"A great game slightly marred by a few problems."

When I heard about Star Wars Battlefront, I was ecstatic. I immediately set out to my local EB games and pre-purchased it. When I got the game (along with a promo action figure for the pre-purchase), I rushed home and popped it in my Xbox. What I endured was gaming bliss, accompanied by a slight stinging sensation.

Graphics:
No doubt about it, this game is friggin' beautiful. The water on the wookie home planet is crisp and blue, the overcast skies of Hoth are beautifully captured, and there is nary a rough angle in sight. However, this game falls short of perfection; The first-person mode is less than stellar, and after a while, even an avid FPS fan like me opted for third-person, in which the animation was a little janky a times. Still, this does not at all subtract from the game's fun; just a little hard on the eyes in the midst of such beauty.

7.5/10

Sound
Lucasarts has been famous for their sound, and it really shows. The swing of a NPC lightsaber is perfectly captured, the radio chat and fellow soldiers are cool and believable, and the classing PEOW! sound of the lasers is a treat for the ears. Not much else to say.

10/10

Controls

It's hard to argue about controls in this game, as they are COMPLETELY customizable. However, when you're trying to get somewhere fast, your character may feel a bit slow. But the game still executes the controls gracefully, and you'll never find yourself twitching in the scope of a sniper rifle. The best part is, nobody can really say the controls made them lose; though the lasers are a bit slow, they are extremely easy to pinpoint and hit targets accurately, with just the right amount of hit detection.

8.5/10

Gameplay
Gameplay is the meat and potatoes of any game, and this game sure delivers. You will actually feel like you are in the movies, and it's an unparalleled sense of fictional realism. Even a Star Wars hater like me was converted the first time I flew a snow speeder on Hoth, switched positions with my copilot, and lassoed my first walker.
The main draw here is the vehicles. If they have been in the movies, they're here. However, I wish there had been more piloting options, like the ability to strafe on hover vehicles. There are also a few annoying factors, namely, the inability to perform a 360-degree jacknife with a vehicle. Instead, you need to perform a sharp turn for a few seconds, leaving you vulnerable. There should have also been the ability to perform loop-de-loops and immelmans for easier control with airborne vehicles. This is only a minor gripe.
There should have been more options for snipers. As a master sniper, I found myself appreciating the fact that you can lay down in tall grass or bushes for camoflauge. However, you will only see the grass in front of you through the scope. Had there been a way to part the grass, or perhaps a periscope-like view, this would have made it much easier.
Some of the classes are terribly unbalanced, as well. For instance, the clone Jet Trooper has an incredibly fast jetpack, and an EMP launcher that will take out any droids, PERIOD. Or, for instance, each class has a character that come equipped with a rocket launcher from the start. If you're a half-decent sniper, you can take out scores of enemies with them, and then simply respawn when you run out. Hell, why be a droid with a rifle, when you can have dual fire, ball mode, and a shield? It's ridiculous. Still, a lot of character classes are fun and entertaining, like the pilot (who can hand out health and ammo and fix ships), or a sniper with a recon droid, or even a wookie with a bowcaster.
My last gripe is online play. While fun and refreshing, there is a bit of slowdown on some of the fatter pipes. But this is my only fault with it, as the online is the real fun of the game, with a perfect blend of strategy, precision, and frag-em-up action. Hopefully, people will get this game before Geroge Lucas remasters it with the guns turned into walkie-talkies.
Overall, the gameplay is solid, and it shows. These are my only complaints; everything else is done masterfully.

9/10

Overall
This game promised, and it delivers. Any star wars fan or Xbox live subscriber should pick this one up and go at it. The offline modes are fun and refreshing, it has splitscreen co-op and deathmatch, and the in-game movie footage is a nice touch. The missions blend in with the movies seamlessly, and it will enthrall anyone who liked them. No luck for GC owners, though. Nintendo still won't accpet the fact that we want online games. But hey, preowned systems are only $150 now, so hock that 'cube and go pick one up. I just wish that they hadn't rushed this game to coincide with the release of the DVDs, or this would have been an online game on par with Splinter Cell. Still,it's a great game.

8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/04


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