As my number 1 most anticipated game of the year I followed the press surrounding the game from the moment it was announced last year. Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2 on the original xbox were the first shooters I owned, they boasted a wide array of planets and game modes including campaign and multiplayer modes which I spent hours of time playing through when I should have been outside enjoying the sun. The announcement that there was to be no campaign followed by the concerns about the lack of launch content tarnished my expectations of the game, but I still had to buy it to see for myself its worth. Therefore I feel the need to post, for any buyers who are on the edge about this game, about the value I see in Dice’s new shooter.
Although I have already mentioned it, the reboot to the Battlefront franchise has some shortcomings in terms of map content by comparison to it’s predecessors looking at the face of it. There are 4 planets (5 if you count Jakku, added 8th December), 10 multiplayer game modes, 2 battle modes and 4 survival missions. Although the original games had more planets they had far fewer game modes, and some, like ‘Hunt’ were just a bit of fun. On the original games if you weren’t playing the hero mode on Tatooine you’d have been playing conquest. Whether that was on instant action or dressed up in Campaign or Galactic Conquest made no difference really. For me looking back at the Campaign how it was, it’s probably best that wasn’t replicated, it was really just a little tour of the cool locations you could play conquest on! To conclude that little detour from the 2015 release in question, I think the new game is different to the old versions and better for it. It is therefore more important to compare it to the value of other games released in the more recent past.
(The video above is just an ‘xbox record that’ upload from Turning Point on Jakku when the physics decided to go walkies.)
My opinions of the multiplayer have changed little from the beta. It plays like a dream, the graphics are stunning and the audio and lighting effects perfectly capture the limited amount of the star wars galaxy we are shown. The sheer amount of work put into this game to make it look and play as well as it does is astonishing. I haven’t actually tried out every game mode, but of the ones I have played I enjoyed the ones from the beta best, with the exception of Turning Point (a new game mode on Jakku). Turning point for me is the perfect 20 v 20 mode. There isn’t too much emphasis on vehicular warfare, more on infantry pushing a line forward against a defending side. Once again I am led away from my usual camping, objective neglecting ways as I am drawn toward the battlefront in aid of my team who are desperately fending off hordes of rebel scum. Stay alive long enough and your ‘partner’ my spawn next to you and strengthen the line. If you do like vehicles there is ‘Walker Assault’ and the Dog fight mode ‘Fighter Squadron’ to keep you happy. Smaller modes like Drop Zone are well balanced, however Droid Run can be a bit aggravating at times, especially when there is no communication between team mates. Maybe one to come back to when I have some friends with me though. How much play time in multiplayer is really down to your own preference. It lacks the depth of a lot of current shooters like Halo and CoD, but it is fun. The audience is wider and more casually orientated, and above all for star wars fans, if you don’t like star wars I wouldn’t consider buying this until it goes down in price. If you love star wars then read on.
Offline modes (which can also be played with/against a friend online) include battle, which is an AI mode of TDM, (fun for a bit, but not a big draw), and survival. Survival is where it has been at for me and my Dad for the last few days. Although there are only 4 maps to play, which sucks a bit, there are 2 difficulty modes, a set of collectables and achievements to be had for not dying on Hard or Master mode on each map. Despite not really enjoying this much in the beta I am loving it in the full game with 15 rounds to survive instead of a measly 5. The wave progression is predicable, but as you increase the difficulty your odds of surviving are lower, and you actually have to use some tactics and teamwork (if you are on coop that is), to complete each round. We completed the Hoth map on Master by sitting at a dead end and shooting explosives into a doorway to prevent the OP, dead accurate storm troopers from getting near. On an easier difficulty you can have a bit of fun; look for collectables or pretend you’re Han Solo and go on solo rampage runs into platoons of troopers. It isn’t zombies, and doesn’t quite have the re-playability as the game is limited to 15 rounds, but it will keep us busy for a while yet.
There was a quick outline of what the game contains. It is a typical multiplayer-centric FPS, meaning that there is a potential endless amount of playing time just as long as you are still having fun with it. It is yet to be seen if I will play as much of this as I have of Halo 5, but it really depends on who you know. For me, a multiplayer game is best played with people you know. If you are like me but know no one to play online with, then its unlikely you’ll get as much play time as you would with Fallout 4 for example. Each match you play is a self contained packet of entertainment, there is little in way of progression, (unless you count the usual unlock and ranking system) and no storyline, but the game itself is amazing to play and if your purpose for playing is solely to play and have fun then this is the game for you.
The game is worth £45 to me, but it is a shame there aren’t more planets! I’d have liked to have seen Bespin or Degobah, or maybe some prequel planets. New free content has been promised, however the bulk of new content will be in paid DLC packs, the question is, will they have enough content to be worth THEIR price tag?