Graphics:
8.5
Gameplay:
6.7
Sound:
8.3
Control:
7.0
Replay Value:
6.5
Online Gameplay:
7.4
Overall Rating:
7.2
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Developer:
DICE
Number Of Players:
1-40
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
November 17, 2015


If you’re a “Star Wars” fanatic, there’s no reason you shouldn’t love the atmosphere in Star Wars: Battlefront . If you’re a hardcore multiplayer shooter fan, however, you might be turned off by the lack of depth and customization options that are so prevalent in competing franchises like Call of Duty . Clearly designed for the casual gamer who just so happens to love the iconic sci-fi franchise, Battlefront caters to the widest audience possible and in so doing, sacrifices substance. There’s an unfortunate shallowness and repetitiveness that makes games like Destiny seem deep and complex by comparison, but there’s no denying the appeal of this lovingly crafted environment.

I once overheard a heated argument between two veteran “Star Wars” lovers. I think I was unfamiliar with every sixth word that came out of their mouths. Well, this is the perfect presentation for die-hard fans like that: Everything, from Tatooine’s vast and forbidding desert to Endor’s dense vegetation, is true-to-fiction and in some cases, downright remarkable. The beautiful landscapes serve as launching pads for our nostalgic romps through a universe we once believed we’d only see, and never visit, even in the virtual sense. The bright, sharp textures, excellent lighting and shadows, and fantastic special effects are high points in this graphical production. DICE put a gigantic amount of effort into each backdrop, each meticulously created object and detail, and it shows.

The sound builds on the visual achievement, most notably by providing the player with realistic background and ambient audio. Environmental effects blend with the jarring explosions of a pitched battle between good and evil and once again, the battle effects shine. The only downside is the predictable yet traditional soundtrack, which is admittedly perfect for “Star Wars” aficionados but lacks a little variety and punch. Besides, there are times when the effects want to take center-stage; they seek to further immerse the player, to drown him or her in a deluge of softer backdrop audio mixed with explosive impacts. It’s really a feast for the senses, so there’s no denying the lofty production values.

As is the case with any multiplayer-centric game, the modes take center-stage and thankfully, Battlefront has lots to sample. There are a total of nine competitive options and there are some relatively unique and fresh-feeling options, as well as the standard deathmatch-like modes. Walker Assault and Heroes vs. Villains are two highlights for me, simply because they capture the very essence of “Star Wars.” Well, to me, at least. I’m a novice when it comes to this universe but I know when I’m feeling engaged and immersed and something like Heroes vs. Villains gives me a charge. I liked Walker Assault in the beta, despite its apparent imbalance, and it remains the game’s most visible and most discussed mode. For good reason, too.