Star Wars: Battlefront was released in November along with a robust advertising campaign which made it seem like it was a unique experience, allowing the player to step right into the world of Star Wars.
Battlefront is a fun experience. But before we go into the gameplay, I think we need to play a numbers game.
Twelve maps. Eleven guns. Ten vehicles. Six unique playable characters. Sixty dollars.
That’s not a lot of content for a $60 game, especially when you consider the fact that Battlefront features no story mode whatsoever. It gets really ugly when we compare the content to Star Wars: Battlefront II, a game released over a decade ago. Battlefront II, sequel to the 2004 release Star Wars: Battlefront (no relation to the 2015 Star Wars: Battlefront) featured a robust story mode, 30 vehicles, 24 guns, 24 maps and over 50 unique playable characters.
It’s kind of shocking that the modern Battlefront game is so empty and barren compared to its 10-year-old counterpart.
It all starts to make sense when we look at how Battlefront was developed and published. It was published by EA, the group of greedy guys who were voted “worst company in the world” in 2012 and 2013. It’s developed by DICE, the guys behind the Battlefield series. Battlefield games are usually filled with tons of content and don’t usually work on release day, but this time DICE played it safe, making sure the game would be playable when it came out by putting almost no content in it.
They clearly cut costs by developing Battlefront on Battlefield’s engine. Laser beams that fire from the guns drop off as they fly, like bullets do in Battlefield. As they drop off, they do less damage. That doesn’t make any sense. Why would a laser encounter air resistance and descend as it flies? That doesn’t even happen in actual Star Wars!
Other assets were reused as well. Every time your character gets hit by a laser, you hear a distinct thud, the same noise heard when you’re hit with a bullet in Battlefield. Why the hell would getting hit by a laser beam produce a thud noise? So EA could afford to play ads for this game during prime time shows but not make a new sound effect?
Once the illusion provided by the iconic Star Wars music and sound effects wears off, it becomes obvious that this is just Battlefield with laser guns and the occasional cameo from Luke Skywalker and friends.
As far as gameplay goes, Battlefront isn’t bad. It’s actually pretty fun for a while. There’s a decent amount of game modes which all provide a good, basic first-person shooter experience. It has tight, responsive controls. Its graphical fidelity is incredible and it might be the best looking game on consoles right now. It maintains a smooth frame rate despite all of its hectic action. It’s not without its problems though, online play is pretty imbalanced. Online lobbies are never rebalanced even if one team is winning every single round. Unlocked weapons are way more powerful than the starter weapons and in the dogfight mode the rebel ships are straight-up better than the empire ships.
The worst part of Battlefront is how empty and soulless it feels. Even the main menu looks like the interface to an operating system, like a Star Wars-themed Mac OS X. It doesn’t have Star Wars-esque epic moments, for the most part it feels entirely mundane. Even when you find a power up and turn into Darth Vader or Han Solo, it feels like a short mini-game that you’ll get tired of after a few tries. It doesn’t have epic moments like the movies do, it’s just a first-person shooter with a Star Wars theme.
Once you realize how empty Battlefront really is, it really makes you wonder why EA thought they could get away with selling the game with a $40 season pass chock full of dowloadable content (DLC). I mean really, Battlefront is so barren that all of that DLC should be free. This is the kind of reckless greed that gives EA a bad name in the industry.
It isn’t as good as the old Battlefront games and it isn’t as good as modern Battlefield titles. It doesn’t have the same insane action as Battlefield, with destructible environments and depth of gameplay. It also doesn’t have the diversity and freedom that existed in the old Battlefront games. It’s basically the bastard child of the two game series.
Don’t buy this game. Go play it at your friend’s house until they kick you out or something. It’s a fun game, but I can’t advocate actually paying money for it because you really aren’t getting a full experience. Buying Star Wars: Battlefront is effectively telling EA and other publishers that it’s just fine to release incomplete games along with multiple expensive DLC expansions.
I give it a 6/10. Meh.