Wot I Think – Star Wars: Battlefront

16 years after cosmic expectations were brought crashing down to Earth when the Phantom Menace started droning on about the taxation of trade routes, poor old Star Wars still seems helpless to prevent the profoundly exciting from becoming slightly tedious.

I’ve opened cruelly, but it’s not a complete summary of my feelings about Star Wars Battlefront [official site].

Just as The Phantom Menace still hit the high notes with its bravura podracing scene and its demonic Sith Lord with his fancy-pants lightsaber, EA’s online shooter Battlefront very much has its stand-out moments.

I mean, just look at it. It really does look like that in practice. And its sound, its bombastically familiar audio arsenal of precisely-recreated roars and zaps and bangs, its soaring brass and strings, is beyond spectacular. Sit back to watch (and hear) its largest battles unfold, hordes of Stormtroopers and Rebels colliding across an explosion-littered Endor, Hoth or Tatooine as exploding spaceships both small and titanic pepper the skies, and it’s everything anyone could possibly want from a Star Wars game.

Get into the groove of its twitchy, straight-up, rapid-death action and it functions perfectly well as a graphically-beautiful team shooter in its own right – so long as you’re already pretty adept at such things. Its stand-outs are two of its nine different modes, and it’s probably no coincidence that those happen to be the only 40-player modes. The headcount, and the scale that entails, means they feel like a Star Wars scene, whereas the other, smaller modes feel much more like any old shooter which just so happens to have a Star Wars skin.

Supremacy is a simplified take on the Battlefield series’ well-loved tug of war point-capture mode. What it loses in classes and specialisation – everyone is simply a soldier with a single gun – it to some degree compensates for with huge, gorgeous maps based on Hoth, Endor, Tatooine and a new, overwhelmingly grey planet named Sullust. The skies are filled with ships at war, the smaller ones of which are in some cases player-controlled, but the larger ones are simply scenery.

The landscape, meanwhile, gets cameo appearances from the likes of Ewoks and Jawas in addition to static but no less warmly familiar vehicles and buildings. The effect is fantastic, even if it is mostly set-dressing. The essential tension of capture points swapping back and forth, and the idea that the Rebels and Imperials are vying for control of this place rather than simply to get more points, lends Supremacy a purpose and a faint unpredictably that the smaller Blast team deathmatch mode lacks.

Probably the bigger draw still, though, is Walker Assault, an asymmetrical mode which sees the Imperials defending a giant AT-AT as it stomps inexorably towards a Rebel base, while said Rebels try to seize capture points which will render the AT-AT more vulnerable if held.

Again, it feels like a battle with a purpose beyond win or lose, and as in the movies, an AT-AT is an irresistibly appealing centrepiece. This mode feels cinematic, for lack of a better word: it has inherent drama, reaching far beyond each player’s interest in their own score.

I’ve seen complaints that this mode is too weighted in favour of the Empire and their enormous, marching death machine but a) the idea is that it’s a really, really big deal to take down an AT-AT: the entire point is that it’s unfair b) equally, I’ve read complaints that the Empire and their bright white Stormtrooper outfits are at a disadvantage everywhere but Hoth. This is the nature of an asymmetrical game: everyone thinks they got dealt a bum hand.

If anything, I wish Battlefront was more asymmetrical, as most modes devolve into simply soldiers vs soldiers with very similar guns on both sides.

While the ice planet of Hoth is the most iconic setting for such a Walker Assault battle, oddly it’s Endor which I find most exciting: there’s more sense of destruction, more strategy in finding a route through a busy, rather than primarily flat, landscape, more sense of scale as a giant Walker looms through the clustered trees.

Hoth, though, is where to go if you want more spaceships in the mix, though sadly the X-Wing and TIE Fighter modelling is so simplistic as to feel faintly ridiculous. They’re weightless and twitchy, like insects caught in a stiff breeze rather than hunks of heavy metal hurtling around at crazy speeds.

The other modes encompass one which is all about these aforementioned, unconvincing sky battles, a couple of variants on capture the flag, and two based around Heroes – super-units which are the uncanny valley versions of Skywalker, Organa, Solo, Palpatine, Vader and Fett. Their faces look bizarrely bad, given how wonderful the rest of the game looks, and sound worse – your mate talking into an empty pint glass does a better Vader impression than whoever the guy they’ve hired is.

They’re also ridiculous to behold, as they bunny-hop around with their gurning plastic faces. Palpatine in particular is preposterous, alternately waddling around as though caught short and performing a Street Fighter-style spinning torpedo attack, but the more ordinary Boba Fett gusting around the lower sky with his jetpack is the most convincing, and entertaining to play as. The Heroes broadly feel like a gimmick though, and look and sound so silly that they undermine the essential Empire vs Rebels battle-fantasy.

It’s harder to find a game on these smaller modes, and understandably so: they simply aren’t as thrilling, and also feel that much more like modes in a game than a slice of classic Star Warfare. The same is true of the very limited singleplayer modes (which I wrote more about here), which are a handful of straightforward botmatch variants without any campaign structure, and though they’re great for taking in the sights and sounds without the pressure of skilled opponents, they have no replay value whatsoever. This is a multiplayer game through and through. Don’t think otherwise.

