Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 17, 2015
MSRP: USD $59.99 (Php 2,199.95)
It has been almost a decade since the last Star Wars Battlefront game was released. With Disney acquiring the sole rights of the Lucas masterpiece, Electronic Arts (game publisher) also obtained exclusive rights to develop future Star Wars video-games on gaming platforms and the developers would be: DICE, Visceral Games, and BioWare. The Swedish subsidiary development team of EA, DICE, released a reboot of the Star Wars Battlefront franchise last November 12, 2015. EA decided not to have this version of Star Wars Battlefront a sequel of the 2005, but instead made Star Wars Battlefront a reboot of the franchise. There are lots of negative feedbacks on EA’s decision of making the player count to 40, no server list, no space battles, and especially no single-player campaign. Star Wars is known for its narrative, a Star Wars game not including a story would just mean it’s a bad Star Wars game… but let’s discover if the Dark side is really strong within EA.
Star Wars Battlefront is a third-person/first-person shooter game developed by DICE. This is the third installment of the Star Wars Battlefront franchise and it’s considered to be a reboot of the series.
Almost similar to Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall, the core gameplay element is multiplayer that’s packed with various game modes for players to choose. There are 9 game modes with unique gameplay mechanics. This includes the Walker Assault mode that EA featured at the recent Star Wars Celebration this year. Walker Assault is packed with 40 players, the well-balanced gameplay made Walker Assault really fun. Players are able to play as the Empire that defends the AT-AT from getting destroyed. And the other players in the Rebellion team needs to get the uplink stations active to get support from the sky to disable the AT-AT’s shield.
One game mode that makes the players feel nostalgic is Supremacy. Similar to the classic Conquest mode in the original two Star Wars Battlefront titles, Supremacy’s goal is to capture outposts and push back the other team to win. This mode is also packed with 20 players per team and definitely Supremacy is intensely entertaining.
Drop Zone is my all-time favorite mode in Star Wars Battlefront. The game mode is up to 16 players (8 from each team) and the goal is to capture drop pods; captured pods will give powerups to players. The mode is really enjoyable, it also tests your teamwork skills with other players and it’s not that crowded… I prefer it this way when I play competitively. But if I just want to kill anyone with my blaster rifle, then I’ll just go for Blast (team deathmatch). The more players killed from a team gets to win. Purely simple but this mode should have been great if the number of players was 40.
Since EA dropped space-battle and to have this on DLCs (probably), they made the planet-based Fighter Squadron. This mode let players use air vehicles limited to only: X-Wing and A-Wing for the Rebellion while the Empire is limited to TIE Figher and TIE Interceptor. The main goal is pretty much the same as Blast but in air battles; the gameplay mechanic should have a been fantastic if only this was similar to Star Wars Battlefront II‘s space battles. Disappointing, this mode is – what Master Yoda would have said.
Droid Run is one of the game modes that I find a bit out of place. Players need to capture Droid A, B, and C then defend it until the game time runs out. It packs 12 players total with 6 players in each team. It’s like Supremacy mode but with a lower count of players and not a tug-of-war based gameplay. There’s nothing unique about the gameplay, almost a rip-off of Supremacy with a domination-kind of game mechanics
Now, if you want to hunt rebel heroes, you can. Hero Hunt is a game mode where 7 players need to hunt down the 1 Hero Player. Whoever eliminates the hero player becomes the hero, and your score will be based on how many kills you have being a “hero”. The mode cycles Rebel Heroes from Han Solo to Luke Skywalker not including the Empire bad-ass villains. It’s completely another game mode that shouldn’t even be included in the first place. This is one of the less played game modes in Star Wars Battlefront.
If you want to go head to head with heroes and villains, then the game mode you need to be in is Heroes Vs. Villains. The game mode accommodates 12 players total. With 6 players being in one team and the number of heroes from each faction is only 3. That’s 3 player heroes and 3 Imperial Stormtroopers/Rebels for support. It’s almost far what we have expected from the old Star Wars Battlefront II’s Heroes Vs. Villains where it was only all Heroes and Villains in the battlefield. It’s very disappointing that the game lacks heroes to choose and making these game modes less fun to play with. It’s silly how DICE made unique names for their game modes especially with the capture-the-flag goal oriented mode, Cargo. It’s pretty plain and simple, capture a cargo then bring it back to base and then your team score. Nothing really special about it.
The main gameplay experience of Star Wars Battlefront really lacks a lot of elements. DICE decided to have the vehicles, walkers, and fighters as powerups that you can acquire on the battlefield. The main thing of Star Wars Battlefront is to have the whole experience in the field. This includes having the option of riding an AT-ST or fly around the field in an X-Wing fighter without looking for spinning emblems scattered around the map. Even if they have to take out space-battles, they should have made air combat much playable in the planet-based maps. Aside from vehicles, the game also lacks heroes and villains. Each side only has 3 playable heroes to choose and it’s rare to find the powerups to become heroes.
Players are able to customize their own loadout and powercards. The powercard gives you slight advantage over the players like the area scanner, jetpack, focus fire, and more. With the custom loadout, players can choose which blaster to use in the battlefield. Whether it’ll be an Imperial E-11 Blaster Rifle or the standard Rebel blaster. To purchase any weapons and powercards, the player gets Credits in-game after each match they play. What doesn’t make sense is there are expensive emotes that you rarely or don’t even use in the battlefield. Also, the game only offers a repetitive choice of character faces to customize your model. The only good ones are available when you’re in a higher level.
Lacking heroes, the ability to ride a vehicle anytime, limited choices of character faces, and space battles also means they lack the maps. Yes. The game only offers small amount of maps and they’re on 4 planets: Sullust, Endor, Hoth, and Tatooine. Depending on the game modes, they have 2 to 3 different maps. This makes the game’s life-span short but this might not be the case since The Force Awakens is coming, Star Wars Battlefront will live through a year or so. But for a fact, each map offers mind-blowing visuals of the surrounding areas. The game really catches every Star Wars fans and hardcore gamers with its amazingly realistic graphics. You read that correct. This is DICE, and if you have played any Battlefield games, you know that what you’re getting is the true Star Wars experience… visually. And I won’t forget about the sounds. They have original scores, which I think is in Episode VII, and the John Williams composed scores. The game’s sound effects are wicked. DICE captured all blaster sound effects, engines of the X-Wing and TIE fights, AT-AT explosions and firepower, and the most awesome sound you’ll hear: Ewoks blowing the horns on Endor!
Overall, Star Wars Battlefront is yet another arcade shooter that Star Wars fan didn’t quite expect as a successor of the critically-acclaimed Star Wars Battlefront II. With the lack of content, game modes, heroes, customization, space battles, and the prequel era – the game is quite a disappointment to Star Wars fans. Despite these negative factors of the game, visually Star Wars Battlefront is stunning. It brings the game to life and gives a half experience of what a true Star Wars game should be in the first place.
Star Wars Battlefront gives the fans what they wanted in a Star Wars game. Visually stunning and ear-blowing sound effects. But with the lack of content, Star Wars Battlefront might just be a little expensive for what it has to offer to gamers. May the Force guide this game through a bright future.