.

    1. Battlefront actually went on sale on Origin within a month for 30% off, just like BF4 and Hardline before it. No matter how much I want BF5 or whatever it’s called, I’ve learned my lesson to wait.

      It’s a shame that two shooters I’ve liked this fall (Star Wars and Rainbow Six Siege) launched for full price but seriously lacked content. 🙁

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