Star Wars: Battlefront is a game we’ve all waited a long time to play. I was able to obtain 10 hours of play via EA Access, a $5 service on my Xbox One. Downloading the game was kind of a nightmare. Randy from “Now, This is Podcasting!” downloaded it fairly quickly and then I had server problems it seemed and it took a few hours. The cool part was that during the install, I got to play as Darth Vader just killing foolish Rebels inside Hoth’s Echo Base for a bit. I ended up closing this out after 20 minutes as I didn’t want to waste all my time on the install screen.
I’m not a game reviewer, so bear with me. Here are my thoughts:
Right off the bat, I have to gush about the quality of the visuals. You feel immersed in Star Wars: Battlefront’s environments. Endor is hands-down the most beautiful Star Wars gaming experience ever. The trees fall, Ewoks run inside their homes to hide from the battle (which is very un-Ewok of them I must say), we see little space-butterflies around a bush. There’s a coastal area outside the shield generator and in the horizon you can see the Ralph McQuarrie coastal Ewok village which only existed in concept art. Hoth and Tatooine also feel like the environments from the films.
I’m not a first person shooter expert. I’m not even that good at them, really. I’m more comfortable in a game of Mario Kart than a shooter. I have played games like Destiny and I felt like Star Wars: Battlefront was a bit jerky in comparison. Aiming is pretty much strafing and firing until you hit your target. Zooming in with left trigger offers absolutely no damage advantage and on many guns is a complete waste of time. Other guns have a fancy scope that pops up with left trigger and makes it work a little better. It isn’t horrible by any means but it isn’t the best gameplay I’ve ever experienced either.
The game modes are what make this game work for me. The game is really great in that it caters to my short attention span. In beta they gave us two modes and I almost canceled my pre-order because I got so tired of the same thing over and over again. The full game doesn’t suffer from this at all. One round we were flying X-wings and A-wings against the Empire’s forces. Then we were defending an AT-AT on Hoth. Then we were playing Heroes versus Villains and it was really fun. Randy was Palpatine, Jeremy from “Now, This Is Podcasting!” was Boba Fett and I was Darth Vader. Some other guys were stormtroopers. We faced off against another team that consisted of Luke, Han, and Leia. Each character had their own special moves and quirks that made the mode strategically fun and engaging. After Jeremy went to bed, Randy and I played two-person survival where waves of stormtroopers just kept coming at us as we rescued pods. Like I said, I can see killing an hour or two with this game just playing various modes (and probably never personally getting good at any of them).
Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t going to be for everyone because it is an online game based around teamwork and interaction if one wants a successful team. It really isn’t a single player game at all and it really wants you to team up with friends. When I did play alone, I never heard anyone speak in game though. The best times I had were with friends I brought with me. That’s kind of a problem in a way for people that just casually game. I do think a lot of people that never engage in online play are going to find they do like it though. That said, in the beta I got in a few days before the public beta and I was getting murdered by the pros that had been playing for a while and then when open beta hit, I was doing the same thing to new people. Getting in the game as it opens will probably not make such imbalances in skill too big of an issue for new players.
The music in the game is pretty by the numbers. You’ll hear all the classic themes popping up here and there. It really didn’t stand out to me too much and doesn’t appear to contribute anything new musically in my experience with the game. But I never felt like the music was lacking, just not very notable in my ten hours of play.
Character customization is actually kind of weak. I found this to be disappointing. You can unlock a head and a body. One head will have a beard. The other head won’t. So it is basically just mix and match. I found that kind of weird that a company that makes rich sliders for golf video games made the customization so weak in this game. After you get a bunch of levels and money you can unlock some aliens on the Rebel side and a Shadow Trooper on the Imperial side. Thankfully the weapons you unlock do feel varied and drastically different.
I think Star Wars fans are going to enjoy the game. I think it is likely going to be a good base to build a really good experience once the Battle of Jakku content comes into play and all the Season Pass materials begin to hit. I think with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the horizon and Star Wars fever going around, this game is going to help satiate us in this era of the franchise.
I only got ten hours of game play with Star Wars: Battlefront. But you really only need 10 hours to know if you like it and if it works. There’s no story mode which makes it funny that the games are now canon as it is pretty much irrelevant to everything outside itself. If you want story, pick up the companion novel Star Wars: Battlefront Twilight Company. There’s just the scenarios to enjoy that’s mostly fine. I like it. It isn’t my dream Star Wars game but its a great experience and I think Star Wars fans are going to enjoy it. It is easily the best Star Wars shooter of all time.
There’s still time to get the game or the Darth Vader PS4 through Amazon for release day delivery if you’ve been holding out:
Click the images below to pre-order!