I haven’t had this much fun playing a Star Wars game since I nailed my best friend in the knee with a baseball bat. Don’t ask. I was Darth Vader, he was Obi Wan and he didn’t disappear after the big sword fight. He did walk with a limp for about two weeks though.
Star Wars: Battlefront; from who else but Lucasarts, brings the experiences of all the movies into the hands of millions of Star Wars fans. Battlefront is at its heart a multiperson action shooter that allows for single player and multiplayer offline and online play.
Alright, I feel dirty for even saying this because I don’t think there is a single person on this planet who doesn’t know the Star Wars saga. For everyone that has lived in a closet for the last 30 years, here’s a brief overview.
It all starts with a young boy named Anakin Skywalker. He has the possibility of bringing balance to the metaphysical force of the universe or brings about the end of the Jedi Knights. Anakin grows up to become a powerful Jedi, but is seduced by the dark side of the force. The Republic ends up being taken over by the Empire, which is headed by the Emperor. Anakin becomes Darth Vader, the emperor’s right hand man/machine, and destroys the Jedi Knights. A rebel group forms to defeat the empire and two droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, end up on Tatooine in the service of Luke Skywalker, a young and impressionable man who is “strong in the force.” Luke learns Darth is his dad and goes onto defeat the evil emperor with his help. The universe is joyous and everyone dances with little hairy teddy bears named Ewoks — The End.
Players get the opportunity to play some of the epic battles that have become legend in the Star Wars universe. Want to be a rebel pilot, storm trooper or one of the lame droids from the two Star Wars movies that sucked, no problem. The game allows players to pick from one of four factions: Empire, Republic, Rebel Alliance and Separatist Droid Army.
Be prepared to visit some of the greatest locals of the Star Wars universe including the desert planet Tatooine, ice planet Hoth and Endor from the original movies, i.e. the good ones, and Kamino and Geonosis from the most recent movies. All in all, there are 10 different planets with 15 environments for player to get their game on.
There are two different modes that can be played. The historical campaign incorporates an episodic approach that loosely follows the movies storyline. Players aren’t given a choice of who to play, but the various episodes take place within the various factions. Galactic conquest is more open ended and allows the character to pick and choose which enemy planets to attack.
Each planet has a battle bonus that can be used in the later campaign including Jedi Hero, which allows the player to play with a Jedi Knight like Darth Vader and Mace Windu — very cool. The best feature by far in Battlefront is the ability to pilot almost every craft seen in the Star Wars universe. Every Star Wars fan has had the fantasy of riding a speeder bike through the forests of Endor or squashing rebel soldiers in a giant AT-AT. Other options include flying a tie fighter or Rebel X-wing or a snowspeeder to trip up those pesky AT-ATs. Players don’t have to just hop into the first vehicle they see either.
There are several classes of people to choose and most of them are similar to types seen in other games. Playing a character on the ground is not nearly as satisfying as playing one of the big vehicles, but I guess you can’t spend all your time on a speeder bike. Some missions don’t allow entering vehicles so you can either run around shooting people or man a gun turret.
Controls are pretty smooth with primary and secondary weapons available at the push of a button. Some of the larger vehicles can be cumbersome to control, but considering their size and how they looked in the movies that can be expected. I have to applaud developer’s use of realism when it comes to controlling the various machines.
Player won’t be disappointed visually because Lucas Arts has stayed 100 percent true to the Star Wars look. Frame rates are smooth and movement is natural. Like many other Star Wars games created over the past few years, and there have been many, much of the music is taken directly from the films. John Williams’ masterpieces are integrated well into game play so your heart gets pumping as the digital orchestra plays in the background.
Overall, Star Wars: Battlefront is a visually stunning game that will keep many Star Wars fans happy for many hours. My biggest complaint is that once you’re not in the various crafts the game can be a little boring and you find yourself dreaming the AT-ATS. Anyone who has played games like Rebel Alliance or one of the many other games that put players in the cockpits of X-wings and snowspeeders won’t find too much new with this game.