Whatever multiplayer mode you prefer, however, you’ll be racking up experience points and in-game money for kills, victories, participation and meeting randomly-assigned challenges such as ‘kill x things with an AT-AT’. As you level up, you can spend credits on new weapons, outfits and special abilities. It’s a familiar progression model, popularised by COD and Battlefield, but as with almost everything else in Battlefront, it’s simplified here. You’re not specialising your character in any way; you’re just choosing which of a few similar-feeling blasters you most like the feel of, and which face you want to wear.

The major exception to this is ‘cards’, which enable you to add a selection of explosives and single-shot uber-weapons to your hand, and take a short while to recharge after use. It’s an odd, and very gamey approach, but it does save the game from descending into a mess of sniper rifles and rocket launchers without outright removing them.

While the destructive potential of weapons and cards alike in some cases increases as you level up, it’s much more about finding the ones you like best rather than having a de facto edge. Sadly, this in turn means that unlocks can be quite underwhelming, especially as weapons are all bound to obey the movies’ pew-pew and dead behaviour. A new pistol or rifle might look different, but bar a few explicitly short-range/higher damage variants, it feels broadly the same as anything else. You don’t feel empowered by your new toy, but instead have to get on back out there and keep doing the same thing.

And that’s symptomatic of my feelings about Battlefront as a whole. It presents one of the most fantastic stages in gaming history, yet it’s littered with frustrating or bewildering decisions, both design and business, that hold it back from being the sweetly explosive nostalgia-fantasy it aims to be. It does achieve that aim, but only for a little while. So I have made a list of reasons Battlefront is a bit boring despite being the most exciting-looking and sounding game in the whole wide world. Some of these things are minor, some are more major, but the point is they all combine to rob Battlefront of some of its initial sheen.

118 Comments

  1. Mangalo says:

    I absolutely hate this game, it’s slimy, it’s a disgusting act of pure business, it tears at the fabric of my very BEING…and i can’t stop playing it because i’m having so much fecking fun! I’m the reason these companies will keep making these, because suckers like me keep buying them! WHY CAN’T I HATE THIS GAME MORE!!

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Why would you want too? There’s no “good” companies out there anymore. GoG has just become another corporate entity that’s gone back on its rebellious roots and Valve is just a peddler of goods.

      Does it really matter who makes the game as long as you enjoy it?

      • PseudoKnight says:

        What? There are many good development companies.

        • Premium User Badge

          Captain Narol says:

          Paradox, CD Projekt, Amplitude, Firaxis, etc…

          The choice is your to support the companies who respect their playerbase or to give your hard-earned money to those who don’t give a sh*t and just want your cash. It’s your responsability and as far as I am concerned, I have made my choice.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            Paradox and Firaxis have lost me due to their penchant for buggy and poorly designed releases that they expect you to buy expansions to fix, if the problems get fixed at all.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s like the game is in your very soul, tormenting you.

    • Premium User Badge

      DuncUK says:

      If you’re having that much fun, it sounds like you’ve had good value for money…?

  2. aircool says:

    I saw a video on youtube demonstrating the top-tier weapons; missile launchers that take one second to lock on and kill in one shot. Rapid fire blasters which have exploding blaster bolts etc…

    Aiming down the sights doesn’t improve accuracy, and first person mode is pointless with third person available; whose going to use first person when the accuracy is the same, but you can’t see round corners like you can in third person.

    I’m not a fan of paid DLC for multiplayer games as it separates the have’s and have not’s into two separate communities.

    It appears to me like a modern, updated version of Rebel Assault. Looks good, sounds good, but ultimately bland and shallow.

    Not worth the asking price.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      “Aiming down the sights doesn’t improve accuracy, and first person mode is pointless with third person available; whose going to use first person when the accuracy is the same, but you can’t see round corners like you can in third person.”

      So? Why do you think that’s a bad thing? Does every game need to be played in first person with iron sights…is that the only valid option?

      Personally I much prefer games where shooting and movement aren’t separated by arbitrary cones of fire and ADSing. Games are more dynamic and unpredictable when movement is part of the combat, rather than what you do when you aren’t shooting.

      • Synesthesia says:

        The thing is, if you offer both, and third person has no downside, then playing in first person is actually detrimental. Which wouldn’t be a problem, unless it was a competitive game…

    • dogoncrook says:

      Aiming down the sights snaps to what you are aiming at with auto aim.

      If the fact that there is advantage to 3rd person bugs you, this is probably not a game you would enjoy honestly, it’s a very casual game as far as shooters go.

      • Cederic says:

        Auto-aim in an online shooter? Sacrilege. Kids these days, etc..

      • aircool says:

        You’re probably correct. I loved just using the Kar98 in the original CoD, even close up.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Red Orchestra 2 should be an instant buy for you (and is my personal favorite tactical team based online shooter).

