Star Wars is debatably one of the greatest sci-fi franchises of all time. With the 2015 release of Star Wars: Battlefront, the game series has been thrust back into the limelight. I decided to throwback to the first video game in the series, Star Wars Battlefront (2004), and see if still has the charm to entice players that it had at its release.
Graphics And Presentation:
The graphics have aged considerably, and I found my eyes slightly irritated by the low definition. That being said, they were decent for the year of release, and the game still captures the beauty of the Star Wars universe. The battles have varying feels based on the map. Maps like the white-washed Hoth have a spacious open feel, while maps like Cloud City have more opportunities for clustered corridor battles. This contrast in fighting style makes the game feel dynamic and gives every player something to enjoy. Sound design on the game is superb. From movie authentic yells to beautiful orchestral pieces illustrating the mood of an intense fight, this game executes the presentation very well.
The gameplay is fun and fluid, and the controls are simple and intuitive. After a few minutes with the game, you can easily figure out the scheme and start playing as one of the intergalactic army’s depicted in the films. That being said, the game is very casual and has a heavy aim-assist feature that will not only help the player get on target but also lead a moving target with near pinpoint accuracy. In other words, players of every skill level can play this game.
There is however a deeper level of depth in the class system that the game offers. While there is no customization available, there is a choice between several classes including, an assault trooper, a shotgun or power unit, a sniper, and a special unit that is faction specific.
Some units can do massive damage if they’re used in their intended role. For example the droideka (also known as the destroyer droid) can deploy its shield in a hallway and push pack the enemy with its dual blasters. As a side note, the game is set to be played in 3rd person by default, but it can also be played in first person with a simple trip to the options menu.
Vehicle combat is also a major factor in the game. While not all maps boast this feature, there are many that do. The game offers everything from speeders to tie fighters and everything in-between, all with different ratings of power and health. Many vehicles can even transport troops, so you can bring friends along.
Multiplayer with friends is where the game reaches its true potential. Sadly, I was never able to test the online feature the game had on Playstation Network, but I have logged many hours sitting next to a buddy or two of mine blasting away at both the A.I. and human adversary.
The game is packed full of content. There are maps for all fans of the franchise regardless if you liked the original or prequel films. There are four selectable game modes that can be played offline: Clone Wars Campaign, Galactic Civil War Campaign, Galactic Conquest, and Instant Action. Both campaigns will guide you through the front lines of major battles that occur in the Star Wars movie franchise. The game uses clips from the films, as well as narration, to help set up the conflict and immerse the player. The next game-mode Galactic Conquest lets you create your own version of the war-torn universe. It gives you the option of playing as either the droids, clones, empire, or rebels. The goal of the mode is to take over the galaxy one planet at a time. You may use special abilities along the way. For example, the empire can use the Death Star spaceship to blow up enemy planets. Instant action is the final game mode and the most straightforward. You chose one or more maps and instantly begin a battle with no story or context. On most maps, you can also choose which era’s factions you would like to play as.
If you are a gamer and a Star Wars fan, this game is a must play. Even 12 years after its release, the quality of the product is undeniable. It is fun for both solo and multiplayer and has an extremely high level of replay-ability. I would give Star Wars Battlefront an 8 out of 10. The only thing keeping it from ranking higher is the lack of playable Jedi or Sith characters and the aged graphics.