‘Star Wars Battlefront’
Who it’s for: Star Wars fans looking for a solid, if content-light, multiplayer game
Console: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Great games, like great movies, transport you to another place and time. In that respect “Star Wars Battlefront” succeeds.
“Battlefront’s” four worlds — Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and Sullust — are beautifully rendered, transporting players into the Star Wars universe like never before.
If I were to rate the game based solely on graphics, it would score a solid A+. And, indeed, there are moments in the game that justify a high score and glowing praise, like so many mynocks flying about the Millennium Falcon.
The problem with “Battlefront” isn’t so much what’s in the game — it’s what’s missing.
The aforementioned four planets — basically four maps — are all that come with the game. You’ll get a fifth if you pre-ordered, but still, the offerings are sparse.
This is exacerbated by the offer of a $50 season pass that entitles people to a slew of additional maps and modes. Because of this, many people believe EA is charging $110 to receive the whole game.
Whatever your perspective on that, the game’s core comes through as soon as you start playing. Like the “Battlefield” games it’s based on, “Star Wars Battlefront” features both manned and vehicular combat, based around some of the biggest battles in the Star Wars universe.
Nine different modes are available, all of them multiplayer focused. The addition of a single-player campaign would have helped the game tremendously, even though the meat of the “Battlefield” series has always been larger-scale fights.
A few of the modes are outstanding, especially Drop Zone and Supremacy.
Drop Zone allows players to get their feet wet in smaller, 8-versus-8 skirmishes. These are quick fights that focus on gaining control of crashed drop pods, and it provides a consistently entertaining time.
Supremacy, on the other hand, scales things up to 20-versus-20, with a greater focus on vehicles in this mode. Speeding around in an X-Wing feels great, and it made me yearn for the old space-based “Star Wars” games, such as “X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter.”
While it would have been great to take the fight outside the atmosphere, keeping things closer to the planet surface works in the context of the game.
One brilliant feature of “Battlefront” is the ability to pick up “Hero” tokens. These transform you into super-powerful characters from the original trilogy, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Boba Fett and Darth Vader.
These characters rack up kills quickly and efficiently, so grabbing a token at the right time can turn the tide of battle.
Most of the other modes are weak. There’s some fun to be had in Walker Assault, especially if you are on the Imperial side, and Survival mode (the obligatory take on Horde mode) serves up some interesting missions.
All the rest are mere diversions, something to give you a break from the main attractions.
Still, over the course of the nearly 20 hours I put into “Star Wars Battlefront,” I couldn’t shake the feeling that something is missing. The narrative relies heavily on assumed knowledge (not a huge problem for a “Star Wars” game) and could have used a bit more fleshing out.
There are only six heroes to play at this time (the four previously mentioned, plus Princess Leia and the Emperor) leaving some great characters out in the cold. (We love you Lando!)
Mostly, what the game really needs are more maps. What’s here is fine, but it’s sparse. The “Star Wars” universe is filled with great planets, spectacular cinematic moments and killer characters, and too many of them have been left out.
Is it worth spending $110 on the game plus the season pass to get a bunch more content? It depends on how much you love “Star Wars.”
I do believe that once complete, the game will end up a fantastic “Star Wars” experience. However, if you want to save a bit of money, you might want to wait for the inevitable package that features all the content at a better price.