      • gwathdring says:

        It’s a very casual game but that has little to do with third person being advantageous. It’s a TPS, not an FPS. It’s deisgned to be played in 3rd person. You can do that and still be a hardcore twitch-fest if you want. Battlefront would be a more casual experience whatever it’s camera positioning.

        • latedave says:

          Actually if you want a half decent kill count you play it in first person mode. It just looks more impressive in third person. Not sure where this twitchy shooting thing comes from either, what I enjoy about it is that it’s rarely instant death like CoD. If you’re struggling jump in a turret.

  3. Siimon says:

    Very well-written article. It mirrors what I think of the game here and there, and differs in other places.

    I really, really, hope they use this engine, graphics, aesthetics, whatever in more games. It is a beautiful game that really shows off Star Wars in a great light. Just not the faces haha

    • silentdan says:

      Right there with you. I have zero interest in MP shooters these days, but am desperately itching for a third KOTOR or second Jedi Academy. I look at the screenshots, and in my head, Tina Fey says “I want to go to there.” Then I realize it’s basically Titanfall, which means I won’t enjoy playing it at all.

      • Unclepauly says:

        It’s Titanfall? Thanks now I’m wearing a neck brace.

      • Elliot Lannigan says:

        I’m hoping against hope that the new regime will give us some kind of decent multiplayer lightsaber fighting game, that’s actually about being a Force user and wielding a lightsaber, not about infantry with random heroes bunny hopping all over the place. If it’s an updated take on Jedi Academy, great, but I would even settle for simplified Arkham / Shadow of Mordor style combat as long as it looked and felt like solid, tangible, blade-to-blade combat with believable parries and counters. This needs to happen. Let us be Jedis (or Sith), damn it. And if it was anywhere near as moddable as Jedi Academy was, I would be in heaven. There was nothing like high-quality collecting maps, character models, lightsaber hilts, etc derived from the Expanded Universe and throwing them together into massive fantasy battles that were far more interesting and dynamic than anything Battlefront is doing. And I love Battlefront. But it’s not about lightsabers.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I would kill for Mass Effect multiplayer made in this engine.

      • gmillar says:

        Let’s just take a moment to recognize how crazy it is to wish for Bioware’s multiplayer in a DICE game. Not that you’re wrong, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted that.

        • shadow9d9 says:

          Dice IS Bioware…. They are ALL EA. They can makee 100 studios and call them all bioware/dice. They are not separate entities.

          • socrate says:

            no they aren’t the same wtf is wrong with people today…EA bought them sure but they are really far from the same studio and dev…just looking at how they handle and do thing is sign enough to not confuse the 2…its like saying Tropicana is the same as doritos because they are owned by the same company…ffs people these days.

          • gwathdring says:

            Wait, you don’t drink your Doritos in a slurry?

        • blightor says:

          It’s not crazy at all.

          In fact it is HIGHLY likely that they will

          Bioware made Dragon Age Inquisition, it uses Dice’s battlefield 4 engine.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      I’ll tell you something. Judging by time running around the Endor maps, i’m itching for the next Battlefield game to return to ‘Nam.

      • Cederic says:

        BF:V remains one of my all time favourite games. It just got so much so completely right.

        Unfortunately DICE rapidly moved into the unlocks/DLC world after that. I have a job, I have a social life, I can’t play games for 80 hours a week any more. This means that I can’t compete with people that do, because they get to unlock new improved weapons.

        Forget that. It’s stopped me buying BF3 and BF4, and it’ll stop me buying this too.

        • Premium User Badge

          Nathan says:

          I’ve only dipped infrequently into both of those games because of life too. But they’re still fun; I’ve never got to a point where I recognise weapons enough to know that someone else has a much better unlock than I do. It’s the skill ceiling of really good players that more of a downer :)

  4. Thurgret says:

    Despite having played the beta, and against my better judgement, I may well purchase this, because Star Wars.

  5. Prolar Bear says:

    Fantastic review, especially page 2.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      Agreed. He makes the perfect argument (to me) about this game. It’s the same reason I bought. I feel like a 7 year old kid playing with his SW action figures while playing this game.

  6. Hedgeclipper says:

    Reliable head-shots doesn’t sound very cannon, from the movies if you’re playing standard rebels and storm troopers blaster bolts should reliably go anywhere but where you’re aiming.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Thulsa Hex says:

    Really enjoyed this review. I have the same concerns as most people, and didn’t get on too well with the beta, but STILL! I still want to play it, exactly because of the reasons mentioned. I’m certainly not prepared to shell out $60, plus more on DLC, but if I got it as a gift or something, I’d be delighted.

  8. Noone says:

    lol you literally list like everything from the game and say how bad it is then say “But it’s not that bad”… Why does almost every review of this game list how garbage it is then make excuses for it and give it an 8 or 9 out of 10…

    • Moraven says:

      Because…Star Wars. It gets the Star Wars look and feel pretty damn well with a average game on top of it.

