Star Wars: Battlefront
A complete generation has been brought up with the original Star Wars movies and it certainly wasn’t only that generation that was looking out for Star Wars: Battlefront. After all, every gamer likes to drop his daily doings when a new game is announced that will be placed in the world of X-Wings, wookies, Darth Vader, Storm Troopers and Natalie Portman. Unfortunately no life-size poster of the latter with the game, but the goods we do get can be read about below.
To make a long story short: Star Wars: Battlefront is Battlefield 1942 with some futuristic edges. Of course I can’t be anything else but positive about the fact that for the first time we get the chance to participate in the historical battles from the movies and determine the ending. The link with the adventures from the big screen is the biggest pro for this game.
The game itself starts with a couple of short movies that introduce yourself in the big world (10 planets, 16 maps) of this star system. You get to see that you can fight with 4 factions (Rebels and Empire forces from episodes IV, V and VI and next to that the Republic Clone Army vs. Droids from episodes I, II and soon to be released III). Each side has its specific vehicles and each time 5 classes that are similar to those we already know (sniper, soldier, heavy weapons, …). The pilot is the most original one: he’s some kind of engineer with the additional advantage that he repairs the vehicles he’s in. Next to that there are also some faction-specific, strong classes like the Wookie with bowcaster, Republic Troopers with jetpack or the Droideka with rollfunction and energy shield.
With these guys you can go to battle in three ways with the A.I.. The normal instant battles are the least interesting. Much more fun are the Historical Campaigns where you have to complete a series of fights in a predefined way. These are part of the respective storylines of the first and second trilogy and the accompanying moviescenes are certainly ok which adds a fantastic atmosphere to the game.
The third single-player possibility is the Galactic Conquest where the linear proceeding is set aside and you can choose yourself which planet to conquer first and then progress battle after battle.
Another plus for people without internet is that you can play in splitscreen with – or against – each other. It’s clear that the singleplayer side of this game hasn’t been neglected. Much more than with daddy Battlefield you can have fun without online enemies, especially thanks to the fun campaigns that get an added value by the accompanying storyline and movie material.
Of course the long lifetime of such a game has to come out of online elements and there the game also comes through although without giving major surprises or being as good as Halo 2. With maximum 16 players you can start going (in contrary to the 32 of the PC version) in the clasical way we also saw in the singleplayer mode: just like in BF1942 you get a couple of control points that you need to capture. When you’ve conquered them all you’ve won the battle. An alternative way is to reduce the tickets of your opponents to zero by making kills.
A tested formula that has proven its strengths, but that also comes with a disadvantage; in multiplayer we’ve seen this already so many times that especially for the pc gamer it doesn’t offer anything new.
The danger exists that once your admiration for the Star Wars setting, vehicles and character passes, you’ll play this game a lot less. If you only have an Xbox, then this will be less of a problem but if you also own a PC there are a lot of games that bring forth a lot more players on your screen at the same time and from which the lifespan also increases with the amount of community-made mods.
Also unfortunate is that it isn’t possible to do clanwars on the Xbox. Such games thrive on teams working together and anyone that has ever played online will know that it’s sometimes extremely hard to have people working together in a rational way. Also the dreaded camping problem is present.
Concerning the gameplay we can also state that in singleplayer, Star Wars: Battlefront is pretty easy. The AI isn’t very smart and a somewhat experienced player won’t have any problems with most of the enemies. The fact that an auto-aim is standardly available on one side decreases the competivity and importance of aiming skills, but on the other hand it isn’t always as easy to aim with a controller. Still, the auto-aim might have been a lot less forgiving if you ask me: strafing has hardly any use in an online match as the cross-hairs move along automatically with your target. All in all however, there’s little to complain about concerning the feeling of the shooterpart and that’s already a lot.
Undoubtedly the vehicles are stealing the show here, they’re a lot of fun to control. Who doesn’t want to control an AT-AT, a speeder, TIE Fighters or a Droid Spidertank ? The only downpoints are that some of these are a little overpowered, especially with a skilled pilot on board, and the maps are sometimes too small for the faster and harder to fly planes. Still, it remains giving you kicks to bash on Hoth in an AT-AT !
Of course, all that futuristic weaponsfiring goes together with the necessary decibels. The music and sound effects don’t disappoint as expected and are just right. All the original bleeps, swooshes and combat sounds are there, just like the soundtrack we all know too well from the movies. Nothing to say about that and completely top!
This time the graphics aren’t on the same level as the sound but in this case that says more about the quality of the latter. Textures are sharp, color vivid and both the models as the maps perfectly reflect the Star Wars universe. I missed the higher resolution of a computer screen from time to time though; it seemed to me that you need to get too close to the enemy as infantry to really be able to see them.
The perfect way how, through the sound, the graphics and especially the vehicles, the Star Wars universe is used makes this Battlefield-clone without a doubt a definite suggestion for each Star Wars fan. Also when you’re just looking for a good shooter on Xbox you won’t regret this purchase. If you’re a hardcore online PC FPS fan who only longs for deep and skill-based competitive gameplay, then this game will be a little light for you.