My entire childhood consisted of one video game, Star Wars Battlefront 2. This game is the reason I still have my PlayStation 2, and put in 3-4 hours a week on it even to this day. So, needless to say, when I heard that DICE was in the process of creating a new installment in the series, I couldn't contain my excitement. I began a countdown from the moment that the game was officially announced, and have logged more hours than I can count since I received it. Read my review on the Beta here.
These are my thoughts on Battlefront so far, including the new Battle of Jakku DLC!
Battlefront is unique. I can honestly say that I have never played another game like it, including the older games in the franchise, and this is a good thing. Having the option to switch between first and third person in-game is fantastic, and each mode offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Growing up a fan of Battlefront: 2 the way I did, I have spent nearly all my time in third person without affecting the other people I am playing with - something popular games such as Call of Duty or Halo fail to offer as an alternative.
Load-outs in this game are significantly different than in other shooters, as during online play you can switch between any of the guns that you have unlocked and bought. Offline, however, once you pick a gun you are stuck with it until the match ends.
In place of the standard tactical/lethal/secondary weapon slots, you instead choose three Star Cards that contain a variety of grenades, blasters, and miscellaneous gadgets. These have a cool down timer before they can be used again, which prevents quick grenade spamming but also allows unlimited ammunition. I love the idea, but the fact that you can only bring two card hands into battle at a time severely limits your game play diversity and requires that you maintain a similar play style throughout a given match.
The greatest thing about [Star Wars: Battlefront](tag:2684021) is the fact that it maintained the large-scale, epic feel to the battles that the previous games had. Matches can get as big as 20 v 20, but it seems like even more when you are taking fire from all sides and a massive AT-AT is sending rocket barrages your way. This is a huge change from other shooters, which have no more than 10-15 TOTAL players at a time. In addition, since every game mode (except for Hero Hunt) consists of two armies fighting each other, every match is objective-driven as well as kill-driven, something that I enjoy more than the free-for-all fights in other popular titles.
Without a doubt, these are the greatest maps I have every seen in any game. Ever. The graphics are absolutely unreal, but in the most realistic type of way. As a player you feel totally immersed in the expansive Star Wars saga, and battles range from snowy Hoth to sandy Tatooine. There are terrains of all sorts, even within each map, and the battle strategy constantly changes as a result.
When it was announced that Battlefront would only have 12 maps on 4 planets (not including future DLC), many people flipped out. This was before they realized the detail and scope of said maps. I for one love every single map, and would rather have fewer maps that are amazing than more maps that are haphazardly thrown together and are virtually unplayable. If you look at Black Ops 2 and 3, you'll see that they only have 15 and 12 maps, respectively, so the myth that 12 is a small number is false.
There are only 11 guns as of yet in Battlefront (more are going to be added through DLC), but they are fantastic. Every gun is viable, and while some are definitely better than others, you can compete right away with the starter guns (something other shooters can't claim). There are different types, from snipers to assault rifles, for different play styles, and they aren't too expensive or hard to unlock. The guns are a great part of this game.
One major difference in terms of firepower is the fact that Battlefront's blasters all have a cool down effect rather than ammunition limits. This allows players to fight the entirety of each life without having to either switch to a lesser gun or go hunting for ammo. While different, this is a fresh new take on gun warfare and stays true to the Star Wars canon.
Game Modes 6/10
Here is the biggest flaw with Battlefront. There are tons of existing game modes that are an absolute blast (especially "Blast", go figure), but there are still some problems. A complete lack of single player campaign is a major issue that needs to be addressed during a future update, and the fun of split-screen is ruined when there are literally three game modes you can play. Offline game play suffers tremendously, since there is little to no substance, and since online is only single player (per game system, of course), Battlefront is not a party game. While it's fun to watch your friends shoot down a TIE Fighter or hit Boba Fett with a grenade, it's not the same as having a controller.
I understand that the graphics and maps are probably hard to translate into a smaller screen, especially multiple at once, but I don't find that this excuse works too well. The PS4 and XBox One clearly have the capabilities to play split screen, as it is an option in the game, but it's clear that not much thought or effort was put into it, at least on Battlefront's initial release. We can only hope that future DLC packs (there are supposed to be 4 more after The Battle of Jakku) add some of these forgotten modes.
All complaints aside, the game modes that do exist are freakin' unbelievable. My favorites are "Blast", "Heroes vs. Villains", "Drop Zone", and "Supremacy", although I have loved literally every single mode. There are some clever twists on popular ideas, such as Capture the Flag, and no two modes are the same. Every one is played on different maps that are designed specifically for that game play, and the summation is a phenomenally entertaining time. All it would take is a few more additions and this section is easily an 8 or 9.
The Battle of Jakku: DLC Pack: 10/10
Not only have I played the main game, but I also got the chance to try out Battle of Jakku early. As a result, I have put in more than a week's worth of gameplay and I have to say, this pack is fantastic. First of all, it was free, and everything free is awesome no matter what it is (especially when you're a broke college kid like me)! Secondly, everything about Jakku is perfect.
There is a new game mode introduced called "Turning Point" that is fresh and fun. There are two new maps, including one huge one for the new mode. There is a sneak peek at the story of Star Wars, filling in the timeline from the original trilogy to The Force Awakens. Plus it was zero dollars. Ya, there is nothing not to like about this DLC, and I hope that the rest of them are just as awesome!!
While this game is extremely fun, it is not for the hardcore gamer. There are some spawning and balance issues with certain game modes, but EA did a great job of improving on those from the beta to the release date. It is obvious that DICE wanted to appeal to a large audience of Star Wars fans, and Battlefront was the result. I have enjoyed every second I have played, and I would suggest that any casual player looking for a good time should invest in it!