    • silentdan says:

      I think it’s because Star Wars. I mean, they’ve clearly nailed the aesthetic. In spite of it being a rather poor online shooter mechanically, it’s art direction is an unqualified triumph. No part of the game is so-so; one crucial aspect is nearly perfect, another crucial aspect is a baffling disaster. If the art is enough for you, you’ll give it an 8+. If you’re all about the mechanics, you can’t rate it higher than 4. It’s like a catchy song with embarrassing lyrics. You want to sing along, because that hook is golden, but you feel like a moron letting those words out of your mouth. I think it’s just hard to know how to feel about this one.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thulsa Hex says:

      I think that this is also a good case for why not having a scoring system works better. Alec was able to say what he liked about it, despite having caveats for almost every point, and didn’t have to justify an arbitrary score. Cognitive dissonance is a thing, yo.

    • SaintAn says:

      Because they don’t want EA to get mad at them. That’s why you can’t trust reviews. The new Fallout is an abomination and yet it gets nothing but good reviews.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Care to back up your conspiracy theories with bulletproof facts?

        • RegisteredUser says:

          People keep asking about this stuff when we have had stuff like the Kane&Lynch paid-for-review go through the news cycle and everything else attached to this as well.
          Why do people expect others to prove them something when research for clarification is just a quick google away? You can’t insist on knowing everything and then reject self-education.

          Furthermore, it is not like these are over the top blaspheming claims; basic logic will tell you that if you keep bashing a high level company’s products into the ground every time they give you free review copies ahead of time, you MAY not get as many anymore in the future, for some totally unknowable reason..and if you now think “Surely reviewers won’t risk their credibility by glossing over (at times game breaking) flaws with high scores” then I can only say where have you been the last 15+ years?

      • Blippity says:

        The big problem with reviews are that they are mostly subjective from a certain point of view. It can be hard to put aside personal views in a review and give it an honest write up. I learned from Battlefront reviews that it’s not my game because it has a poor single player connection. That’s a feature and a personal viewpoint (I have no care for online multiplayer) that I’ve taken. Just because you didn’t like Fallout 4, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad game. It’s a bad game for you and your views/expectations/features, but doesn’t mean that it isn’t for someone else.

      • gwathdring says:

        The reason fallout gets good reviews is that a lot of reviewers like paying it and in some outlets are heavily manipulated by major companies with varying levels of direct sleaze.

        But the existence of the later doesn’t magically make the former go away just because people like a thing that you don’t like. Criticism is not an objective thing. You can’t sit there and throw a tantrum because critics liked something you didn’t like. Counter-critique! Offere your disagreement! But don’t act like the entire industry is rigged because a lot of people really like something you despise. Some of it is rigged because of review events, paid advertising, and the promise of exclusive content.

        But there are plenty of outlets or personal blogs that explicitly reject or are not big enough to be privy to any of that nonsense. A lot of them still like Fallout 4. Or Battlefront. Get over it.

      • horrorgasm says:

        haha “abomination”. we all know that’s code for “instantly hate no matter what because it’s not the exact same game the previous one(s) was”.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      Something no review seems to mention (even here) is how damned stable it is. It’s easily the most stable launch of a game i’ve seen in ….. well years. Straight out the gate it hasn’t needed patching at all. I haven’t experienced any game breaking bugs, no disconnects, no rubberbanding …….. nothing.

      It’s a freaking miracle.

      • Atomica says:

        I played the open beta a few weeks back and swiftly got bored within an hour. Not for me. I love Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3, but this game took all the bits I liked and left them.

        My observation is that in trying to do less, the game is more stable. There isn’t much here mechanically that DICE has done before in Battlefield.

        • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

          I wish people would stop comparing this to Battlefield. It really isn’t and never was intended to be.

          • EhexT says:

            You wish people would stop comparing Battlefront to Battlefield, despite the fact that Battlefront (the original one) was a very clear Battlefield clone?
            The comparison is natural. Hell the comparison is favorable to the nu-Battlefront, because compared to BF3 it’s just simplistic. Compared to original Battlefront the nu-Battlefront is a bad joke.

    • LurkingPresence says:

      You just summed up the majority of AAA game reviews I seem to read these days.

      … It’s not just mediocre but actively regressive in it’s game mechanics. It is saddled with an onerous pay to win micro-transaction system. The fact that the game is so full of bugs getting it to run at all is a miracle.

      Regardless I will be putting at least 500 hours into it. 8/10

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Worse than this sad review logic being the reality, its that people will know all this and then still go finance it because $gamingcrackforthemasses. I think the effect of videogame “draw” is a vastly underestimated factor in the evolution of “What people are prepared to deal with in exchange for bugs, DRM, prices, piecemeal DLC, microstransactions etc pp”.

        I think it boils down to our brains being really badly designed: “Its unhealthy, poison or otherwise bad and I know this per science and rationality? Who cares, it makes me feel good for a moment, so GIMME GIMME GIMME DAMMIT”.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nathan says:

        To an extent, isn’t that just a reflection of the fact that most big budget games achieve a certain level of adequacy? They might not be your thing, and they might not be doing anything particularly innovative, but big releases that aren’t fun, accessible and not-broken are relatively few and far between.

