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Star Wars Battlefront review: beautiful but brainless

Star Wars: Battlefront is DICE’s latest attempt to reinvigorate the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise. Based on the Star Wars franchise (duh), this is the third major release of this series, but this time around you’re looking less at a sequel and more at a reboot. Thank goodness.

First things first, a quick rundown. You can travel across multiple planets, Endor, Tattooine, Hoth, Jakku and Sullust. You have the ability to customise your characters, gear and abilities (like most other games of this ilk). You choose to play either as a Rebel Alliance soldier or as an Imperial Stormtrooper. You can play split screen co-op offline, but no campaign missions, but the online multiplayer mode is where the real work is done, with up to 40 players at a time in a single match and a variety of multiplayer maps.

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You can play this first person or third person, which is a great feature for people who get motion sickness (this is way more prevalent than you would think!) and although it has been a feature of all the SWB games, many developers of this genre have phased out the third person action adventure. Understandably I guess, in many ways it’s less immersive, however giving people the option to switch in this case works really well.

You’re looking less at a sequel and more at a reboot

It looks amazing, I won’t lie. It is incredibly… Star Warsey. I suppose the proper word would be authentic. Yes. Battlefront looks amazingly authentic. It’s sexy. I am a HUGE Star Wars fan, so this had me right from the get go. The action is fast-paced, with consistently smooth frame rates, and the detail is mind-blowing. It’s a Star Wars fans dream. And that is where I think it falls a little flat. Sounds contradictory? Well here’s why I say that.

Star Wars is a franchise with an incredible history, however we all have to admit that while it sucks us in and has a quoting lines and pretend breathing like Darth Vader, the story isn’t particularly deep let’s be honest.

It looks amazing, I won’t lie

The game itself is also pretty straightforward. The gameplay is relatively simplistic (did you really expect anything else?) and if you unlock the right weapons and make sure those are a part of your loadout, then you’re on top right from the start. Where’s the challenge in that?

Let’s quickly talk multiplayer maps. As with so many multiplayer games in this era, there are a handful of maps available, with more on the horizon. The additional modes are pretty awesome, I won’t lie and Battlefront has done really well here. Fighter Squadron and Walker Assault are amazingly, awesomely, some other adjective with an ‘a’, fun to play.

So, to sum up: it’s a beautiful and authentic Star Wars universe along with a bunch of new modes to boot, but there are problems. The storyline is shallow and the starting loadout is a bit of a no-brainer. It doesn’t require any planning.

Game Information

Release Date: 17 November 2015
Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PlayStation 4 (review platform), Xbox One, PC
Release price: R699-R799

Verdict: When you compare Battlefront to its competitors, say Destiny, Titanfall, heck even Call of Duty, you’ll realise DICE still have a long way to go if it really wants this game to compete at any level. Sure we’re all caught up in it now because we’re suffering from Star Wars: The Force Awakens fever, but is it enough to give Battlefront longevity? Probably not. They’re going to need to make sure that Season Pass is enough to carry it on indefinitely and hope the DLC is really worth it.

Score: 6.5

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