By James Nelson
Amidst the litany of games, specifically first person shooters (FPS), out in the world, Star Wars Battlefront stands out as the most refreshing game I’ve played in a very, very long time. Granted, it was just the beta, but it felt like a reward from the video game gods.
A game for casuals and pros
One of the other reviews I was reading hit the nail on the head, this game feels like a throwback to shooters from the PS2 (and Xbox). This is partially because it is the successor to the original Battlefront, which was on those systems. That being said, the gameplay is as fluid and chaotic as you would expect from a modern FPS, but the interface is stripped down. It has a radar, which is useless except in fighter dogfights, a health bar, and a small section in the corner for your three cards. Everything else is wide open for you to crush your enemies.
The card system is the core of your gameplay customization. You get three and can switch between an secondary weapon, at least two types of grenades, and alternate damage types like ion shot, which changes your weapon to a ion blaster, and a jetpack. I imagine that there will be more options added in the full game, and with DLC, but the lack of a perks system and weapon mods and load outs makes the game way less cumbersome and easier to jump in for a casual. To some extent this hurts hardcore gamers, but there is a leveling and purchase system that rewards repeat players. With enough money you can buy that jetpack you’ve had your eye on, and it looks like visual customizations are coming as well. So repeat gamers will be rewarded with more loot, but not at the expense of people who only play for an hour or two a week.
That is where I feel the meat of the game lays. If you’re a casual gamer, you’re not going to be punished for not logging in every single day, like with Destiny, where if you don’t make your daily commitment all your friends will level up higher than you, and you can forget multiplayer. Battlefront, on the other hand, is just as fun for both groups of gamers. It’s more like modern freemium games. You can play occasionally and have fun, or you can give it your time, learn where all the drops on the maps are, get better cards, and learn how to master the movements of the vehicles. You will be better at the game because you play it more, not because you’re ten levels higher and unlocked this super rare rifle.
It feels like Star Wars
Nothing makes you feel more like you’re in Star Wars then when you are sitting at Echo Base blasting away at Snowtroopers. Sure, there’s not anything in the form of a story (as yet there are no plans for a campaign), but from the sound of your blasters, to John William’s score, to flying around in an X-Wing, it feels every bit like you’re in Star Wars. Plus, the game is sometimes very ominous. The first time I watched a friend of mine run through “walker assault” he jumped on the ATGAR turrent and started blasting away at an AT-AT in the distance. No matter how much he shot, it seemed to have no effect, and the AT-AT just kept coming. We didn’t find out until later that there needed to be a Y-Wing attack on it to make the AT-AT attackable, but still, it served a great moment. There are so many moments I had like that (like when you’re charging rebels while walking beside an AT-AT, and then the AT-AT explodes, and you have to avoid the falling debris).
Plus, the vehicle combat is like walking in nerd heaven. Just watch how fun it is:
This game does lack a solid single player campaign, which is a knock for me, but there is a good survival mode where you can play local split screen. There doesn’t seem like there is a split-screen option in multiplayer, which is a horrible shame. I’m tired of this feature missing from every single next gen console title. I’ve had two controllers since I bought by PS4, and only use the other when the first one dies. Thankfully, this game feels fully baked even in beta, so we won’t have the same problems that were apparent in Destiny’s first year.
Check out the full gameplay here:
If you liked this, check out some of our other posts: