There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?
Star Wars Battlefront on Xbox One
For the past year, video games without campaigns have been struggling to hit their mark on gamers. Star Wars Battlefront is another game that excludes a single-player experience, yet DICE has been fully committed to making the best Star Wars multiplayer experience that gamers have ever experienced. Have they achieved that? Oh yes, Chewie, we’re home.
The most striking thing you’ll notice upon entering Star Wars Battlefront is the game’s gorgeous visuals and stunning sound design. DICE has gone on record saying they wanted to give players an authentic Star Wars experience, and they’ve done just that. In terms of immersion, playing Star Wars Battlefront is the closest thing you’ll ever get to stepping onto these planets yourself. They look, sound and feel just how you remember them in the movies.
Stampeding through the forest moon of Endor, I’d never been in a more engrossing game – Stormtroopers buzzing past me on speeder bikes, Darth Vader leading the charge with his moody lightsaber. It was enough to stir a new devotion within me; I felt compelled to make the Empire proud.
Star Wars Battlefront offers plenty of variety when it comes to shooting, slashing or running over enemies. Just like DICE’s other well-known shooter, Battlefield, Battlefront has a lot going on in the war zone. Unlike Battlefield, however, Star Wars Battlefront’s shooting feels more arcadey – which isn’t a negative whatsoever.
With the arcadey feel, you never have to worry about reticle bloom, bullet-drop, or running out of ammo — which is actually a delight amidst all the action. This makes the action fast paced, frantic and above all, balanced. Most of the time, when you lose in a 1v1 situation, it’s your own fault and there wasn’t a time where I believed it to be unfair.
What some players may find striking is the ability to draw the camera back and play in third-person. This can even be advantageous, as players who master this camera style will have a better field of vision. That’s not to say the first-person camera angle is shabby either; it feels just as good.
A new and intriguing concept is Battlefront’s Star Cards, which players can activate during matches to access various equipment like grenades, rocket launchers and sniper rifles. There are also Charged Star Cards, which give boosts to things like accuracy, vehicle damage and the like. To balance things out, cards have an activation cooldown as well as charges for each card. You can replenish charges by finding some on the battlefield, or buy them with credits in the main menu.
One of the main issues with Star Cards so far is that some lead the pack as must-haves. With gigantic open spaces in Battlefront, it feels almost necessary to opt for the Pulse Cannon – a charge-shot sniper rifle. While all Star Cards are useful, there’s definitely ones that aren’t as powerful in battle as others.
Also interesting is Star Wars Battlefront’s power-up concept. Throughout the map, there will be tiny blue emblems on the ground that a player can pick up. These can be vehicles such as an AT-ST or even a hero character to take control of. This concept works considerably well and allows even the less-skilled player to make a difference in a match. It’s a random mechanic, but still a fun one.
Perhaps the most desired power-up is the hero summon. Here you can call down a hero character such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and even the notorious bounty hunter, Boba Fett. These characters are by far and away the most fun action I had in Battlefront. Slaughtering enemies with famous Star Wars characters is gratifying on an entirely new level, and will make anyone feel like a badass. I only wish there were more of them. Four more heroes will become available with the $50 season pass, but so far, with only three heroes on each side, it made the selection feel bare. Where’s Chewbacca or Lando?
Since Star Wars Battlefront is lacking a true campaign, DICE threw in some cooperative missions and game modes. These feature Survival and Battle mode, which is similar to Call of Duty’s Kill Confirmed mode. All of these missions are fairly forgettable and nowhere near as fun as playing online.
It’s a real shame that Star Wars Battlefront lacks a dedicated campaign mode. With the power of this engine and the engrossing sequences in the game, DICE could have created something truly spectacular. The multiplayer is stunning, players may yearn for something to play by theirselves, something similar to the original Battlefront’s Galactic Conquest mode.
Coming back to the multiplayer side of things, easily the best mode available in Star Wars Battlefront is the Walker Assault variant. This was the premiere choice in the beta, and still remains the most endearing mode of Battlefront. The strengths of this level stems from the variety in gameplay. You have vehicle engagements, hero clashes, and enormous 20v20 multiplayer maps. This is the way Star Wars Battlefront is made to be played.