A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Well, not that long ago; more like just last week, when EA released Star Wars Battlefront. This is the third game in the Battlefront series and the most recent console video game since 2010’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.
Battlefront is a first person shooter and a reboot of the original Battlefront series. The game focuses primarily on multiplayer maps and missions. There is no single player campaign mode in this game, so if you don’t have an internet connection at home or aren’t big on teamwork then this game might not be for you.
While you do need to be online to play multiplayer maps, you can also play offline on a split screen with a friend and/or against bots. For many critics, this is the main problem with the game. Not so much for me.
In multiplayer mode there are several different games to play such as Blaster, which is like team deathmatch but with 10 players on either side. Then there’s Supremacy, which is like domination in Call of Duty but with 20 people per team for a total of 40 players in the game all together. Probably my favorite is Fighter Squadron, which is sort of a cross between Ace Combat and Star Fox, except that there’s the occasional appearance of Boba Fett’s Slave I and the Millennium Falcon.
The game is set in the years of the original trilogy. You play as either the Imperial Forces or as the Rebel Alliance. Throughout the game you get the opportunity to play as special characters by picking up coins. These coins randomly appear on the map and are available to both sides. Some of these characters include The Emperor, Darth Vader and Boba Fett for the Empire, while the Rebel Alliance gets Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia Organa.
You’ll also have the ability to call in and play as different vehicles. Some of these include a TIE Fighter, X-Wing Starfighter, AT-AT, AT-ST, TIE Interceptor, speeder bike, Snowspeeder, A-Wing, and the aforementioned Slave I and Millennium Falcon!
The folks over at EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, or DICE, did a fantastic job paying attention to the details of the game. While playing on Tatooine, there’s a Sandcrawler in the middle of the map and every so often you’ll see Jawas run out and scavenge for parts.
The graphics are sweet. The whole game is based on four different worlds: Hoth, Tatooine, Endor and Sullust. The detail of each map is incredible, from branches that break as you shoot them on Endor to the appearance of Hoth. Everything looks amazing. On a side note, the game runs at 60 fps most of the time, which is pretty wonderful.
The plot of the game is simple; either help the Imperial Forces or Rebel Alliance. How you do this depends on which game you’re playing. Your side is switched after every match, so you get to play for both teams of the game.
The game’s music is fantastic. At first listen, you would be quick to assume that none other than the legendary John Williams created the score for the game. This assumption is not true. Instead, that credit belongs to Gordy Haab. Despite his age, Haab has scored quite a few projects like The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Kinect: Star Wars. It’s plain to see that Haab has mastered Williams’ music style for the series.
The gameplay is that of any first person shooter and has the corresponding mechanics. It also has the same gaming engine as Battlefield. My biggest complaint from the gameplay is that, while fighting, you can’t get into a prone position. This becomes a bit of a pain when you’re trying to hide behind objects until you can regain your health.
There are several different games to play that keep the replayability alive and interesting. Some of these modes include Survival, Hero Battles, Blast, Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, Droid Run and Cargo.
I rank games based on five areas: graphics, plot, music, gameplay and replayability. Based off of those criteria, I’d have to rank the game a solid five. I absolutely regret purchasing the latest Call of Duty release after playing this. While Black Ops III is a bucket of fun, this game is more fun than shooting womp rats in a T-16 back home!
If you’re a scruffy nerf herder or any level of fan of Star Wars, then you have to pick this game up. Or, let me wave my hand and say this is the game you’re looking for. If you pick up the game for Xbox One, look for my gamer tag: @TheBigLibrarian.
May the force be with you!
(Slider image credit: forbes.com)
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