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Star Wars Battlefront (PS4) review

On November 27, 2015 by Aaron Meehan

During the beta for EA DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront I was rather critical of the game, and so has the full version eased or changed my opinion? Yes, the full release version has changed my opinion in both good and bad ways. I found myself disliking the game’s unlock system more, but I did enjoy the array of modes the full game offers.

Let’s talk about all the modes the game offers. Modes are initially broke into two categories, multiplayer and missions. Missions are short single player and co-op missions that include training, battles where you fight against AI characters where you can play as a normal character or as a hero, and finally there is survival, which involves surviving against waves of enemies in either a single player or co-op fashion.

In multiplayer mode, you have a selection of nine modes: Supremacy, walker assault, fighter squadron, blast, cargo, drop zone, droid run, hero hunt, and heroes vs. villains. While many of the modes initially feel similar, the goals are different. For example supremacy and walker assault are both 40 man modes that include heroes and vehicles, but the difference between them is the goal. In walker assault you have to either defend or destroy AT-ATs, but in supremacy the route to victory involves capturing the most control points.

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While the game has a good number of modes the game suffers in the planetary variety. All the single player and multiplayer modes are spread across only four planets, Endor, Hoth, Tatooine, and Sullust. While these are all recognisable planets for Star Wars fans I would have loved to have seen more than just a desert world, an ice world, a jungle world, and a rocky lava filled world. We know there will be at least one new post launch world in the form of Jakku, which looks like it will include two interesting game modes, but at the end of the day it is another desert world.

Now that is enough about modes and maps, what about the gameplay? Well, gameplay is very much like your standard online shooters, L2 to zoom and R2 to fire. The game has collectable abilities scattered around the maps you play on, but the abilities that are available depend on which mode you are in. For example the ability to spawn in a vehicle or become a hero character is not available on all maps. The abilities that are available on all maps include auto turrets, orbital strikes, droids and more.

Star Wars Battlefront also has a feature I rarely see in multiplayer shooters and that is the ability to switch between first and third-person perspective on the fly. This feature is rather interesting as I found that playing in the third person perspective, which is not the default perspective, gives you a large advantage over those who play in the first person. My reasoning for this is the fact that while in first person your field of view is small and when looking down your guns sights your field of view is made even narrower, but in third person mode you are given an expanded field of view, which means you can spot people out the corner of your eye easier, and aim down sight function in third person mode only slightly narrows the camera.

So, we know ground combat has some issues, but what about vehicular combat with the focus on starfighters. Well, they are simple to control; left analogue stick controls speed while right turns your ship. You have predetermined star card abilities along with the ability to pull off evasive manoeuvres with the directional pad.

Now it is time for something that really annoyed me with the game, the unlock system. To me, the unlock system needlessly detracts from the fun of the game with every single aspect of the game hidden behind a rank and credits. The gating of content is so strong in the unlock system that I would say it would put off new players as veterans would be easily able to defeat them with far more advanced star card abilities and weapons. To put this into perspective thermal detonators, which are essentially grenades, are hidden behind the star card unlock system.

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What leaves me so annoyed with the unlock system is that the issue with it could have been fixed with the inclusion of a system similar to that of Call of Duty’s class system. Having players been able to choose from pre-made cards and the ability to change card hands mid-match would have certainly made matches feel more balanced.

Star cards also suffer from the fact that they cannot be heavily altered mid-game. I say heavily altered because if you have a partner assigned to you, you can choose to use his/hers star card setup. The lack of heavy alterations and level requirements for all star card abilities makes for stagnant gameplay as you cannot alter your style on the fly, for example if ground vehicles start spawning than it would be advantageous to have star cards with ion abilities, but setting up a hand in this way means you are limiting your ability to fight infantry.

Before I forget there is one other aspect of the game hidden behind unlock system, unlockable character appearances. This addition made no sense to me as unique appearance skins such as alien rebels and alternative trooper outfits are hidden behind high ranks and credits, for example the first trooper variant, scout trooper, cannot be unlocked until rank 40 and requires 17,000 credits, and the first alien rebel variant, Sullustan, cannot be unlocked until rank 40 and requires 17,000 credits. Personally I feel a better solution would have either removed the rank requirement or made some of the unique looking appearances be accessible at lower levels, for example maybe every ten ranks you could unlock a unique appearance.

Since this is a DICE game, what are the graphics and audio like? Well DICE’s Frostbite engine excels at bringing the worlds and characters to life as each world looks just as lush and beautiful as its movie counterparts, and in terms of audio it is like being in a Star Wars movie as DICE has all the Star Wars movie sound effects, music etc. at their disposal.

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Conclusion

Star Wars Battlefront is a competent shooter with a large variety of game modes to play, but the game is heavily let down by a poor unlock system.

SCORE: 7/10

Pros Cons
 – Lots of game modes to play  – Poor unlock system
 – Looks and sounds like Star Wars  – The difference between 1st and 3rd person views is staggering
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
DICE EA Online Shooter 16+ PS4, XBOne, PC November 19, 2015

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Star Wars Battlefront or to find out where to buy it, visit http://starwars.ea.com/en_GB/starwars/battlefront.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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