Above everything else, Star Wars Battlefront is fun. While other games from this year may have it beat in other areas (story, characters, graphics, etc.), not one that I have played has come close to how fun Battlefront is. I shouldn’t even say that what it lacks in story it makes up in fun because Battlefront really has no story whatsoever. Unfortunately for those looking for more Star Wars lore to ingest while waiting for the new movie next month, this is not the game for you. To any extent to which there is story in the game, it exists only to quickly give context to the next battle or mission you are playing. Let’s just put it this way: I never saw a cutscene that lasted for more than 30 seconds.
So if this Star Wars game doesn’t give new information about Star Wars, then is there still appeal for a Star Wars fan that isn’t into gaming? The answer is yes. If you’ve ever wanted to run through the ice caves on Hoth, dart through the forests on the Endor Moon on a speeder bike, or fly an X-Wing through the canyons of Tatooine then you won’t get any closer to experiencing that than this game. What makes Star Wars Battlefront so cool for Star Wars fans is how real it makes all the locations feel. When you are running around on Tatooine you really feel like you are running around on Tatooine; it’s as simple as that. The game’s lighting is incredible and does a lot to help with the graphics. Not to say that the graphics of the game are bad, but the addition of the great lighting covers up practically any imperfection. The only really glaring visual flaw lies with the “Heroes and Villains” which include Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Luke, Leia, etc. who all, unfortunately, look like action figures come to life in comparison to their photorealistic surroundings.
There are many different game types to play in Battlefront and to go into them all would take a very long time. So, instead, I’ll break it down to just the Offline Missions and Online Multiplayer. The offline missions of Battlefront are a ton of fun so it is a shame that they are so few in type. They consist of Training, Survival, Battles and Hero Battles. And while there are a variety of different locations for each mission, I couldn’t help but feel that if I were someone who values variety and spontaneity in a game that I might find it all a bit too repetitive. For anyone that’s ever had an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) character ruin a whole game for you, you know how annoying it can be. Well, you can put your mind at ease for Battlefront, because the A.I. in the game is very well done — to the point where I wasn’t thinking about the fact that all of my fellow Stormtroopers and the Rebels shooting at me were all being controlled by a computer program, it just felt real.
As for the Online Multiplayer, while it isn’t as brazenly hyper-competitive as Call of Duty multiplayer, it is still multiplayer which means someone is always going to be better than you. The game has been on shelves for less than a week and I saw players who seemed like they had been playing the game for their whole lives. But you’ll be surprised how fast you learn the tricks and skills of multiplayer. The online missions that involve the most competitiveness and strategy are the standard shooter missions, like “Blast”, which are a lot of fun even if you aren’t very good. Because of the size of the teams, you never feel like you are making or breaking the game individually. Some online game types in Battlefront have yet to be used to their full potential by the players, such as “Heroes vs. Villains.” It has the potential to be a highly strategized long form game, but as of now it is simply two sides clashing in quick unsatisfying bloodfests.
It could be that the spaceship battles of Star Wars have always been the coolest part of Star Wars for me, but I was especially blown away by the online multiplayer ship battles. While many fans were disappointed that none of the spaceship battles of Battlefront take place in space (instead they happen over the surface of a planet), with how large the game area is and how chaotic a battle can become, you are glad to have a planet around to give you a sense of perspective and terrain to hide in if the action of the battle becomes too much for you. The spaceship battles are also another place where the graphics and lighting of the game really shine. Sometimes I found myself so distracted by how beautiful and real everything felt that I crashed my X-Wing or was shot down.
So if you like Star Wars but don’t care about a lack of story and are happy to simply fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the franchise, then this is the game for you. You have never been able to place yourself in the world of Star Wars this well before; it has never felt this real. And if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, rather a gamer looking for a new game to play, while the game’s mechanics and gameplay may seem simplistic, the settings and layouts of the levels give lots of room for making the game more interesting and strategic. And if you aren’t a gamer or a Star Wars fan? Then… I can’t really relate to you.