Game review: Star Wars Battlefront
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed) / Playstation 4 / PC
FROM the Super Star Wars trilogy and TIE Fighter through to Dark Forces and Knights of the Old Republic, the Star Wars films have inspired a high standard of game adaptations compared to other movie licenses down the years. Few of them, however, have encountered the same degree of hype as EA Dice’s interpretation of the famous trilogy, a continuation of the Battlefront series originated by Lucasarts back in 2004.
That well-received title focused predominantly on multiplayer play and its latest incarnation is no different. A first - or should you prefer, third - person shooter, it is indisputably the most fervent realisation of the Star Wars universe yet, focusing on its best known locales - Hoth, Tatooine and Endor - and characters - Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and, of course, Han Solo.
The precision with which locations from the films are recreated borders on the obsessive
The game has been criticised for a perceived lack of depth. At a time when FPS series like Call of Duty offer a wealth of maps, modes and perk systems, some point out that, by comparison, Battlefront feels more like a 1990s shooter, given the way its schematic game design does without a campaign and is instead built around a succession of challenge-based mission and online multiplayer modes.
It is an acute observation, but those who hold it against Battlefront are mistaking coherence for simplicity. The game’s raison d’être is to capture the definitive Star Wars experience, an aim it fulfils with aplomb. Whether it be the guttural roar of a TIE fighter passing overhead before it crashes into a nearby wisp of freshly fallen snow, or sweeping ground battles involving scores of Stormtroopers, the aesthetic features of the original films are replicated with a precision bordering on the obsessive.
The mechanics are simple but the experience is thrillingly intense
Pitted in vast battle involving as many as 40 players, with familiar sights from the film canon expressed in beautifully exact visuals and searing audio, it is a thrilling intense game, one that lends itself best to short bursts. The shooting itself feels solid if not remarkable, but you are so swept away in the experience, the reductive elements of the mechanics are of little consequence.
Some of the negative comments are justified. Despite EA promising to bring out free content in the future, the lack of maps at launch is a well-placed gripe. With the season pass for Battlefront is retailing for nearly the same price as the game, it is clear the publisher views the game almost as a platform on which to develop and, ultimately, profit.
Battlefront is the manifestation of the collective daydreams of Star Wars fans
Ultimately, however, this is a game that supplies plentiful short, sharp bursts of exalted moments when it feels like you are rewriting the history of the films, or at least participating in a frenzied reimagining of them. Battlefront is the manifestation of the collective daydreams of fans collective daydreams and though it may be skin deep, it is a thing of a beauty.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
Use the left trigger when flying a vehicle to lock on to a target. This makes shooting considerably easier.
Jump packs are a great way of getting to an objective or a battle quickly.
If you are playing an objective mode where close teamwork is essential, remember and spawn next to them after you die.