  9. der_Zens0r says:

    Hmm interesting/strange that they got one hit kills with headshots in this game when you need two headshots in Battlefield.

    But I guess that Dice will balance a lot and I hope that this game will last long. My PC cant handle this on high settings and I’m at least a few month away from a new one.

    • dogoncrook says:

      It’s the same as battlefield. The sniper rifle may be able to, but it has a cool down. In fact I’d say generally it takes more shots to kill than battlefield, but certainly not less. I have never been one shotted by anything other than the homing gun, but it says it in the description and it is also a special with a cool down.

      Also I’m not a star wars fan, so for me its a pick up and play fun fps. I can see how not including all the progression and depth rubs people the wrong way, but for me its a plus. I play those too, but honestly the tension and stress can burn me out and for whatever reason this one doesn’t. It has issues and a lack of maps, but I’m honestly enjoying it more than I thought I would for a lot of the reasons the serious fps crowd is so negative about it.

      • latedave says:

        Also to be fair with the homing gun a massive ‘lock on ‘ warning does pop up. It’s annoying on hoth but near useless on the other maps. Fully agree about the time to kill, running away and jump packing are actually viable options!

    • der_Zens0r says:

      Thanks for the input. Now I want this game even more :(

  10. latedave says:

    I think the negative comments are rather over the top. Yes there aren’t enough maps and yes some of the modes are a bit rubbish but Walker assault, supremacy and dogfights all feel very star wars like. It’s not a complex game but on the other hand you have blops 3 for which the campaign and multiplayer have singularly failed to make me smile once.

    Here it’s impossible not to grin as vader charges into combat alongside you. I don’t like the business model and it is repetitive but with more maps it’ll be a lot of fun. Also what unlocks Are OP? They’re all pretty balanced in my view so far aside from possible the ion torpedo which is probably a bit too damaging on Walker assault and they need to nerf slave 1 and the Falcon (seriously they might as well fight each other), but otherwise I can see myself enjoying this in half hour bursts for a long time.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      Quite honestly, it’s Fun. Capital F. The graphics I would argue are the best on the gaming market at present. No bugs i’ve seen so far (Apart from those weird worm things on Sullust), and …… Star Wars.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Walker assault, supremacy and dogfights all feel very star wars like.” Isn’t that kinda the problem? Remove the theme and you’re left with a mediocre multiplayer shooter in a market saturated with mediocre shooters. If you’re a Star Wars fan then it might be enough; if not there’s nothing there that isn’t being done by just about every other multiplayer shooter and quite a lot that’s done significantly better by other multiplayer shooters.

      • latedave says:

        I see your point but people wanted a game that captures what Star wars felt like and it does that. It also does have a small amount of bot function on the dogfight mode which is a shame they didn’t also up the bodies for Walker assault and supremacy. Ultimately it’s fun, also I’d argue that really the only other good ‘fun’ shooter is BF4 and they’re competing in very different areas, this is far more casual.

  11. Darth Gangrel says:

    “You can’t shoot the NPC Ewoks, Jawas or Tusken Raiders who pop-up on some maps” That’s quite a big downside, for me personally. [+5 Dark Side points]

    • dogoncrook says:

      It does kinda suck, but an ewok hit me in the head with a rock for trying.

  12. Shadow says:

    On the subject of alien diversity, it does make sense that such avatars take so long to unlock. Yes, Star Wars has aliens all over the place, but on the Empire vs. Rebel Alliance battle front (lulz), they were the exception. Even among the rebels.

    The aliens are iconic characters like Chewbacca, Admiral Ackbar and perhaps that weird dude co-piloting Lando’s Millennium Falcon. I’m not sure I can even remember a single alien rebel trooper or pilot.

    They were virtually non-existent in the Imperial forces, explained outside the movies as racist human supremacy within the Empire. Admiral Thrawn’s rise in the Expanded Universe was therefore particularly exceptional (though I don’t know the details).

    So overall, this measure makes sense as it makes alien soldiers as rare as they are in the movies.

    • Reyouka says:

      Except for the fact that almost none of the expanded universe stuff, including the Thrawn books, are canon anymore. You can thank Disney for that.

      • gwathdring says:

        So? They’re letting Marvel run multiple parallel canons as we speak in addition to the tie-in comic series that matches their filmic canon.

        So they don’t want to tie themselves to a massive bundle of contradictory and varying quality guff that collectively represents the work of hundreds and hundreds of independent creators across an immense range of both in and out-of-universe time and space …

        Well, shit, who would be crazy enough to step into that hot mess? I like stuff I’ve found in the EU. But it’s still there, and Disney is still letting it to continue growing independent of the new film franchise. Everyone wins.

