Star Wars Battlefront: Is It The Be All And Endor?

A copy of DICE's Star Wars Battlefront (Battlefront) recently slid across my desk and my initial reaction was a firm resemblance of my anticipation for this game. To put it basically, the #HYPE was not strong with this one. Now you must understand, I don't dislike the Star Wars franchise at all, it is globally iconic and I am a real sucker for Spock's ears (wait?). As an avid gamer and someone that can appreciate most genres, most opinions disclosed here are based on the enjoyment of the actual gameplay as opposed to the subject matter. In a nut shell, I like games much more than I like Star Wars.

I did spend a couple of hours with the BETA and basically made up my mind then that Battlefront will be the victim of over hype and ultimately under deliver. Then DICE's plan for DLC and the super priced season pass was released and like a sheep I followed the general consensus. It wasn't only the price and the DLC plan that hurt Battlefront's reputation prior to release, it was also the lack of inclusion of a campaign, thus thrusting Battlefront into the realms of an online only game. I know it is the 21st century and everybody in their right mind should have access to the internet but server crashes and other problems of a similar nature will render this game borderline useless especially for progression of any variety. This being said, there is obviously a huge following with just the Star Wars fans and without being able to provide a specific number, Battlefront went on to break records at EA, quickly becoming the companies "largest digital launch". So this being said, there was belief in this title.

Following a relatively quick installation and an unusually small day one patch, I was ready in a matter of minutes to apply myself to this "shooter". When I say shooter that was about the extent of my expectations for Battlefront. I already knew from the BETA that it very much looked and sounded like something straight out of the Star Wars franchise but what I wasn't expecting was the overwhelming feeling of Star Wars that I received straight off the bat. The first aspect that really solidified the overall experience was a 40 man supremacy battle on Endor. This initial experience straight away sold the Star Wars experience to me in the most spectacular war. I was converted into a believer. It was now that I let go of any belief that this was a Battlefield game wrapped in a Star Wars skin. This game had the ability to not only stand on its own two feet, but define itself as something unique in a flooded genre. With AT-ST's (All Terrain Scout Transporter) stomping the ground and Speeder Bike's whizzing around coupled with destructible environments, I was up to my eyeballs in excitement, quickly finding myself a spawn partner, I succumbed to the overwhelming need to push back and banish the "Rebel Scum" .

Teaming up with some of my closest gaming friends only furthered the experience and aided in the total immersion that had me mesmerized for what seemed like moments which actually equated to roughly 5 hours. Taking this rare opportunity by the short and curlys, we dove into some of the various game types and found myself particularly fond of Heroes Vs. Villains, a best of nine, 6v6 environment where the ultimate goal is to defeat the opposing three main characters. It is here where I was able to obtain a greater feel for the individual abilities and characteristics of each individual character. The lightsaber wielding Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are boss (super strong), nothing quite screams Star Wars like entering the battlefield accompanied by the Imperial March and the iconic sound of Vader unsheathing his light saber.

Heroes and Villains aside, Battlefront is primarily composed of the use of your customisable Rebel and Imperial conscript. With what looks like a level cap of 50 and decent amount of level based unlocks there seems to be more than enough motivation to keep playing. I must admit level 1 to 5 felt a little grindy due to being easily dispatched of by higher level better geared opposition but once this hump was overcome and I had saved enough experience based currency, I was able to make some effective tweaks to my setup which enabled me to have more of a fighting chance. To draw a couple of comparisons to another recently released popular shooter, Battlefront breaks down the architect of lane fighting and the noticeably more skilful players being blessed with exclusive ability to obtain fun and devastating score streaks. Battlefront offers a level playing field when it comes to special abilities and weaponry, offering it up as a first come first served basis. This is as simple as offering up pickups scattered across the map. These range from vehicle access to one off use powerful throwables and rocket launchers.

Experience (XP) and therefore in-game currency is earned by simply participating and can increase slightly with a better overall result but it is also offered up in droves through bonus objectives that accumulate progressively over multiple games played. These range from game mode based and total kills with specific and nonspecific weaponry. This currency is then spent to obtain and upgrade class "Cards". These cards are purchased and applied to L1, R1 and the triangle button (PS4). These cards are primarily cool-down in nature meaning they can be used every 15 to 30 seconds and range from an assortment of grenades and ranged based weaponry. These are not only restricted to firepower but can offer engagement aiding equipment like a thruster jet pack and a sonar like ping. With these additions to your class you can customise yourself for different encounters and it also helps to bleed the mainstream feel, you can truly add your own zest and feel a little unique.  

Considering I have compiled approximately 9 hours for my rank 12, I am clearly very keen to jump back in continue having a blast with this game. It is also with a heightened anticipation I look forward to conquering the survival mode with my co-op brother in arms, LewkOne. For further and ongoing thoughts, be sure to follow our conversations across at our Facebook page, where you will also find links to our weekly podcast for a more emotional recount of our feelings on Battlefront and everything else gaming. Videos can also be found at our YouTube channel. I would like to quickly take this chance to thank you for attention and May The Force Be With You.

Cheers Red

Some information was gathered from Here, a comprehensive Wiki for Battlefront.
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