Whether Battlefront is worth it has been the hesitant question from many of my friends, Star Wars fans, and Rebel scum like me. The question was pertinent over a year ago when the game came out, and perhaps even more so at the end of four map packs. Battlefront is coming in rather cheap now, sitting at only $28 on nzgameshop.com. So we’re going to deconstruct what EA have changed, what’s been added, and whether a game dependent on player-base is still worth buying.
If you don’t have the money to pay for a T-14 hyperdrive generator, Battlefront still has free DLC to lightly expand your experience. The game first shipped with 13 maps, with 5 added as free updates. Two of these are set in the Force Awakens’ planet of Jakku, the other is a distractingly beautiful map during the twilight of planet Hoth, and Endor on fire. They also brought over ‘Raider Camp’, but this is simply another map from survival.
The Jakku DLC also included a new mode, Turning Point, which is essentially walker assault without the walkers and the rebels always have the offensive. Continuing an apologetic DLC campaign amidst negative backlash for releasing a less substantial game, DICE added private matches, walker assault and fighter squadron modes offline (skirmish) and hutt contracts; special mid-match tasks you can complete for new items.
But if you want something more real, and if you don’t mind paying with something more real, the four DLC packs may or may not be a good idea. The season pass controversially came to $80, and while paying for a slew of vague and undetailed content is questionable enough in itself, having now played all the DLC I can say it’s definitely not worth the plunge, at least not in its entirety.
I now struggle to find matches for the older DLC maps, Outer Rim and Bespin, as everyone else is either playing Death Star or the late Rogue One. Even then, you’re not likely to find any matches for anything but the new modes respective for each DLC. The problem being most modes are archetypes not unique to Battlefront, and don’t use the license creatively to support the design ethos of a perfect Star Wars simulation the game is trying to be.
This is why you’ll find most people playing either walker assault or the Death Star DLC’s battle station; the Battle of Yavin and destruction of the first Death Star, which is all anybody ever wanted. Being a kind of operations mode akin to Battlefield 1, comprising a space battle against a star destroyer, followed by an infantry skirmish inside the space station, then the famed trench run to fire a torpedo down a hole no smaller than a womp rat. Even Rogue One’s infiltration mode is basically an imitation of battle station without the nostalgic novelty.
Every other mode is somewhat skint on matchmaking. This happened periodically throughout 2016 and would only return to a comfortable player-base after a DLC instilment, or another Star Wars movie - but this is the curse of multiplayer-only games (no, skirmish and survival mode don’t count as real single-player). Eventually the battlefields will go barren, it just happens sooner with some. Players will leave with the coming of new games and start the cycle anew. It must create some very interesting dilemmas in consumer law; can you really own something you can’t use in its entirety because of forces you can’t control?
Battlefront’s problems were never going to be fixed with updates and map packs, because maps were never the issue. The game simply doesn’t feel very diverse. The prequels may not have made for the most beloved movies, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make for good material in games. Disney’s desire to ignore the prequel trilogy has been taken to a misconceived extreme, and to the detriment of Battlefront.
Even with vehicles and ships, the game is largely reduced to infantry combat despite the Star Wars universe offering considerably more. Modes like battle station and infiltration have gone some way to addressing this, but ultimately don’t reflect the more extensive experience players enjoyed in 2005. Battlefront is in the precarious position of offering less when Battlefront 2 offered more, and so too do most games like it.
Financially this is a great time to buy Battlefront, just not practically. I found many of the map packs vacant of players, save for the late Death Star and Scarif, which so happen to be the best anyway. You’ll find an incredibly sentimental experience with all the sights and sounds recreated just the right way. You’ll also find a game on the downslope of its playerbase. That’s the problem making a game for fans and not primarily for players - your game will never see its goal through to fruition because it’s not made chiefly for the medium it’s built upon.