Star Wars Battlefront is here are last, after what seems an excruciatingly long wait. It's a game which is authentic, epic and a real fan pleaser too, although it is also a little light on content as it has no single player campaign to speak off and its numerous game modes can feel quite similar. All the same though, it's still Star Wars and that alone will probably be enough to keep most people playing it for a long time to come.
Many is the year I have been bleating on about a return of the classic X-Wing games and I was hoping that Battlefront would provide at least a little taste of space battling action, so I was disappointed to hear that there would be no space battles within Dice's latest. On the bright side, there are X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter battles within the planets in the shape of Fighter Squadron, a simple mode which sees you jump behind the controls of an X-Wing, A-Wing or Tie Fighter / Tie Interceptor. The aim here is to attack/defend the target before it leaves, while also taking down the opposition with your laser cannons or torpedoes. Of course if you find the pick ups you can also get behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon or Bobba Fett's Slave 1, which makes the experience even more exciting.
The problem with Fighter Squadron is that you never really feel in total control of your ship. You can move around, lock on and use the cannons easily enough, but techniques such as pulling off manoeuvres to avoid missiles etc, are very much a limited, one button touch. There is no doubt that this mode feels made for the casual player and that's probably a fair thing to say about every other mode too.
Large multiplayer modes such as Walker Assault or Supremacy are definitely the go to modes for most people playing at this time from what I have seen, the large open maps allow for some interesting and spectacular battles and while Walker Assault seemed a little balanced towards the Imperials in the Beta, this has now been addressed to make the battle more fair. I have to say that I did find these two modes a little similar in places, but that could probably be said for others too, such as Droid Run and Drop Zone, which feel almost identical in their objectives.
Perhaps two of the most enjoyable modes centre around the heroes. The first of these is Hero Hunt, where players hunt down the hero or villain, kill them and then become them. In a similar vein is Heroes vs Villains, except here you'll always get a chance to become a hero or villain, with the winning team being the one that kills the opposition completely. With Heroes such as Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker, up against villains such as Darth Vader, Bobba Fett and Emperor Paltapine, this mode pulls at your Star Wars fandom and doesn't let go.
Of course there is plenty more to Battlefront too, for instance, you can try out the limited survival mode or join up with or against a friend for some co-op action or you can just keep bashing away at the multiplayer, level up and unlock new equipment, skins, emotes and star cards, the latter of which will give you the boost you need when you need it most, generally in the shape of a shield, grenade or a way in which to damage vehicles. There are plenty of equipment, guns and even skins to unlock, so as you level up you'll generally get something new that'll motivate you to keep playing some more, at least for a little while.
Graphically the game looks fantastic and of course the sound is out of this world, and to be fair, it is probably the best part of the game when 'that' music plays and you find yourself in the midst of all the action.
Sure Battlefront is a little light on content, but it's also a real salute to Star Wars and its fans. If you love Star Wars as much as we do then we are sure you'll love every minute that you play of this game and with the Battle of Jakku adding more content come December 1st, as well as the content we'll get from the season pass, this is a game that'll no doubt fuel your Star Wars thirst for a good while to come.
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Joe Anderson (Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta)
(Version Tested: Xbox One | PS4)
+ Sounds fantastic
+ Looks fantastic
+ Battles feel epic
+ Flying is a lot of fun
- Feels a little light on content
- Many of the gameplay modes feel similar