Star Wars Battlefront is back. After a long hiatus, EA and DICE have rebooted the series with this latest entry, which is obviously too cool to have a number at the end of its name and therefore will be called Star Wars Battlefront. It’s not to be confused with Star Wars: Battlefront. Will it bring balance to the force or leave it in darkness?
First impressions are good, as Star Wars Battlefront is an almost perfect recreation of the look, sound and feel of the original Star Wars movies. Graphically the game pushes the consoles a little too hard, especially my poor Xbox One which can only manage 720p resolution compared to the PS4’s slightly more acceptable 900p, but even at potato quality resolution Battlefront looks outstanding. Really though, Battlefront achieves the Star Wars feel not just through raw graphical power, but rather through the level of detail and polish that DICE have put into putting the player into the films. The sound design is utter perfection, with everything from the pew pew of the blasters to the roaring sound of a Tie Fighter passing overhead all accompanied by recreations of John William’s original trilogy soundtrack. The first time I jumped into a speeder bike on Endor and heard that indescribable and yet unmistakable engine sound I felt a little shiver down my spine. Even looking past the basics of graphical clout and sound design, DICE have shown their commitment to recreating the franchise with love and attention. The death animations for Stormtroopers and rebels are fantastic, with camp flailing ala the movies being the order of the day.
The core gunplay of this Battlefront reboot is very reminiscent of the older titles in the series, with a simple arcade-like feel to it. You can play from either a first or third-person viewpoint, with both options having their advantages; it’s a little easier to aim and shoot in first-person, but third-person gives you a much greater situational awareness. I played in third-person predominantly because the first-person mode in older Battlefronts sucked, so Battlefront has always been a third-person shooter to me. There isn’t much in the way of skill in the shooting; you point the blaster at the bad guy and whoever started shooting first wins. Unless they have a better gun than you.
You’d think a game with 11 guns in it could maintain a semblance of balance between those weapons but sadly this isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, every gun will drop somebody in short order so you’ll never have a ‘bad’ gun, but some of the weapons are just ridiculous. The last weapon you unlock, the DL-44 is basically a fast-firing, two-shot pistol with a crazy range. On all but the largest maps, this is the only weapon you will see high level players using. At range there is a little more variety with single shot DMR-type blasters, heavy machine guns and regular assault rifles all being viable.