Sadly, it feels like it.
Despite being visually stunning and having all the trappings (i.e. music, sound effects, etc.) necessary to make even the most jaded of Star Wars fans blow their nerd-load, Star Wars: Battlefront is painfully bare. Style over substance is the route DICE and EA took for this game it appears. Aside from the larger game modes like Walker Assault and Supremacy, which allow 40 players to go head-to-head, there isn’t a whole lot of meat to the game modes. Each one contains everything offered by the smaller modes, which are just watered down versions of Walker Assault and Supremacy. After a few rounds of Hero Hunt, Blast and Cargo, you will probably find yourself asking why you even bother with anything but the big ones.
Adding to the bareness of Star Wars: Battlefront is its lack of heroes and campaign mode. Remember how in Star Wars Battlefront 2 we could choose up to 23 different heroes spread across 4 factions? Now we have six, three for each faction. Playing as a hero is fun because you are such a threat on the battlefield but these heroes quickly lose their novelty as you play with each continuously. The lack of variety starts to show as you move from map to map, which are also lacking in variety.
In lieu of including a Galactic Conquest mode from previous generations of the franchise which served as the single-player campagin, the game offers missions in the form of training, battles and cooperative survival. The training missions can be completed in under 10 minutes and have zero replayability. Try completing them blindfolded if you’re looking for a challenge. Battles only feature the player character and a small number of AI-controlled teammates on a small map. The cooperative survival missions aren’t bad, but all three suffer from not letting players pilot vehicles, complete objectives, or take down Imperial Walkers.
Furthermore, some basics of multiplayer gaming are sorely missing, especially in the big modes. Star Wars: Battlefront doesn’t have any form of in-game voice communication or a way to place an objective marker for your teammates. As a result, you and your team will be swarming around like rats hoping to fall ass-backwards into some cheese. It’s also worth noting that Battlefront lacks a multiplayer server browser, custom matches, and a squad system — which helps to hinder the customization of your multiplayer experience. It’s looking like they opted to focus on getting players into a match faster instead of providing these systems, but they certainly might add them later down the road…emphasis is “might.”
Honestly, I don’t think I would judge this game so harshly if it weren’t for badly they are gouging players. Not only do gamers have to shell out big bucks to even play a this bare, they are asking people to pony up another $49.99 or else they won’t get access to:
- Over 20 new pieces of galactic tech including weapons, vehicles, and Star Cards for both Rebels and Imperials
- Four more heroes and villains
- 16 additional multiplayer maps featuring new locations
- Four new game modes
- Two-week early access to each expansion pack
- “Shoot First” emote
This is hardly new, especially for multiplayer Battlefield games, but it’s seems unfair. Why should gamers pay full price for a game that looks pretty but lacks staying power and then get charged extra for things that will keep them interested in the game?
Star Wars: Battlefront really is a fine game, but it’s the principles surrounding its release that emphasize that this game is lacking in substance. As gamers, how much longer are we going to accept this? Think long and hard about that question as your interest in playing the game dwindles with every passing Walker Assault.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think we deserve better than getting charged twice for a few bells and whistles for an otherwise incomplete game. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
I’ll stick to SWOTR, thanks.