Star Wars: Battlefront

Also Known As: SW: BF, SW: Battlefront
Genre: Action/FPS
Platform(s): PS2/X-Box/GC/PC
Allegiance: LucasArts
Vintage: 2004
Rating: T
Intelligence Agency Report by: Niner
LucasArts’ answer to Electronic Arts’ highly popular Battlefield 1942, this game thrusts you right in the middle of some of the most famous and important battles of the Star Wars universe, leaving it up to you to decide the fate of the galaxy. Clone or Droid, Rebel or Imperial; whichever you choose, you lead the army, you make it happen.

Weapons Expert Report by: Niner
Overall 8.50
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: PC, v1.2

I got this game at the prodding of several of my friends online, since they were having so much fun playing it together. So I picked it up and tried it out… and damn, were they right. The multiplayer aspect is definitely the best part of this game, make no mistake. The sheer number of hours I spent playing it with my friends made the game a worthwhile buy.

However, with the multiplayer being the key selling point, the single player mode is decidedly lackluster in comparison. There are a number of game modes available, each basically the same. You can choose to participate in the Clone Wars, becoming either a nameless Republic clone grunt or a cold, lethal Separatist droid. If you’re an Original Trilogy fan like me and have always wanted to blow up Ewoks in the jungles of Endor, you are free to do so in the Galactic Civil War campaign. You can likewise choose to suit up as a Rebel pilot, hop in a snowspeeder, and take down AT-ATs on the frozen plains of Hoth. There is really no storyline in the game, other than to battle through each campaign and win. The bots, when keyed up to the hardest difficulty, provide a reasonable challenge, but they still have silly AI habits like standing around while you snipe them. All these points make the game very so-so when playing by yourself, but it gets so much more fun when you add a bunch of friends in the mix.

The player classes are unique enough, with the 4 basic classes of soldier, heavy artillery trooper, pilot and sniper for each faction plus a specialized class. You can also pilot vehicles and aircraft on certain maps, like the Jedi Starfighter and the massive AT-TE walker. They can really change the tide of whatever battle they partake in, especially the larger vehicles, as they serve mobile command points.

The sound in the game is fantastic. All the effects from the movies are there in full force, from the distinctive blat-blat of the Rebel blaster to the ominous whine of TIE Fighter engines. The music also adds to the overall feel, as John Williams’ stirring pieces lend inspiration to you and your comrades as you fight your way through the battles. And fight you will, especially if you have friends playing. Managing your reinforcements and capturing key control points becomes essential to being successful in multiplayer conflicts. For online play, reinforcements can be adjusted to everyone’s liking, making the battles as long or short as you want.

Despite its strengths, the multiplayer still has a few annoying kinks. The most serious one is the game’s nasty habit of throwing you back into first-person view when you pilot vehicles. It only happens when you switch from one vehicle to another and the cockpit views generally aren’t all that bad, though you will still probably prefer third-person when piloting. You’ll always have the classic connectivity issues when you play online, especially if you’re playing with friends an ocean away. Finally, it can get repetitive after you’ve played a certain map several times.

Overall, this game can provide you and your friends with hours and hours of Star Wars-y fun. There’s really nothing more satisfying than sniping a friend and taking his control point or flying a snowspeeder with a gunner comrade and hogtying yourselves an AT-AT. If you’re any sort of Star Wars fan, then this game is something you’d probably like to pick up.