First Impressions: Star Wars Battlefront

First Impressions: Star Wars Battlefront

Playtime: 19 Hours
Achievement Progress: 12/43 (28%)
Platform: PC, Unmodded
Rig: Windows 10 64-bit, Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHx, 16384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
Perspective: First Person

Explosion, blaster fire. I’m pinned inside an icy trench. Darth Vader pushes past me and tosses his crimson saber killing the two rebel soldiers firing in our direction. I turn and stand looking right down the barrel of another rebel blaster. The rebel drops his rifle and clenches his throat. His feet lift up from the ground. He suffocates merely feet away from me. “Join the dark side, or be crushed under it,” mutters Vader as he tosses the limp body of the soldier onto the snowy battlefield. Vader jumps out of the trench and deflects a flurry of incoming blaster fire. This gives an opportunity for our snowtrooper battalion to stream into the enemy trench. Just then an X-Wing dives down low and comes in for an unsuccessful strafing run. Our Tie Fighter, glued to the tail of that X-Wing, keeps peppering his rear engines as they take off into a dog fight.

This game is kinda badass. If Star Wars Battlefront does one thing right, its nail the look, the feel, and the sound of Star Wars. The chaos of the battlefield can be beautiful. The pulsating sound of the blaster rifles, the cobra-like hiss of the Tie Fighters, the sparks from inaccurate shots and explosions are pulled directly from the films. Everything from Jawas running into the crevice of a Sandcrawler to seeing the stormtroopers and rebels in their area specific armor shows the amount of detail the folks over at DICE have put into this game. It just feels right.

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Diving down for a strafing run in my A-Wing

Battlefront comes with a myriad of game modes. Their flagship multiplayer mode is Supremacy. Taking place on one of four large maps, the goal is to capture all 5 points sequentially. This leads to an intense tug of war at its best and a chaotic seizure stimulant at its worst.

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To please the Emperor, we need to capture this damn thing!

The other large game mode that highlights the scale and intensity Battlefront is so good at capturing is Walker Assault. The imperials are pushing forward with their AT-ATs and trying to fend off the rebels who are trying to capture and hold radio beacons strewn across the map. The longer the rebels hold the beacons, the larger window they will have where the AT-AT’s are vulnerable. The rebels win if all the AT-ATs are destroyed. The Imperials win if they successfully escort the walkers. Walker Assault is definitely the mode that best captures the spirit of this game. When playing as rebels, you do feel as if you’re going against this insurmountable force. Seeing these massive lumbering dinosaur-like machines marching slowly towards you can truly be intimidating.

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The AT-AT slowly marches toward us.

Along with Supremacy and Walker Assault, there is a collection of other smaller game modes such as Blast, Cargo, Droid Run. All of which are slight variations on classic game modes like deathmatch, capture the flag, king of hill, etc.

While Supremeacy and Walker Assault support up to 20 players on each side, these game modes feature smaller maps and smaller teams (to as small as 6 players per side). When you play on these intimate maps that don’t have vehicle spawns, turret installations, and the inability to play as Hero characters like Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett and Darth Vader (just to name a few), you lose the charm that makes Battlefront so appealing. You are left with a meat-and-potatoes shooter that does not have depth past its slick presentation and authentic atmosphere.

My general lukewarm attitude towards Star Wars is no secret. I asked myself if a game oozing with fan service, such as this, is a smart purchase. I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars, so it doesn’t strike the nostalgic chord for me. I don’t have the same love and admiration that many people do. But when I pressed the ‘emote’ button and my stormtrooper did a fist bump and said “Boom!’, then I started reconsidering.

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Stormtrooper fist bump on Endor? Yes please.

For me, this is the right amount of reverence for Star Wars. All the detail of what makes Star Wars so iconic is there. But at the same time it’s a very entertainment-focused take on that universe. It feels as if it’s the video game equivalent of a “popcorn-movie”. You’re not diving into a deep story like Knights of the Old Republic. You are not loading up a contender for the next big competitive shooter. You are getting dropped into the center of battle and that in itself can be interesting enough.

I have been legitimately enjoying my time with Star Wars Battlefront but I can’t help but ask myself… is this just a novelty? Will we be playing Battlefront a few months down the line? Or will we load up the game for an afternoon when a new map is released?

 

Stay tuned here at www.thenextLVL.com for the full review where we will take a more critical look at Star Wars Battlefront.

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