Game Review: Star Wars Battlefront (Xbox One)

Star Wars Battlefront will leave you feeling hollow & taken advantage of…the longer you play the more you realise just how little content is actually available. Do you like single player campaigns? Well move along because Star Wars Battlefront is not for you!

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This is a worrying trend for large scale multi-player shooters, to just not bother including a single player campaign while trotting off the excuse that they wanted to focus on the multi-player to offer the best experience possible. This is so far form the case with Star Wars Battlefront, a game that looks & sounds incredible but is paper thin when it comes to actual content.

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So Star Wars Battlefront is a 1st person/3rd person shooter game created by Battlefield developers, DICE & published by the evil overlords of gaming, EA. It’s effectively Battlefield but in the Star Wars universe, something that initially sounds incredibly exciting.

Visually I can not fault the game; it is stunning at times & the level of detail in each map worthy of a lot of praise. From Endor, a lush fertile map to Hoth, a barren & cold wasteland, the amount of effort that has gone in to re-creating these well-known Star Wars locations is clear to see. The same can be said about the sounds effects & music throughout; it’s so authentic & really helps immerse you in the battles happening around.

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It’s just a pity that there are so few of them to actually play with some modes only having a handful of maps to actually play on. For a game that doesn’t have any kind of single player campaign it’s an absolute disgrace to see such few maps launch especially when 16 more are promised to come with the horrifically priced season pass (£35 – shocking).

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There are plenty of modes available but only a few are actually any fun or populated enough to enjoy. Supremacy is one of the few that allows up to 40 players to clash over 5 key points that need to be captured to drive the opposite forces back. The maps are huge & include vehicles to add a bit more action to the intense battles. The same intense action can also be found in Walker Assault where 40 players fight to either stop approaching AT-AT’s or to protect them. These two modes are easily the most exciting & well populated of the game.

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Fighter Squadron is an airborne battle that should have been a load of fun but quickly becomes repetitive. Cargo is the games capture the flag mode while Droid Run is 6 v 6 capture & hold the droid (area) mode. Blast is Team Deathmatch & is let down by being 10 v 10 only, Drop Zone sees 8 v 8 fight over control of crashed escape pods (can you see the similarities between many of these modes already?) & Heroes vs Villains pits 3 heroes against 3 villains alongside ground troops with the winning team being the ones to keep their heroes/villains alive.

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Heroes’ vs Villains might be the most frustrating mode in the entire game as it relies so heavily on good teamwork. Playing as a hero or villain does give you a decided advantage but a good group of players can take you down quickly. It’s up to your team to protect you so you can do the most damage & there is nothing more depressing then seeing your entire team scatter as soon as the mode starts leaving you on your own.

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The final mode is Hero Hunt & pits a random player as one of the heroes or villains against 7 ground troops in attempt to kill as many as possible before being taken down. The player to get the kill will become the next hero or villain. So imagine this…you’ve just spent 5 minutes chasing & fighting Luke Skywalker across Tattooine, whittling his health down & managing to dodge his lightsaber attacks. Just as you’re about to deal the killing shot another play pops up with a kill/death ratio of 1/13 & gets the killing blow. There is no skill involved; you just have to get lucky enough to get the final shot. That is down-right stupid & pretty much counts most serious players out of this mode.

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To try & make up for the lack of a single player campaign, there are a few modes that can be played in single player, local co-op or online co-op. Don’t get too excited…these modes are a joke & a poor replacement for what should have been an fun & interesting single player campaign. I mean its freakin’ Star Wars, how hard would it be to actually craft some compelling story missions!?

Anyway…should you want to play on your own your options are some basic training missions (an actual mode, I shit you not), Survival (horde mode), Battles (fight against AI or another player) & Hero Battles (the same as battles but you can control a hero or villain). That’s it…those are the options & they are incredibly repetitive. Battles are no fun with some seriously brain-dead AI. The point is to kill the opposing team, picking up tokens that they drop upon death while stopping them from collecting from your team.

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It sounds frantic but it’s far from that. The AI, should they manage to actually kill you, will just ignore the tokens unless they seemingly run over them by accident. Most games will be dominated by the player while the AI just line up to be shot.

Playing & winning matches will gift you credits, the in-game currency that is used to buy new weapons, emotes & star cards. The latter being 3 equipped cards that can be taken into matches & used to boost your performance. There are a wide range of items that can be super useful (the jump pack) or next to useless (the homing missile).

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The most expensive items to buy are the weapons naturally & there are few differences between each with the biggest that I can identify being the range & power. Some are blasters for close combat; others are rifles for sniper like battles. Most feel well balanced & not one in particular seems better than the others except for the final weapon you unlock at level 25. The DL-44 was also offered as a pre-order incentive for those who paid for the insanely expensive Deluxe Edition & is incredibly over-powered, able to kill you with 1 clear headshot even if the opposing player misses it will only take 2-3 hits to finish you off. Get in a match with a group of players holding these weapons & you’re in for a hell of a frustrating game.

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For all these criticisms though Star Wars Battlefront is still a lot of fun to play & hours can fly by in certain modes with a good group of people. Reaching the top level will require a fair amount of hours & the game does have the potential to be a much more satisfying purchase once the extra maps & modes are released (and the price has dropped significantly).

As of right now though Star Wars Battlefront doesn’t do enough to justify paying full price for the game itself let alone the season pass too. I’m very concerned about these hugely priced season passes that give no details about what you’d actually receive for your money (case in point – look at the rip-off that was Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass). Star Wars Battlefront is a shell of a game, something that could & should have been one of the finest Star Wars games ever made.

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In 6 months time most of the game modes will be barren wastelands with only a handful of people playing the more casual games. This doesn’t have longevity & extra maps just aren’t gonna draw in the hardcore audience while the causal gamers will have moved on to the next big thing.

A massive disappointment that seems to think a promise of future content is good enough to warrant paying an exuberant amount of money now. It is fun but it will leave you feeling like you’ve been ripped off by the lack of actual content.

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Star Wars: Battlefront
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