        • Cinek says:

          Everyone with half a brain, obviously. EU is where the Star Wars lives, that’s where the best stories are, that’s where all the goodies were made. Instead we’ll have an EU and new Avengers: Star Wars movie with it’s own Disney lore, lol. And don’t get me started on being contradictions – movies already have them, so it makes zero difference. Same with quality – Episode 1 is worse than good 90% of EU content.

  13. Sinjun says:

    I think the main problem here is simply that this game is $60. It’s a $30 game at it’s core. I paid $35 for it so I’m happy, but $60 + another $40 or however much for the season pass is flat out insane.

    • Shadow says:

      True. Praise its simplicity all you want, but the pricetag is unjustifiable. That’s the game’s primary failure.

      • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

        The price tag is pretty much what other AAA games cost these days. That’s why it costs what it costs.

        The only way it can change is for people not to buy it. But that’s not gonna happen with a Star Wars game now is it?

    • gwathdring says:

      The pricetag is why it’s stable and gorgeous and licensed to a massive franchise that can afford to throw weight around. So one the one hand I totally get that perspective as a gamer … on the other hand I think it’s utterly unreasonable (though, again, I sympathize with this unreasonable viewpoint) to look at a game like this and say “If you gave me the same thing at half the cost? We’d be good.” That’ll happen through sales, eventually, but beyond that? It’s just not doable. That’s just not financially feasible.

      Yes, better mechanics have been made at the same price point. But there are always trade-offs and the few times in gaming history where there haven’t been have been celebrated as remarkable.

      • gwathdring says:

        By the way, this is not a defense of the game. It’s a defense of the price-point. If it’s not worth playing, it’s not worth playing. But … well, it has to get made somehow. No one’s going to put in the time to crank out something that looks and sounds that nice with a big fat franchise on top of it if they’re not getting a heck of a return.

  14. aepervius says:

    I am sorry but “Battlefront is fine.”
    and then stating next to it “It’s repetitive and a little too simplistic, and again it’s bewilderingly focused on highly-skilled players despite clearly targeting as mass a market as possible” make one understand that battlefront is not fine.

    • gwathdring says:

      Or they reveal that the author and you have different priorities for their personal time, but that the author (unlike you) understands that the specifics of their “battlefront is fine” should be examined more closely so that people with different priorities can still get something useful out of the review ….

  15. Lordcrazy says:

    I’m pretty sure quite a few of the negative reviews are coming from the fans of the first to Star Wars Battlefronts, which were basically rip offs of Battlefield, yet quite good rip offs. I’m pretty sure we could have gone with a reskin of those games on Frostbite 2 and been perfectly fine. However, EA just plopped a plate of mystery meat in front of us instead.

  16. Stormcrow says:

    Wow, someone let the cynicism flow through them quite a bit. I agree that much of it is marketing and business and a money machine but to reduce the entirety of Star Wars to only that is slightly insulting to the millions of fans around the world.
    I am a big SW fan and I played the beta of Battlefront and decided the game was not for me, precisely for the reasons mentioned in the article. There are certainly a lot of fans who will splash the cash anyhow, because yes it is Star Wars, but I am certain many of them also won’t. The game is average at best and no license will change that. And it’s not like it’s the first game with a big license that is average at best. They cash in on the gullible all the time.

  17. ajaxpliskin says:

    I’ve not really heard about the complaints about this game, it’s not something I pay attention to, but I have played the beta and was not impressed.

    My expectation was based on Battlefront’s 1 and 2, which, contrary to what this reviewer thinks, were not *just* made for business and money.

    They were made by honest, passionate game developers who did a damned fine job. Sure, the graphics and sound may be top notch in this new installment, but the heart, spirit and the bold steps they made in pushing new approaches to multiplayer (and single player) gaming in the originals is what makes this new one seem like a cheap, generic shooter cash grab.

    If visuals and sound is that this is good for, and not heart and soul, then it’s more inline with prequel material than original.

    That’s just my opinion though.

  18. Bobtree says:

    I am mystified by EA’s decision to make this instead of a proper Battlefront sequel or a SW themed Battlefield game.

    • ajaxpliskin says:

      This is what I think happened:

      They got their brief, we need to make a new Battlefront game. They looked at the old Battlefronts, which were technical masterpieces of their time, and realised, well, this won’t work in any existing engine without big changes and serious work. Shall we do that?

      No, that’s too much effort, time and money. Let’s take Battlefield and reskin it and get this out in time for the movie.

      • gwathdring says:

        I love Battlefront and Battlefront II. But anyone who calls them “technical masterpieces” … I don’t even know where to start.

        We’re talking about Star Wars: Battlefront, right? Wonky as heck but tons of fun? Unbalanced and weird but delightfully so?

        • Havalynii says:

          At the time that they released, there was nothing that came to offering what the original Battlefronts offered, and Pandemic’s generosity to the mod scene ensured that amazing, EU-friendly content was created on an unbelievable scale.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s much cheaper this way.

      They just took battlefield and re-skinned it with some smaller modifications on top of that. Imagine they’d want to make a proper Battlefield 3 – they’d have to start from a ground up, pretty much the only thing they’d be able to re-use is the core engine itself.

