Star Wars fans are in for an absolute treat with Star Wars Battlefront. Now instead of getting out your dozens of action figures and Battle of Hoth playset, you can simply put Battlefront into your Xbox. Online play sweetens the deal by replacing the mindless AI with mindless humans for you to blast with your AT-AT. Your enjoyment relies entirely on how big of a Star Wars fan you are, though, so consider that before you decide to buy.
A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far Far Away ...
If you have played Battlefield 1942, then you should know what to expect from Battlefront. Only this time you get to use Star Wars characters and vehicles in classic locations from the galaxy far, far away. The point of the game is to control command posts spread out over a map. You win the game by either controlling every command post or by killing off all of the enemys reinforcements. The number of reinforcements each team has is basically how many extra lives that team has to spend. When you spread those 200 or so lives between a team of up to 32, each game goes by pretty fast. You can choose to play as a side from the two different eras of Star Wars films, but you cant mix and match. This means that you can only play Empire vs. Rebels or Republic vs. Separatists. It would have been cool to pit the Empire vs. the Republic, or even Empire vs. Empire, but you cant do it. The planets you can play on include Hoth, Endor, Yavin 4, Kamino, and Geonosis among others. They are well designed and almost all of them are a lot of fun to play on.
Battlefront is a multiplayer focused game, but it also has some pretty good single player modes as well. Bots fill out the teams, obviously, but it is still pretty fun. There is a historical campaign mode that follows the battles of either Episodes 1-III or IV-VI depending on which era you choose. There is also a mode called galactic conquest that lets you choose the planets youll attack. Each planet has two battlefields and you have to win both of them in order to win the planet. When you control a planet, special bonuses such as extra lives or sabotaging the enemies vehicles so they are weak when they enter battle can then be used in the battles you wage on other planets. There is also an instant action mode where you simply pick the location and which side you want to be on and then get right to it.
Multiplayer is the real heart of Battlefront, though, and it delivers in a big way. In addition to splitscreen multiplayer with two people, you can sign on to Xbox Live and play in matches with up to 16 human players. Bots fill out the rest of the teams so you can really have the full battlefield experience. Playing online with a team of human players is great fun and strategizing and celebrating is great fun. Just hooking up online with so many other Star Wars fans is pretty fun on its own, so you are really in for a treat if you take Battlefront online. The game runs fairly smoothly most of the time and it usually isnt too hard to find a game you can jump into.
The reason why the game works so well is that the gameplay is so solid. You have a choice of third and first person perspectives and the game plays equally well from both viewpoints. Battlefront was built on a solid shooter foundation, and it really shows. The game uses a slight auto-aim, but if precision was emphasized the game wouldnt be nearly as fast or fun online. Honestly, the game feels a lot like Halo in that the controls are pretty much the same and the game is very smooth as you are tossing grenades and diving behind cover. Obviously, Halo is a good game to try and emulate.
There are five different classes of character to choose from each time you respawn and they include soldiers, heavy weapons, snipers, pilots, and a final class that is exclusive to each of the four sides. There are minor differences between each sides individual classes the Rebels heavy weapons rocket launcher can fire two missiles at a time while the others cannot, for example. Each faction plays pretty much the same and has its own strengths and weaknesses, but it is fun to play as each of them and no one has a clear advantage.