Star Wars Battlefront hit the PC and console market alongside The Force Awakens and gave those dealing with Star Wars fever a chance to have an outlet to enjoy the franchise in gaming form. The core game can quickly be described as Battlefield and Titanfall meet Star Wars.
You’ve got an FPS game at its core, with some flying and giant mech-wrangling thrown in for good measure along with a hodge-podge of other things. It all combines to form a flawed, but the incredibly fun experience overall.
One of the best parts about Battlefront is how well it nails the Star Wars universe. Going through the snowy Hoth has never felt so good, and firefights inside ice-filled caves are stunning thanks to top-notch textures and effects work.
The lighting effects are some of the most impressive on the market as well, and this one of the few shooting-heavy games that have the world that feels used and lived-in. Vehicles have markings on them, and the environments are dinged up and show years of wear and tear on them.
You’ll see dirt piled up on walls and feel like you’re not just in this sterile environment that exists for shooting – you’re in a regular world within a universe that is filled with danger around every corner.
Battlefront features a slew of games modes, including on-foot modes that replicate things like deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination, and capture the flag. Aerial combat pits you against a large swarm of enemy foes, and you’ll need to either survive swarms of enemy pilots or try to destroy large walkers in your path. De
Survival is a basic horde mode – but also the only mode that gives you some context to what’s going on the game world. There is no single-player campaign to speak of, although practice modes can be enjoyed solo to gain experience before hopping online.
Battle missions are similar to Kill Confirmed from the Call of Duty games. Instead of picking up dog tags, you’ll get tokens – and you’ll want to stay close to friendly troops to ensure that if they go down, you can, at least, get their emblem, so their death wasn’t in vain.
Heroes vs. Villains is a mode that ensures you’ll play as one of the major playable characters. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Emporer Palpatine, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett can be played as here – and skillful play and leveling up will allow you to unlock their skins and powers for use in other modes.
Walker Assault is theoretically similar to Titanfall, where you play as regular-sized characters, and you have to take down giant walkers using speeders and ropes with the odds against you- or if you’re defending the walker, you’ll want to aim carefully and make sure your giant war machine is protected for as long as possible.
Supremacy is an all-out war and feels the most like what a massive Star Wars move would be. It merges both the on-foot and aerial combat together in one giant 20 player war. The feeling the worlds seen in initial trilogies comes alive here.
You’ll see the bright suns of Tattooine blaze while the trees of Endor cover the world and give you a place to hide – or hit hard if you’re in a speeder. Hoth looks icy and feels like a cold world out to kill you harshly. Tattooine reminds me a bit of Titanfall at times, with its mix of Earth tones outdoors, and then cold steel all around you inside.
While on-foot fights feel like just about any other FPS – just with a Star Wars coat of paint over everything. In the air, combat doesn’t quite feel natural. Nothing seems to have any weight or impact in the air, and the on-air spectacle feels like DICE understands the core elements of what aerial combat is, but doesn’t figure out what makes it work.
There’s a lot of stuff going on, but no real feeling of intensity. Games like Crimson Skies may have been less about pure spectacle, but they delivered dogfights in a way that made each kill seem exciting – much like it is in a traditional FPS. Battlefront is a very friendly game for newcomers to the first person shooter genre.
You don’t need to aim down your sights at all here because the aiming reticle is already focused in. You can aim your sights if you want more headshots, but just running and gunning will work fairly well here – especially if you luck out into attacking a group of enemies from behind.
If that isn’t enough, you can gain boost cards for a play session and get things like explosive shots that significantly increase your damage with each shot. You can even use blast grenades for instant kills, and while this stuff can be game-breaking at times, they can’t be overused since their use is limited and they’re basically like gaining a boost in a race – a means to a short-term gain.
With its plethora of gameplay options and user-friendly design, Battlefront is an excellent pickup for those looking to get into the FPS genre. Control-wise, the Xbox One controller fares a bit better than the PlayStation 4’s dual shock pad. The triggers are more comfortable, and the sticks feel more natural for fast movement.
The PS4 pad isn’t bad – it just isn’t as user-friendly, and its triggers still don’t feel as good as the Xbox’s have since 2001. PC is going to be the best overall option because you can use both controllers and a keyboard and mouse setup – with the latter working better for FPS gameplay and the former feeling better for aerial combat.
Visually-speaking, Battlefront is one of the best-looking games on current-generation consoles. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 feature stunning graphics with the best texture work on either platform. There is actual depth on the walls, and it makes things like mountainous regions and trees look gorgeous.
Blaster effects are also on-par with the movies, as are the flashes of light that accompany lightsaber attacks. Character models usually look good as well, with reasonable likenesses of the film cast represented – although animations could be smoother and look a bit wonky when you play this using a third-person viewpoint.
From an audio perspective, Star Wars delivers the goods when it comes to music and sound effects. When you’ve got a slew of archival epic music and perfectly blended sound effects, you’ve got an existing recipe for success. It also has some vintage dialogue featured in it – or more accurately, sound bytes taken from the films.
These stick out quite a bit within the context of the game and bring you out of the action a bit because their audio quality is entirely different than newly-recorded stuff from the announcers on both the rebel and empire sides. Overall, Star Wars Battlefront is a must-buy for fans of the franchise and FPS fans.
It provides plenty of fan service for fans of Star Wars while also delivering a satisfying experience as a shooter. It does falter at being an aerial dog fighting game, though, and that aspect should be reworked a bit in future installments. It plays like a dream on either consoles or PC, looks amazing – especially if you have a beefy PC that can handle it at the highest settings, and sounds great too.