Review by Fastkilr

Reviewed: 10/22/04

You can take the force and shove it up--your gaming collection!

If you’ve ever played games like Battlefront, you should know that the base of the game is its fast paced, heavy-hitting action. Even if you’re buying for authenticity, it’s ok to admit that you are tired of long drawn out FMVs, and just want to get to the juicy fire-fights. Battlefront is an extremely linear game and won’t last you much longer than a few days, which can be somewhat gratifying after playing endless seasons of Madden.

With games like Battlefront, one cannot help but wonder what a company like Lucas Arts was hoping to convey with a Star Wars game that was going to feature “everything” from the movies. The first thing I’d want to know is why the game can be beaten in a little less than two hours, if you can do everything from the movies. Next I’d try to find an incentive to make such a game--the whole Star Wars world is fortunately present, but there are so many things that could’ve been added in that one cannot help but feel somewhat disappointed.

Featuring a Historical Campaign, and a Galactic Conquest, it would seem that the Single Player portion of the game might be somewhat hefty. After looking forward to beating this game multiple times upon its release, it wasn’t easy for me to disregard the potential Battlefront had. Historical Campaign will take you through a series of missions which will force you to flip-flop between sides. This makes for an unbalanced game, and completely destroys any consistency in the story line. In Galactic Conquest, you’ll be taking on the opposition one planet at a time (two maps per planet.) This will take a while, and if the computer wins, then they have a chance to invade one of your planets, the point’s to obviously obtain all of them.

Once you’ve finally hit the battlefield, it appears that things are beginning to clear up, until you run into the deficient AI. In many instances your AI teammates will be running off in the games vehicles right before you have a chance to hop in, only to kill themselves in some sort of kamikaze effort (usually not involving the destruction of enemies!) You’ll have to take the role of a general, and lead your troops through battle with a small series of commands. Unfortunately, your men don’t exactly listen to you, and at times it’s best to stay at a good vantage point and play the role of sniper while your troops force a distraction.

After you’ve logged onto Xbox LIVE things become much better. Mixing a large number of humans mixed with CPUs will result in utter chaos when exchanging fire with another team, which actually makes for a lot of fun. You’ll realize soon enough that if your character’s class doesn’t fit your playing style, then you’re as good as dead on the battlefront. You can find a character that will suit your style, and a few of the units can hover around the levels on jet-packs which is good for aggressors.

At times the game will feel very linear and scripted, which means that you’ll be doing the same thing throughout every level of the game. The majority of the game consists of you striding from base to base, trying to capture specific areas over and over again, and there’s no other variation. If this sounds extremely boring to you, then you could always kill off all of the enemies (it doesn’t take long at all.) Even on Hard this game was far too easy, and it just didn’t feel like a lot of liberties were taken to expand on an exciting idea.

I’d advise you to get the Xbox version over the PS2 version due to it’s graphical differences. The Xbox version hardly ever has slow down in large areas with a lot of action either. Obviously the clear choice here for visuals is the PC, but for a console game Battlefront looks pretty spectacular. I don’t think you can really go wrong with Star Wars music, so I’d have to say it’s perfect, and just leave it at that. The sound effects are above par, and the voice-overs could use a little work.

Essentially there just isn’t enough bang for your buck. Although it can become intense there just isn’t enough content holding Battlefront together, and I cannot see it having much of a player base online in a couple years (which is the reason why you’d get the game!) If you’ve been a Star Wars geek throughout your whole life, then your jaw will drop at the detail put into your favorite republic soldiers. In any case, Battlefront isn’t a solid game, but it has a ton of replay value online.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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