Star Wars: Battlefront II
Review by DarkSpirit
"A Worthy Sequel"
Star Wars: Battlefront II is the sequel to the highly popular Battlefront. In the past I've never found a sequel to be better than the original, mainly because the originality is lost and a game becomes too convoluted. However I don't think this is the case with Battlefront II. The basic concept is the same but many ideas have been added to it.
Perhaps the biggest difference from this game to its predecessor is the introduction of playable Jedi. When I first heard that Jedi would be put into this game I was horrified. In my opinion, one of the strongest aspects of Battlefront was that it was a great Star Wars game minus the Jedi. However my worries were in vain. They fit beautifully into the matches and have proved to be a worthy addition. In most matches you have the chance of becoming a hero through good work and so they do not monopolise the field although when they do it does become a one-man battle, I'm sad to say.
Another brilliant addition was the addition of space battles. These are quite stunning, and utilise the use of X-Wings etc superbly. There's no more having a starfighter and very little map to manoeuvre through, oh no, the space maps are large and very exciting.
A few more units have been added, and I'm glad to say can only be unlocked after doing well. This is particularly useful for the Droideka, which is more powerful than ever.
Finally you receive medals that improve your character's performance, such as improved defence and a better gun. Overall the changes have been for the better in my opinion.
The idea is you begin with a certain number of troops per side and you have to wipe out the enemy while making sure you don't lose all your reinforcements. To help you gain control of the battlefield command posts are scattered over the map, and gaining more gets you both experience and the edge over your enemy. There is a variety of troop types to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Although each team has its own version of a troop type (e.g. Rocketeer) they vary in weapon type and the specialised troops are very different (e.g. Dark Trooper for Empire and Bothan Spy for Rebels).
There are a variety of maps and game types to choose from too, such as CTF or Assault. They all are very fun and I couldn't say there was a best game type. There is also the possibility on Tatooine to play Heroes and Villains, where you play only as Jedi and other main characters. This is fun at first, but loses its appeal after a while; I prefer using the heroes in an actual match.
In space battles you have to get to 180 (by default) points by taking out critical systems and destroying craft. This as stated is brilliant fun and is a nice change from ground matches. Overall the gameplay is excellent.
Overall the graphics are very promising and an improvement on the original. Although they do not match the top spec games that can be seen today they are very good, especially considering the size of some maps and the amount of detail they go into. Water is very nice, as is damage received. The scenery is occasionally destroyable and is well touched up. I have no real complaints about the graphics as they are fine in my opinion and need not be any better really.
This is also very good. It included clips of music from the actual game and the background music isn't repetitive. On Tatooine, for example, you can hear music playing at the cantina, which I thought was a nice touch. Blaster fire is unique to each weapon and sounds very good as does the lightsabers. Force Lightening has a good sound to it, and you can hear the choking when using Force Choke. Overall this was stunning and I had to give it full marks.
This unfortunately still suffers as in the original. I find its often too laggy and I don't go online very much because of it. The actual concept as before is great and you can play some very enjoyable matches, if the lag isn't too bad that is. Overall it's a nice idea and for some a necessity in today's gaming, but hasn't been got quite right this time.
Play Time/Replayability: 9/10
I got through the initial campaigns fairly quickly, but the Galactic Conquest is interesting and can take a while. Overall its very addictive and great for multiplayer Instant Action. It has a high replayability factor and you will not be able to get enough of it.
The game is brilliant, but not perfect. In my opinion the introduction of Jedi was good but perhaps not necessary. The online lag reduces its rating slightly too. However I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and it is certainly worth giving it a try I know you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/17/06
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