Star Wars: Battlefront was a landmark franchise within the Playstation 2 era. Releasing alongside the prequals, the game fulfilled the satisfaction of being one of the Rebels and later the 501st.
Fighting alongside Stormtroopers and the Rebel Alliance brought with it a sense of being one of the many. A contrast to the hero that normally features within such titles. Fighting on planets such as Hoth, where defence against AT-ATs was top priority. The gun play was brilliant for its time and reflected the classic shooting seen within the movies. Bullets colourful, spaced-out and slow, rapid fire featured on a few classes (such as the Drodica) but they needed you to set up before firing could begin. Not being able to aim with sights made accuracy harder due to not having a zoom on an enemy, recoil didn’t feature so there wasn’t too much difficulty aiming
The conquest game mode allowed you to try and take control of the galaxy, it featured nodes that when captured, gave points towards upgrades or classes to use. It was fun to try and defeat the enemy once and for-all. The separatists were a personal favourite, super battle droid being the favourable of the team. The classes seemed more badass than puny humans in the eyes of the player. Instant action allowed players to queue maps that they liked into a playlist. Space battles dominated the list within games that I created, obviously separatists were also the main choice.
Online play was available for those old enough to knew how to play online. Unfortunately, my copy never reached the online battlefields. The players that did got to fight over capture points and destroy the enemy. An impressive sixteen players fought across the galaxy trying to wipe out their sworn enemies.
Battlefront 2 (2005)
Star Wars Battlefront 2 later emerged from Lucas Arts. Space battles were the latest drawer of players into the game, and fun they were. Flying around trying to destroy the enemy capital ship was the best part of the game. Dogfights created a modern style of gameplay. Ships such as the X-Wing and Tie Fighter featured, the game tried to stand for the films well with many tricks and manoeuvrability options open to the player.
The games story took a much darker tone than its predecessor. You took the role of a soldier in the ranks of the 501st. The platoon responsible for the execution of Order 66. Told through the eyes on an account of what happened, the game tells of the conquest that brought down the Jedi Order. Fighting through jungles in Felucia where the wildlife posed a threat to your life, to the temples on Yarvin. Killing the Jedi was all that mattered. The story felt well written, making the player feel like part of the betrayal of the republic.
Although the games servers were shut down, the online community lives on through Steam. There is a server browser with owners allowing connection to the online arenas. The experience brings back the feeling of nostalgia heavily. Having not played online before in the games glory days, playing online comes highly recommended, even now. It also is a good indicator in terms of game progression, the size of games and maps reflect the achievements of the industry.
Out With The Old…
The relaunch of the Battlefront series has a good multiplayer, Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) also doesn’t have a campaign which is a shame due to the brilliant storytelling of the originals. The games look graphically impressive but the mechanics play much like a generic shooter. The star cards also create an unfair advantage to those that possess them. Dice know how to make fantastic games, Star Wars: Battlefront didn’t hold interest beyond the gimmick of it being a Star Wars franchise. These thoughts could be held through nostalgia originating from newly experiencing gaming, but seem to hold up amongst early adopters. Space battles being locked behind the season pass was a killing blow to the players of the original.
EA and Dice seem to be improving the formula for Battlefront 2. A campaign will be included which was the favourite part of the franchise for many. With the focus being on an imperial Tie Fighter pilot. The game is sure to be a draw for many that didn’t pick up the first game or were quick to leave the community due to the mechanics. If Dice can improve upon the combat the game will be a must buy for 2017. EA have also dropped the season pass for the game, this opens the game to unsaturated game modes that would have locked players out due to non-ownership of the dlc.
With the release of the films coming up into 2019, the Star Wars universe is being opened up to many potential new games, Star Wars fans are sure to find pleasure in the series. The perspective from the Empire contrasts from the more common Rebel Alliance. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is releasing on November 13th, 2017. Platforms will be PS4, Xbox One and Origin.