Star Wars Battlefront Review: The Force Is Alright With This One

*Header image courtesy of Electronic Arts*

After a 10-year hiatus, Christmas has come early for devotees of the “Star Wars Battlefront” series. While DICE’s reboot is entertaining, the occasional flaws prevent the game from becoming a memorable title.

At its core, “Star Wars Battlefront” is a multiplayer shooter that transports players into engaging conflicts. Iconic landscapes from parts of the original trilogy act as the levels for matches. DICE manages to mimic the planetary environments of the movie franchise by bringing to life four recognizable worlds. They include: the forest moon of “Endor,” the frigid ice-covered “Hoth,” the desert world of “Tatooine” and the manufacturing planet of “Sullust.”

A significant drawback from the older titles is that a player is limited to only exploring four planets in the vast universe.

Surveying the repetitive scenery of the four planets may quickly become dull, but what takes place during matches is often full of frantic, fast-paced chaotic action. Whether donning Imperial Stormtrooper armor, or the disheveled rags of a Rebel Alliance freedom fighter, each battle comes to life like a scene straight from the movie series. From the moment your boots touch the ground, your soldier is dodging laser fire, tossing thermal grenades and ducking from the screeching star-fighters that zoom overhead.

Where previous titles offered a traditional campaign, “Star Wars Battlefront” instead offers quick missions which can be completed solo or with a partner. However, these serve as nothing more than a slight distraction. This game ultimately targets gamers who are looking for nothing more than a player vs. player experience.

The game provides a total of nine multiplayer modes and will appeal to a wide variety of gamers. From the 12-player “Blast,” a traditional team-death-match game mode, to the 40-player “Walker Assault,” different modes keep the action refreshing. Those looking to relive the experiences of the old games, will most likely migrate toward “Supremacy.” This 40-player game type tasks teams with capturing and holding more control points than the enemy. With the assistance of heroes, vehicles and various armaments, players can hope to secure a victory for their team.

Scattered throughout the levels are special power-ups. There are a total of 23, providing gamers with an opportunity to help turn the tide of the battle. However, the soldier, vehicle and hero power-ups appear in fixed locations on each map.

This means that people familiar with the spawn points will often wait for their favorite power-up to appear, snatching it before others have the chance to acquire them.

Moderate customization tools are offered, which allow players to choose between 11 blasters, along with equipment cards that contain secondary weapons and abilities. Cosmetic alterations are also available, yet the limited choices rarely add diversity between teams. Gamers can expect to see the same appearances from multiple people in a single match.

Legendary composer John Williams’ music is present throughout the game in addition to the melodies of Gordy Haab, creator of the soundtracks for “Kinect Star Wars” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic.” The music heightens the intensity of each conflict, especially after losing or gaining an objective. Players will also delight in the familiar tune of the “Imperial March.” When Darth Vader appears, it signals that the all-powerful Sith Lord has entered the fray.

“Star Wars Battlefront” is an immensely entertaining game, albeit for a limited time. After roughly 12 hours, gamers have experienced everything that it can offer. While each match can unfold in a different way, the thrill of hearing and seeing “Star Wars” can quickly diminish. Perhaps the upcoming release of the film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” will inspire gamers to look past the shortcomings and appreciate DICE’s contribution to the “Star Wars” universe.

FINAL VERDICT: If you’re looking for a trip down memory lane with this title, you’re better off saving your money for a game that deserves to be bought. However, if you’ve been itching for a good multiplayer shooter with “Star Wars” elements, then “Star Wars Battlefront” would be a welcome addition to your library.

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