'Star Wars Battlefront' meets high expectations, but feels like a demo



The first game I ever preordered was Star Wars Battlefront II. I sunk countless hours into it and played more Hero Assault on Mos Eisley than I’d like to admit. It was one of my favorite shooters, and after ten years of countless rumors of a sequel, and even the announcement that it was 99 percent completed, Battlefront is finally back. It’s a fine-tuned multiplayer shooter that brings euphoric nostalgia to fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, but underneath its beautiful aesthetics and excellent gameplay, you’ll find a game that’s missing roughly half of its content.



Battlefront wants you to feel like you’re a soldier on the front lines of the Galactic Civil War, and in this regard, the game has succeeded to the best of its abilities. Each piece of imagery and audio is true to the Star Wars brand thanks to the full access DICE was given to the LucasArts Archives. From the impressive variety of blaster sounds to the roaring engines of TIE fighters and X-wings, Battlefront is easily the most authentic Star Wars video game to date. Vehicles move and fire their weapons just as you remember them from the movies, and hearing the faint buzz of a nearby lightsaber will immediately put the fear of Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader into you.

Quantity and quality of content

In the original Battlefront entries, the core experience was large numbers of ground troops fighting alongside various ground and air vehicles. DICE’s iteration of Battlefront has only two game modes that recapture this experience: Walker Assault and Supremacy. Both modes are well designed and keep the action concentrated to two objectives on the map. But despite how much I enjoy these two modes, their replayability is significantly hindered by the measly four maps that are available for each of them.

That’s right. There are only four maps for the premier game modes.

Granted, the game has 12 maps in total, but they’re spanned across nine game modes. The 6 vs. 6 modes are not what made me fall in love with Battlefront all those years ago, so I’m not as concerned with how many maps they have. DICE knows that Walker Assault and Supremacy are their premier game modes. It’s why the reveal trailer focused on Walker Assault on the forest moon of Endor, and the multiplayer gameplay trailer focused on Walker Assault on Hoth. Hell, they’re the first and second game modes listed in the game’s menu below the unnecessary tiles ‘Recommended for you,’ ‘Last played’ and ‘Game mode of the week.’


Compared to DICE’s most recent titles, this lack of maps is unusual and unbecoming. Battlefield 3 launched with nine maps, and Battlefield 4 launched with ten. All of them were available for the Rush and Conquest game modes, which are the rough equivalents to Walker Assault and Supremacy. In fact, there weren’t just more maps in the recent Battlefield entries, their maps were also larger because they were populated with 64 players compared to Battlefront’s 40, and they had many more vehicles than Battlefront does.

Vehicles are the other testament to Battlefront’s lack of content. Each team is given access to two or three spacecrafts, along with multiple turrets scattered across the map. Speeder bikes are available for both teams on the forest moon of Endor, but their difficult controls don’t make for a practical choice in battle. And in Walker Assault, the Empire is naturally given access to AT-ATs (the massive walkers with four legs) and AT-STs (the small walkers with two legs). Aside from those there are no other vehicles.

lonely walker

You'll never see more than one AT-ST at a time.

No tanks. No gunships. Not even tauntauns. As it is with the maps, so it is with the vehicles. Battlefront offers significantly less content than one would expect from the flagship developer of Battlefield.

Star Cards are used to customize your playstyle with a variety of equipment and weapons like the bowcaster, jump pack and ion torpedo. With 24 in total, and upgrades available to each of them, they do an excellent job of changing how you approach each match. My only issue with them is the homing rocket; the obvious noob weapon of choice that allows you to simply lock onto your opponent and hope the rocket’s path to them isn’t blocked.


Despite being short-handed on content, Battlefront still has some of the finest gameplay I’ve seen in a multiplayer shooter. Blasters are a wonderful change of pace from the typical bullet-fed guns that dominate most shooters. Each of the 11 guns has a unique cooldown rate, accuracy and fire rate, offering a good variety to choose from without a single one of them being significantly better or worse than the rest.

ya done

Blaster bolts are fast, but are still slower than bullets, meaning you’ll have to lead your shots at a distance and account for your enemy’s movement. The slow but powerful nature of blaster bolts makes for an experience that’s quite different than other multiplayer shooters, and adds an extra layer of mastery for the most hardcore players. Weapons have limitless ammunition, but overheat when fired in succession for too long. This results in more blaster fire filling the air since no one is worried of running out of ammunition, and firefights in close quarters become stressful as you try to strike a balance between firing as many shots as possible and not overheating your gun.

The heroes and villains bring more stopping power to battles than anything else. Playing as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Boba Fett make for some of the greatest moments in Battlefront. When used to lead infantry on objectives, they are usually the deciding factor for winning objectives. Watching a hero and villain face off is always thrilling, and infantry in the surrounding area often die from stray blaster bolts, lightsabers and the Emperor’s lighting. All six are great to play, but with Luke’s speed and Force Push attack, he’s the clear winner for heroes, while Boba Fett dominates the villains with his agile jetpack, powerful blaster and wrist rocket.


boba fett

The game mode Hero Hunt has become my favorite free-for-all mode of any shooter thanks. However, I’m not even sure if it should be called a free-for-all because the mode consists of seven infantry working to take down an eighth person who is controlling a hero or villain. It’s chaotic fun that puts a great emphasis on maximizing damage done by the heroes and villains.

Only in Walker Assault and Supremacy is the game able to really flex its muscles and show off its incredible intersection of infantry, vehicle, hero and villain combat, all thrown into a 40 player battle with well-structured objectives.

DICE has done an excellent job of separating Battlefront from its pride and joy, Battlefield, as well as the rest of the multiplayer shooter market. Star Cards offer more flexibility than classes do, and pickups do a great job of getting you into a vehicle quickly and getting into the fray of battle within seconds.


Battlefront is the multiplayer equivalent to The Order: 1886. It’s a game that offers quality gameplay presented with top-of-the-line visuals and audio, but underneath its remarkable presentation is a rather unremarkable amount of content. The presentation is flawless, but it's not enough to overlook the fact that it's exceptionally shallow for a AAA title released in 2015.

+ Visuals and audio perfectly recreate Star Wars

+ Blasters are fun and challenging to use

+ Gameplay is amazing and unique in multiplayer shooter market

- Severe lack of maps and vehicles

- No tauntauns



More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...