As a Star Wars fan, a new Battlefront game has been a dream of mine since Star Wars Battlefront 2 (one of my favorite games of all time). My friends and I wore that game out in college, so much so that we might as well have gotten a minor in Galactic Studies. Needless to say, I am thrilled that the wait is finally over – the new game hit the shelves this week and my wife will know what it’s like to be a single mother for the next several days or until she throws the Xbox One off the balcony.
One thing that was worrying to a lot of folks, myself included, is the fact that there are quite a few differences between this game and its predecessors. A lot of things that made the first games so enjoyable – Galactic Conquest, Campaign Mode, etc. – did not make it into EA’s reboot. It is important to note that this is not a direct sequel to the first two games though. It is its own game, and, to be honest, it does what it does really well. Please note: I am a casual gamer through and through, so take this review with a grain of salt, preferably from this salt shaker:
After waiting for almost a decade, it’s clear that I had high expectations for this game. So did it live up to the hype? I believe it does. The mechanics of the game are very solid. The movement is smooth and reactive, although I had to lower my sensitivity a bit to help my accuracy… my thumbs aren’t as good as they used to be in my college days. Really though, it’s the graphics and level design that make this game so good. There have been several times that I’ve found myself in one of the rooms from the films and couldn’t help but look around. Apparently other gamers aren’t as nostalgic as I am because they have no problem lighting me up while I do this. Over time, you unlock new weapons (all classic Star Wars), secondary weapons like thermal detonators, and character skins that allow you to change the appearance of your character’s face and hair.
As I mentioned earlier, this game scrapped a lot of the fan favorites like Galactic Conquest, but it also offers a lot of great game modes that I imagine most players will enjoy. Blast, your typical team death-match, is a blas… a lot of fun and probably the most popular game mode, but I also LOVE the dogfighting in Fighter Squadron. The air combat is even better than it was in Battlefront II, and is absolutely gorgeous. There’s just something about zeroing in on TIE fighters that makes the soul happy. Another fun mode is Heroes vs. Villains. In the previous game, there was a Heroes vs. Villains mode, which equated to a Royal Rumble a la Star Wars. In this iteration, it is a 6v6 game that pits three heroes (Luke, Leia, and Han) vs three villains (Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and the Emperor) along with three regular players on each side. The first to kill all of the other teams heroes five times wins. I will say that Luke, Vader, and the Emperor particularly are kind of hard to adjust to after spending so much time shooting things with lasers. Since this game threw out anything prequel related (for better or worse) this is the Return of the Jedi Emperor, meaning that he never uses a lightsaber and doesn’t flip around like a cackling maniac like he did when he fought Yoda. He just kind of shambles and shoots lightning, and if you hit the sprint button he kind of speedily shambles… lets just say I prefer playing as the Stormtroopers.
There are a handful of other game types that a different variations on games Capture the Flag and King of the Hill as well, so there really should be something for everybody. Battlefront also offers a death-match and a survival mode for single player/splitscreen so you can enjoy it with a friend or loved one without buying a new console, TV, and another copy of the same game (looking at you Halo). The death-match is very similar to the “Instant Action” game type in the previous games, but there are fewer maps and no green or red capture points. They make up for the limited amount of maps (there will be more available later) by making them stunningly detailed, so it’s worth it.
All in all, Battlefront is a success for EA and for Star Wars. The game is a heck of a lot of fun, the levels are incredibly detailed, the game modes are fun and diverse, and the game-play is fantastic. I think it’s clear that EA took their time on this game and put in a lot of work to craft an entertaining reboot to some of the greatest Star Wars games ever made. If you are a Star Wars fan and think you can handle a controller then you need to get this game.
Instead of filming a reaction video, which would just be me making the same happy face for ten minutes at a time, have a look at a much younger me playing the Sega Genesis for the first time – it’s pretty much the same: