Star Wars Battlefront offers fans of the series the ultimate fantasy – and those with a passing interest a chance to join the hype.
This is not a Battlefield game, nor is it 2015’s best shooter. But Battlefront is the best Star Wars game yet.
Star Wars Battlefront is a game so soaked in its source material, so committed to what it wants to deliver, that it almost falls apart the second you lose interest in what it’s peddling. This is Star Wars for the Star Wars fan.
Having followed this game since the moment of its reveal, scouring the internet for every bit of info I could get (both for work and personal interest), I was told time and again how DICE went to great lengths to create something that could match the fairy-tale in our minds, the “dream” Star Wars game we somehow never got.
I remained sceptical. It’s not the first time we’ve heard this, and definitely not a first for a Star Wars-related spin-off. I played the beta, loved it, but came away fearing it would lack the depth we expect from modern multiplayer games, the fuel that keeps us coming back months after release.
All of that changed when I spent nearly ten hours with the final product over the weekend. Ten hours is not nearly enough to make a full assessment, but it’s more than capable of letting you sample everything Battlefront has to offer, and it’s at this moment when you’ll decide if this is the game for you.
The most impressive thing about Battlefront springs from its ability to completely exceed expectations and stray far from problems I thought it would suffer from. But perhaps more impressively, it avoids all the traps Star Wars games generally fall into.
I cannot name a single thing that put me off playing or made me feel like the game needed to balance its aspirations with its inspiration. There are no incongruous features or half-baked ideas. Everything works in tandem to deliver a fun video game worthy of the name it bears.
I know it sounds like I am drinking too much of its Kool-Aid. But I promise you, these are not statements of exaggeration on my part. This is what was going on in my head every time I played one of Battlefront’s game modes or tested one of its promises.
In essence, Star Wars Battlefront is a game about solutions. Solutions to problems that existed in previous Star Wars games, and ones that trailed from under the weight of their ambition. Technical problems from trying to be too big, design problems bourn from feature creep, and a thousand other factors that made a dent in the experience, are all taken care of.
This ethos can be felt across the entire thing. From its slick presentation, superb graphical effects (that somehow manage to look like film effects) and sound design, nothing falls below this high bar. Not even the game’s menus are an afterthought. If you sit your controller down, the menu fades out and you see C-3P0 and R2-D2 bickering. Or the latter trying to let you know you’ve stopped playing. Your unlocks all contribute to an expansive diorama that gets filled in over time and looks like an interactive board game.
This Star Wars fantasy truly comes to life through the act of playing Battlefront. Because everything you’ll be doing feels great, and each game mode offers a specific sort of fun. Flying, shooting and using abilities are all extremely polished.
Make no mistake, this is not a Battlefield game, nor is it 2015’s best shooter. I doubt my hour count will rival what I’ve put in to Battlefield 3 or 4. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. Battlefront is the best Star Wars game yet. No part of it is boring, and if it takes 50 or 60 hours before I say “yep, I’ll stop playing this now” then it has more than delivered on its promise.
Battlefront is in a precarious position. It’s a game designed to satisfy core gamers and Star Wars fans alike. Yet, for once, wish fulfilment doesn’t come at the expense of the rest of the experience.
For many fans, myself included, Battlefront will be remembered as the most core game built on top of Star Wars. But perhaps more spectacularly, a core Star Wars game that goes beyond being a cheap, tantalizing tug at our heartstrings.
These impressions are based on playing the Xbox One version of Star Wars Battlefront through EA Access.