A Very Late Look At The 2015 Star Wars Shooter
When this game first came out, I passed on it. I love Star Wars, but I’m a bit hesitant towards FPS games. I’m either not good at them, or am missing some trick, or both. When Electronic Arts offered a 7 day free trial of Origin Access for E3 2017, I decided to give it a shot anyway. The visuals always looked great. That’s when I found that it also had a 3rd Person perspective! Excitedly, I started shooting my way across Hoth, Endor, and other iconic Star Wars locations. I racked up over 7 hours of game time, debating the entire time whether to buy it this late in the game or not.
Star Wars Battlefront Breakdown
Star Wars: Battlefront is your basic lobby shooter. MSRP 39.99 at this stage of the came, and only activates through Electronic Art’s often aggravating Origin launcher. You can also get it with Origin Access, the $4.99/month service that lets you play any games on the Origin Access service. I find it on sale quite frequently now for less than $10. It’s a very streamlined shooter as far as commands. It does feature a unique card system for secondary abilities that you can use with a short cooldown (think grenades, accuracy boosts, etc). You unlock the ability to unlock different weapons and cards as you level up. There are also lots of different game modes on top of the standard XvX games. Hero mode where half the team is heroes, solo/co-op missions, vehicle missions, and so on. Plenty of variety as far as things to do.
What Makes It Fun
First up I want to talk about the aforementioned variety of game modes. Having a variety of things to do is a great way to beat the monotony of grinding. When I want to bring a new friend into the game, we can jump into a co-op mission. When I’m solo I can jump into some 20v20 madness. There’s just a lot to do. Vehicles are another nice touch. The normal 20v20 mode has vehicles, and lets you interact with them in unique ways sometimes. Aside from being able to jump onto a speeder bike or pilot an AT-ST, you can man the gun controls of an AT-AT! It gives you a relief from an otherwise infantry focused game. I’m not sure how to categorize this next one, whether it’s map design, the respawn system, or something else, but 20 v 20 feels like plenty. Having played Battlefield games in the past where it was 32 v 32, I was a little worried that any less just wouldn’t have the same feeling. Well it does, and it does it better. I never felt like there was an end to the enemy troops. I praise the graphics in this game enough. There was no end to my delight and just how Star Wars this game felt, right down to the missed blaster bolt shots exploding on trees, metal walls, and so on. The art style, the detail; perfection is the best way to describe this game. Everything was perfect, right down to the antiseptic and beautifully clean UI. Graphics are probably the biggest reason I loved this game as much as I did.
What Makes It…Not
I was in love for the first few hours, then a few blemishes started to appear. First up was the incredible amount of 1 shots in this game. If these had come from snipers I would understand, but LOTS of shots came from shotgun-type weapons from literally across the map. I get fantastical technology, but as far as balance goes, it felt worst than most games. The tiny map rotation I could see being a problem. While it didn’t bother me during the time I spent playing, I can see how only 4 maps (Hoth, Endor, Tatooine, and ) would get annoying. A view viewers who had also played confirmed this was a problem for them. Character customization got annoying with every new weapon unlock. I had to re-equip my new blaster for every new map, for both Rebel and Imperial. That’s 8 times for those keeping count, per weapon upgrade. Finally, I can also see this game being grindy. First you have to rank up, which allows you to unlock various cards/abilities and weapons. Then you have to keep playing to unlock said cards and weapons. This only started to affect me as I neared the end of my time, so it would probably really kick in around the 10 hour mark.
The Bottom Line
I had the opportunity to purchase the game for $8.99, and the season pass for another $8.99. The Origin Access gave me an additional 10% off the E3 sale price. In the end, I decided against purchasing the game. For $18, I’d want to get 2-3 times as many hours to make it worth my money, and I didn’t have enough people interested in joining me. I’m also a little weary of the queues once all the free E3 trials ended. I’m still ready for Battlefront 2, which looks every bit as good and more. I’m not going to recommend for or against this game. If you can snag it for less than $10, it might be worth it. Otherwise, I’d be a little worried about investing even that much in a game that nobody I knew played. The graphics alone almost make it difficult to turn down, so give the video above a view if you haven’t yet and see for yourself.