Written by  :  Pixelspeech (1006)
Written on  :  Jun 15, 2013
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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I hate droidekas.

The Good

Large battlegrounds with plenty of AI walking around.

Story mode presented through the eyes of a soldier.

Galactic Conquest is a surprising addition.

The Bad

Weapons handle like ass.

Some game mechanics feel unfinished or under-explained.

Space combat doesn't quite work yet.

CIS is too overpowered.

The Bottom Line

It was recently announced that Dice was developing a new Star Wars: Battlefront game on the Frostbite engine, which was enough to make me call E3 2013 a success. I never watched the Star Wars movies, tv show or breakfast cereal, but this particular series is very dear to me.

The game is all about reenacting the famous battles from the movies, starting out with war against the CIS and extending all the way to the events of the original trilogy. You are a member of the 501st clone army and your brigade is unfortunate enough to be shipped from one battleground to the other. On these battlegrounds, you get to pick a class and will have to fulfill objectives with the help of the AI soldiers.

What I like about this setup is that you aren't some kind of superhuman, bullet-absorbing powerhouse, but rather a petty private slogging through the mud along with your equally mortal friends. If you run into enemies, then you rely on your superior skills at firing and dodging to get you through the encounter, since five or six bullets are enough to kill you. It gives a lot more epic feel to the battles, when you realize you are only a part of the war machine and actually need your fellow clones to survive the day.

Most battles revolve around capturing control points, which allow you, and your allies, to respawn at that point. If you have all control points, then you win the battle, unless the enemy can recapture a point within 20 seconds. You can, however, lose the battle if the enemy manages to drain your reinforcements pool before you get all the points (or, in some cases, before you can do the same to them).

The game also has vehicles, space-battles and co-op in it, which at least means that it has plenty of content for your average title. The space-battles can be slightly annoying, though, as the points system is very poorly set up and can lead to situations where the enemy has a completely wrecked main ship, but still wins because the AI was doing nothing to prevent them from shooting down your gunships. Flight control works for the most part, but it's very easy to overshoot when you're performing acrobatics to get an enemy in view, which is made worse by the lack of a slow-down function.

All other aspects of the gameplay work very well and are generally fun to use, even if I do think that most weapons handle like ass. Vehicles handle like you would expect from them, the control scheme is very adequate for a shooter and everything is balanced. I do however feel like the CIS is way too overpowered, since they have the droideka as an additional unit, which moves faster, has more health and can call upon a one-way shield for complete immunity. They also have an insane gunship, which pretty much excels in all fields, excluding maneuverability, making it excellent at taking down frigates, smaller ships, other gunships and, if you hold out for long enough, you'll get a repair bonus that makes it impossible for anybody to destroy the gunship.

There is also Galactic Conquest, which is a soft-strategy game in which you and a friend can fight over domination of the galaxy. It's remarkably solid for an alternate mode hidden inside a third-person shooter, though the bonuses you can purchase completely break some of the battles, such as the ridiculous reinforcements boost. There used to be online support for this game, but it has since then been dropped.

A recommendation for this title goes out to all Star Wars fans, though I doubt that will surprise anybody. If you are not a fan, then this game is still pretty good if you can forgive the lack of a proper story and just want to enjoy some hectic battlegrounds with sci-fi weapons in it. Admittedly, it is rather rough around the edges, but it's also a very varied and rich game that is certain to please most gamers.