Star Wars Battlefront
So, let me get this straight--a Star Wars video game that mixes
scenes from the movies with gameplay from my favorite PC game of all
time, Battlefield 1942??? This one's a no-brainer!
Well, not quite. In theory, this is genius, but the final
product is merely good because much like
Matrix, Star Wars Battlefront looks like a rush job on a number
of fronts; from the menu system to a poor Xbox Live front-end
integration to one of the shittiest single-player experiences in
Serving as a soldier for one of the four main factions in the
game (Rebel Alliance, Empire, CIS or the Republic), you can choose
between five different character classes before rolling out from
selected bases on large-scale maps trying to take out the opposing
faction while capturing bases all over the grid. These maps,
of course, are what will either bring you back again and again or
make you throw the game out the window, and thankfully, the maps in
Battlefront are mostly solid and they bring back the moments in the
films from Hoth, Endor, and Tatooine brilliantly by allowing you to
take part in the action at key moments throughout. Even though
there have been a dozen "Star Wars"-themed games over the years,
it's always fun to hop into a snowspeeder and take down an AT-AT for
the good guys.
The game also does the war thing better than any other game
available, especially on Xbox (since PS2 has the Dynasty Warriors
series); in multiplayer over Xbox Live, there can be up to 8 human
players on each side plus eight more computer-controlled characters
around; so, for 16-on-16 action, it's quite a sight trying to gun
down Stormtroopers or taking out baddies with a TIE Fighter or a
Y-Wing. Open-field battles really feel like battles, so that
sense of sheer chaos is fantastic in Star Wars Battlefront.
Sure, of the 20 available player types, three of them are
ridiculously more powerful than the other 17; two have a jetpack and
a one-shot-kill sidearm, and one of them, a Terminator-like
battlebot available on the CIS faction, has a 50-shot clip, thick
armor, a rocket launcher and can run nearly as fast as any human; I
have been seeing more and more human players stacking up with that
character type and taking out a sick number of people. And,
the first two weeks playing Battlefront online led to a number of
laggy server experiences; it's a ton better now, but again speaking
to the rushed nature of the product, Battlefront should have been
tested a bit more than it was to give the people a better
experience, not just something warm and fuzzy. And, while the
Heroes function is a great idea--allowing characters like Luke
Skywalker to show up every so often and kill nearly everyone in his
path--in practice, you can never use it because Luke and his buddies
are indestructible, so they can deflect rockets with their
lightsabers. Uh, yeah.
With Halo 2 looming less than a month away, Star Wars Battlefront
is a solid offering to keep things steady until November 9th.
I just wish the developers had done a little more work to make
Battlefront great, not just good enough.
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience