Hayden Seay, Chattanooga, Tenn. – With Swedish developer Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment at the helm, and hype surrounding both “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the anticipation from first Battlefront game since 2005, “Star Wars: Battlefront” could have been one of the best gaming experiences of 2015.
As a multiplayer-only game, Battlefront features no campaign and instead focuses on the game’s nine (10 if you include the free Battle of Jakku DLC) gametypes, and the Battles and Survival game modes.
Most of these gametypes are basic and consist of objectives such as capture the flag and team deathmatch.
Throughout the first hour or two of Battlefront, everything feels awesome — from blaster sounds that sound crisp and faithful to the films, storm troopers and rebels fighting on the ground and X-wings and TIE-Fighters duking it out in the skies, to playing as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.
But that’s all there is. As the hours pass, the meaning of all of those cool things slips away.
DICE could have done so much more with the game with the enormous Star Wars universe within its reach, unless the license dictated how much could be used.
As an effect of either licensing or sheer incompetence on DICE’s end, Battlefront contains a criminally low amount of content: In total, there are 10 gametypes, 13 multiplayer maps (including the Jakku DLC), 11 guns and 24 star cards. With the Battles and Survival game modes, a total of eight maps are added, not including the modes’ variants. The maps are variants of the game’s four base location, including Endor, Tatooine, Hoth and Sullust.
There are only six heroes and villains, all from the original trilogy: Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Boba Fett, or as Luke Skywalker, Leia and Han Solo.
Darth Maul, General Grevious, Obi-wan Kenobi, Yoda and others are absent, but these will likely be included with the game’s $50 season pass.
Battlefront has a severe lack of balancing with almost everything, specifically with gunplay.
The 11 guns are either overpowered or underpowered, depending on what the game decides to do. Some guns that should not be able to kill you with one shot across the map will do so, and damage seems to be variable with every shot, even when taking distance into account.
At best, when face-to-face with an enemy, there should always be an equal chance of survival. DICE instead decided to follow its gunplay formula from its Battlefield series, and that means nothing is consistent. With two players using the same guns, one can be shot six or seven times and survive, while the other is shot twice and is done for.
Star cards can be abused due to their relatively quick recharge time. For example, one grenade can be thrown every 15 or so seconds.
Vehicles are easily the most balanced part of the entire game. Every vehicle, with the exception of the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1, were easy to control and play with.
Battlefront’s graphics are decent, some maps are extremely gray, while others are more colorful. The maps based on Endor are the most graphically impressive due to the amount of features, including the foliage, the damaged trees and the Ewok’s tree top villages, among others.
The backgrounds on the maps are also impressive for the most part. Seeing imperial Star Destroyers in the skies and watching Ewoks and Jawas flee from impending doom are awesome sights.
In another questionable move, if your connection to the game is hindered, it will warn that the game in unplayable and freeze your character in place. For example, while playing coop survival, the game froze me in place, while enemies on the map could mercilessly slaughter me.
At its core, Battlefront is akin to a cheap movie video game, but it is not even that due to its lack of content related to the new film. It’s a hollow shell of a game that has one goal: To rake in money.
And what game includes screensavers of lightsabers, and C-3PO and R2-D2?
Final score: 10/100. Wait until you find it in the $5 bargain bin at Toys R’ Us while Christmas shopping next year.