By Mike Massotto
With the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on December 18th and the launch of a new and immersive video game Star Wars Battlefront for PS4 and Xbox One last month, this year’s holidays have been filled with sci-fi goodness from a galaxy far, far away. Fans both old and new have been enjoying the new surge of Star Wars merchandise and games, the most notable of these being the well-anticipated Star Wars Battlefront.
Star Wars Battlefront is a simultaneously first and third person shooting game available for both the PS4 and the Xbox One. Star Wars Battlefront currently offers ten ways to play online and three to play offline. Each of these game modes have different objectives and display a fresh adventure, from blowing up starships to protecting escape pods filled with supplies. What isn’t so fresh is the amount of locations one can play on. Excluding the free Battle of Jakku downloadable content, there are only four planets, with two to three maps based on each. These four planets, although iconic and very diverse, get stale after awhile. These include the desert planet of
Tatooine, the forest moon of Endor, the icy mountains of Hoth, and the boiling lava lands of Sullust. Each of these locations are vibrant and have an amazing atmosphere, but playing on the same four maps over and over isn’t as exciting as anyone would wish. Although the lack of maps at the start is small, we have already received one additional planet called Jakku, through a free download, which looks a bit like Tatooine and will appear in the new movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Maybe we’ll have even more locations to play on as the events of the new set of Star Wars movie unfolds.
The flagship way to play Star Wars Battlefront is the gamemode Walker Assault. Walker Assault pits the Imperial Stormtroopers and the Rebel Alliance against each other in an exceptionally large 20 vs. 20 player match. The Rebel’s job is to prevent the enemy attack transports (four-legged machines known as AT-ATs) from reaching their final destination by calling in airstrikes to weaken them, then dealing as much damage to them as possible. If the Rebels can destroy both AT-ATs before they reach their final destination, they win. The Imperials’ job is to exterminate the opposing Rebels and protect their AT-ATs from attack. If the Imperials can keep the AT-ATs alive until they reach their final destination, they win. A single match can last up to twenty minutes long, with player mowing down all of the enemy team in their way with the use of their weapons and various power-ups dotting the landscape. My favorite of these power-ups is the Hero Pickup. The Hero Pickup allows the person who grabbed it to play as an iconic character from the Star Wars movies to give support to their team. Snatching a Hero Pickup as a Rebel will let you play as either the scoundrel Han Solo, the natural leader Princess Leia, or my personal favorite, the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Grabbing the Hero Pickup as an Imperial allows you to play as either the fearsome bounty hunter Boba Fett, the supreme Emperor Palpatine, or the iconic Darth Vader himself. Each hero and villain have attacks that are unique to them and it’s always great to play as each one and discover your own favorite.
As opposed to a standard shooting game, where the player arms themselves to the teeth with ammo and guns, Star Wars Battlefront features the use of Star Cards to use special attacks. As a player levels up, they gain access to more weapons to purchase with their in-game credits. The Star Cards that you can purchase with these are powerups that you can assign to certain buttons on your controller. Saving one of these is called a hand. For example, I have a hand where a grenade is bound to the button L1, a shield is bound to “🔺” (triangle), and my jetpack to R1. This is how all items in Star Wars Battlefront are assigned. This makes the use of weapons feel very sleek and fits in with the simplistic but chaotic nature of the game.
Normally, this is where I would end the review by telling you a score from one to ten or something like that, but Star Wars Battlefront claims to have more to offer in the months ahead. According the the official website, EA (the publisher of Star Wars Battlefront) will be releasing a total of four expansion packs. EA claims that all of these packs will triple the amount of content in the game, from guns to planets to brand new eras of Star Wars. Although the Season Pass, which preorders all of the expansion packs for a pricey $50, this will be well worth the buy if you already like Battlefront. Recently, rumors have spread that the expansion packs will include planets from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, which would mean that you might be able to play as the Clone or Droid army in the near future. There are also even more believable claims that the expansion packs will include content based off of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which comes to theatres on December 18th this year.
To conclude, Star Wars Battlefront plays amazingly, and hopefully the downloadable content that will be released in the future will as well. I can’t necessarily give a number out of ten to judge the game, as there is much more content to come, but from what I’ve played of the game so far, I highly suggest any PS4 or Xbox One owner get it, as it seems to be the must have sci-fi video game of the year. Happy holidays and may The Force be with you.
Categories: Arts & Reviews