  19. Sinjun says:

    Also, if we’re going to talk about the greed of gaming companies, we need to talk about Destiny. I know it’s not on PC, but Battlefront has absolutely nothing on that game. It’s the most transparently anti-consumer scheme I’ve ever seen, maybe across all media.

    • iainl says:

      I’ve no problem with Destiny’s model. It’s an MMO, with all the server costs that go along with that, and the constant demand for new content to keep people playing, too.

      The problem (if you see it as a problem, as I say, I don’t) is that they’re trying to pretend that it isn’t a subscription-based MMO by making people pay £20 every four months, instead of £5 every month. It leads to a fair bit of weirdness, but nothing I can’t handle.

  20. Thornback says:

    I’m enjoying the game immensely but the article is mostly fair. I don’t find it all that more repetitive than say your CoDs and Battlefields though.

    However I don’t really get the point about the blasters not being all that different. I mean how is that not the case in the vast majority of shooters anyway? All assault rifles in military FPS games are essentially the same with minor tweaks just like in this. Oh this G36C/DH-17 Blaster is just like this M4/E-11 Blaster, but it has more spread but fires faster.

    That really felt like grasping at straws. The blasters are never supposed to be that far apart, because all the super cool interesting stuff is in the cards.

    • ajaxpliskin says:

      A gravity gun isn’t like a pistol isn’t like a grenade launcher isn’t like a portal gun isn’t like a laser guided missile launcher isn’t like a nail gun isn’t like a crowbar.

      In a science fiction environment, there isn’t much excuse to have just lasers, I would say.

      • Thornback says:

        And I said the more interesting stuff is all in the cards. If everyone constantly had any of the things you listed (crowbar aside) the whole thing would be a clusterfuck.

        You’re a rank and file soldier, you get a shooty normal gun, just like in tons of multiplayer focused shooters.

        I was never even talking about the range of neat gadgety sci fi guns and stuff, and it being lacking, as I do agree a little with that. I was specifically aiming at the criticism in the article about blasters being similar and why I thought it was unfair.

        • latedave says:

          Yeah keeping the guns vaguely level is pretty good really. Also they do fall into short/ medium and long range categories although admittedly with no customisation.

    • drewski says:

      I think the point is that the unmemorable, indistinct array of identikit guns is boring in other manshoots, and in this sci-fi manshoot where there could have been non-boring, memorable, and distinct guns, instead we get more of the same, because something something IP.

      The boring indistinct guns trope is not immune to criticism merely because it is common.

  21. shadow9d9 says:

    Valve’s jedi? Umm, Valve is evil to the core. No phone number for a company that makes money on nearly any pc game sold on PC… Tech support can lock down your entire library of games and takes weeks to respond to a support ticket, in which they promptly ignore everything you said, and then you have to wait 2 weeks again for a followup.

    Jedi my arse.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      No, not Jedi in the fact they righteously fight for good.

      Jedi in the fact that Valve are actually SpaceWizards™

      • Cinek says:

        If by good you mean filling their own pockets with money, then yea, sure. They’re not as evil as EA, but it doesn’t make them good.

        GOG is good. Valve is not.

    • Jenks says:

      This is exactly what a Sith would say.

  22. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’m sure that the gameplay can be enjoyable, but to argue that (to paraphrase Alec) this is all we could want from a Star Wars game is obviously incorrect. That’s not to say that it couldn’t have been worse, but it could also have been quite a bit better. Guess I should be happy for those who enjoy it. It certainly looks the part.

  23. iMad says:

    Well, it’s the only Star Wars game to ever come out in years, and I can only guess that they’ll be more when Force Awaken hits the theater. I’m torn between surrendering myself to EA’s dark side or hold back and find something else to distract myself.

    • welverin says:

      There will not be a bunch of games released with the Force Awakens, this and Disney Infinity 3 are it (not counting mobile games).

    • Elliot Lannigan says:

      I would bet anything the upcoming Star Wars game from Visceral will take place in the TFA era (at least partly) but that’s not coming out until after the film.

  24. zarniwoop says:

    Sit back to watch (and hear) its largest battles unfold, hordes of Stormtroopers and Rebels colliding across an explosion-littered Endor, Hoth or Tatooine as exploding spaceships both small and titanic pepper the skies, and it’s everything anyone could possibly want from a Star Wars game.

    Well it’s not a new Tie Fighter. It’s not a new Jedi Knight. It’s not even a new KOTOR (singleplayer, none of this Old Republic shite). It’s not a walking simulator set in a high end apartment in Coruscant. It’s not a TellTale adventure of a private eye navigating his way through the fleshpots of the galaxy while a tiny rebellion grows to topple an Empire.

    So no, it’s absolutely nothing that I want from a Star Wars game.

    • Jay Load says:

      Hear hear. We’ve now entered a phase of corporate manufacturing where simply wearing the clothes of the thing you love, and pressing the bliss buttons repeatedly (eg: repetition of Star Wars’ best catchphrases, careful recreations of scenes/scenery, etc) are considered ‘enough’ to sell product. What’s worse: it will work…but only on the weak minded.

