2015 has been a slow build up to the new Star Wars film due to launch next month and part of the build up excitement has been the previewed Star Wars Battlefront game which has been tempting us all for the last few months. I got an opportunity to try a early build at EGX in September and then play again in the PC Beta and I’ve spent a lot of hours playing on the Xbox One.
So what does the game consist of? At its heart it’s a multiplayer Battlefront game with a Star Wars theme. The main maps pit the Empire against the Rebels in scripted pieces – protect the Walkers or guide in the B-Wings to attack them. There are large anonymous teams on both sides with the occasional special power character thrown in to add to the mix. Battles take anywhere from a few minutes upwards and when you end up with well matched and skilled teams can be very exciting.
Beyond the main maps there are a number of smaller games available from a simple kill more of the opposing team to capture the flag and special Hero characters being pitted against others or larger teams of normal characters. Then there are the vehicles. X-wings, Tie-fighters, snow speeders, Walkers and AT-ATs with another set of specials thrown in such as the Millennium Falcon for variety.
After the training missions everything is multiplayer and designed to pit you against other players rather than AIs and this is both the strength and weakness of the game. If you end up in a good team that is balanced with the other side it can be nail bitingly good and an adrenalin high. If you’re considerably worse or better than your opponents you die over and over and over or just end up playing shoot the noob.
Included in the box:
The game requires no subscription but a season pass is required for future battlefields which is a further £40 for 16 maps and 20 extra pieces of equipment. EA have recently announced that the first extra map – Battle of Jakku will be available for free on the 1st or 8th of December.
About Developer: EA Dice
EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment – usually known as EA DICE or DICE, is a Swedish video game developer. The company was founded in 1992 and became a subsidiary of EA in 2004. Its best known games include Battlefield, Need for Speed and Mirror’s Edge.
The Ergohacks Evaluation
The game is focused on those who want a quick and fast burst of gaming and can be dipped into and out of with the shortest session possible at about 10 minutes. I’d never played a Battlefield game in the past but was able to grasp the principles fairly quickly. There is some complexity in picking Star Cards – special skills – and particular weapons but these unlock slowly as you level up and even if you get them totally wrong do not make the game unplayable. It is also possible to set defaults so that you can take the time to decide your load out once that will work in many situations and then stick with it.
There is no particular gore shown in the game but as you’d expect from a game showing mass battles it is quite violent. The individual storyline for the battles is simplistic and simply borrows concepts and set pieces from the original Star Wars trilogy.
Star Wars Battlefront is a fast moving and chaotic game which benefits from good reflexes and control. There are no specific QTEs or timed events in the standard battlefields and I’ve not found any situations where color blindness is an issues.
The games tries to compensate as much as it can with re-mappable controllers, colorblindness modes and some aim assistance. At its base it is a multiplayer battle game and its very hard to set difficulty levels in multiplayer games.
It does seem well balanced between the Rebels and Empire and whilst experienced players do get a significant advantage of gear and power ups they’re not enough to make it impossible for new players to play a significant role in the battlefields.
Environment & People
As far as we know, no environmental principles were employed during the creation and distribution process by anyone involved in the project.
There are no particular ethical or moral issues raised by the game beyond the whole concept of war. There are no spoilers for the new December movie.
Star Wars Battlefront has come in for some criticism for its cost. The game costs around £40 for the standard edition but the season pass that will be required to access up and coming Battlefields over the next year is another £40. This puts the total cost if you are playing for a few months at £80 which is well above the typical cost for a AAA game.
If you want to try it at a lower cost EA offers a subscription service for £5 which allows you play a full copy of the game for up to 10 hours.
Players: Multiplayer only – some single player training missions.
Full controller support
Language: English (interface, subtitles and full audio)
PEGI rating: 16
Platform: PC (Windows/Origin), PS4, Xbox One
Star Wars Battlefront is a multiplayer game and as such requires an always on internet connection. The servers have held up reasonably the last week and a half although there was one six hour period where I could not connect and numerous times where I had to manually reconnect. I had no significant issues with latency or lag.
System requirements – PC
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
Processor (Intel): Intel i3 6300T or equivalent
Memory: 8GB RAM
Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
Graphics card (ATI): ATI Radeon HD 7850 2GB
DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
System Recommended – PC
OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
Processor (Intel): Intel i5 6600 or equivalent
Memory: 16GB RAM
Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB
Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB
DirectX: 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent
Two groups of people are going to love Star Wars Battlefront immediately. Dedicated Star Wars fans who’ve always wanted to play a part in a battle on Hoth, Endor or fly an X-Wing into combat will love the style of the game and come away satisfied. This group will probably enjoy all the maps available and get the season pass for more of their favorite scenarios.
The second group of players is the dedicated Battlefield players.The most recent Battlefield game was Battlefield Hardline released in March 2015 but Hardline was a break from the traditional Battlefield style and the most recent classic Battlefield was Battlefield 4 in 2013 so fans are ready for a return. They won’t be too bothered by the sci-fi themes but might find the lack of vehicles beyond the standard few more of an issue – at least until the extra content comes out.
Star Wars Battlefront is a great way to spend a few hours but I’m concerned about its long term playability without the expensive season pass. Recommended if you’re a avid Star Wars fan or have a Battlefield craving.
Product: Star Wars: Battlefront| Developer: EA DICE | Publisher: EA | Platform: PC (Windows/Origin), PS4, Xbox One, | Genre: Multiplayer Battlefield | Language: English | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | Release Date November 17 2015|Content Rating: PEGI 16
The review is based on the XBox One version of the game, kindly provided by EA. This post contains affiliate links. First published on 26th November 2016