      When older gamers consider the rich history of Star Wars games on PC, how they mirrored the films in trailblazing the technology and magical creativity, how the best of them captured the same spirit of the original trilogy, they can see through the patently transparent illusion that a Star Wars themed Battlefield Total Conversion was ever going to set the world aflame.

      I fear the same may be true of the new movies. Flashy, but ultimately lacking the same soul because, bottom line, Disney have a 4 billion dollar investment to claw back from us consumers.

      Like you, this is not what *I* wanted from a Star Wars game.

    • Laurentius says:

      Hear, hear indeed.
      And even on this site older games are ridicule constatnly. A week can not pass with Alice making fun of some old classic.
      Seriously, it’s 2015, studies have all the money in the world and we get these ghoulish SW games. Playing Tie-Fighter in 1995 the last thing that could cross my my mind would be that in 20 years later it will be still one of the best (if not the best ) that can come of SW franchise to video games.

      I will say it again, old games are better, better then what AAA churn on their schedual bu also better, more interesting, creative, better coded, with more soul then all modern indies.

  25. guygodbois00 says:

    I do not think they were aiming for that.

  26. Havalynii says:

    “Star Wars, even at its absolute best, is silly and simple and unbelievable and shallow.”

    You must not have read any of the work provided by Timothy Zahn, K.W. Jeter, Karen Traviss, or Aaron Allston. Star Wars, at its best, has some incredible storytelling.

    • Cinek says:

      None of this is canon. His sentence kind of makes sense in a Disney-approved content. Simply because the best stuff was cut out.

    • Elliot Lannigan says:

      You can’t just not include Matthew Stover in this. His Traitor was the best Star Wars novel I ever read (before Lost Stars) and so profound that it actually caused Del Rey to have to rethink some things about how the New Jedi Order story played out in the end. Also probably was the genesis for the whole Dark Jacen arc in the next series. And if we see echoes of that arc in the new movies, as some think we might, Matthew Stover will have planted the seed for the entire future of BOTH expanded universes.

      His Revenge of the Sith novelization is also far better than the film, and Shatterpoint was the only prequel-era “random Jedi & clones fight random Separatists” novel that was actually worth reading to me.

  27. OmNomNom says:

    Biggest disappointment of 2015 tbh :'(

    • KFee says:

      it has enough fanboys to be successful anyway. They could release shit, those fanboys would buy it nonetheless.

  28. DThor says:

    My favourite battlefield is probably 3. WW2 Battlefield had the historical context and some awesome map design, but 3 had great maps, really significant upgrades assuming you spent the time playing, and was the first one to positively nail the power of really good, immersive sound. 4 just didn’t work for me – it had that console feel all over it and try as I might, I just couldn’t get into the maps as much. The whole dlc thing started getting really ugly, although I tend not to get hemorrhoids over that like some players do. SW battlefield sort of looks like 4 to me, not sure I want to buy into that game as a subscription service mentality. Is it so terrible to release a game that is simply a blast to play and doesn’t have a short shelf life without dropping the price of another game or two?

  29. sapien82 says:

    I really do hope that EA listen to the fans on this one and make changes to fix these game issues.

    The thing that annoys me is that you cant select your spawn and often end up dead immediately upon spawning. Like spawning on your buddy in a firefight in Battlefield accept in battlefield you chose to spawn there.

    Its annoying to say the least. Another thing I noticed upon launch I played it fine and was loving it, I walked the dogs and later the sound started to glitch.

    I just hope that they live up to their promise that you can fly from space down to the planet and jump out and fight.
    I also wish that they would have left the vehicles like in battlefield, and made loads of vehicles because its star wars and not some battle in Iraq , its the future and resources are a plenty.

    There needs to be some big changes made to keep the fans happy but at the same time no matter even if they dont change it I’ll still play it because Star Wars in photo realistic setting at 60fps

  30. sapien82 says:

    should we really be hating on the game or EA as hate leads to the dark side

  31. haldolium says:

    I wish companies would start doing rolling demos or standalone benchmarks again. It was always nice to see the latest of tech in action, without having to actually play the game.

    All I want is to see the graphics. There is nothing of interest in the games concept, but it sure does look awesome.

  32. Talbot says:

    I am unable to put my finger on why, since 2142, none of DICE’s titles have the same epic feeling and environmental impact. In BF2 and 2142 things felt… BIG… now with this Frostbite engine everything feel gimmicky and claustrophobic.

    • TheDigitalMonster says:

      I agree. DICE may not be behind this, this might be an EA thing going on.

    • drewski says:

      I wonder if it’s as simple as CoD selling a lot better than BF used to, so EA and DICE have adjusted their design scope to focus more on intimacy and less on scale.

  33. TheDigitalMonster says:

    I’m not going to buy this game because I have self-restrant. I love Star Wars but this game is trash compared to expectations. Comon guys, at least have some self control.

  34. rocketman71 says:

    EA and Origin. Nuff said.