Star Wars Battlefront: A Year Later

Star Wars Battlefront: A Year Later
 
 

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.

The Free Stuff

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.

Credits Will Do Fine

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?

Still Clumsy Like a Blaster

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.




 

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Comments Comments (14)

 
Posted by 163Battery
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:21 AM
5
I won't buy it. Multiplayer only, no campaign? Once you strip away the nostalgia for light sabers and pew pew noises, all you really have is a less fun/varied Battlefield game.

I totally agree with the statement that this was made for Star Wars fans, not gamers. Such a shame too, this game could have been great. Hopefully they have learnt from this and the sequel will be much better.

A contender for a GWG down the track I reckon.
 
 
 
Posted by LukeB
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:21 AM
3
It sucks, but it's just too difficult to return to a game that, while stunning to look at, wasn't feature complete at launch. It's all well and good to provide (some of) the things that people have asked for, but to expect them to return to it with no guarantee of a solid player population (especially for us down under) is a tall order.

Really enjoyed my time with the game at launch, despite the lack of a campaign, and the terrible, terrible way they handled the DLC that did nothing but split the player bases... but I don't see myself returning to the Battlefront world until Battlefront 2 - hopefully IT will be more feature rich upon release.
 
 
 
Posted by czk51
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:55 AM
2
I bought this around half price a year ago, and then got the season pass on discount later. I've had some genuine jaw dropping moments in the game - some amazing matches and crushing defeats, but not from the DLC. I got the most mileage out of the original modes and maps. Hoth, Tatooine and my personal favorite Endor.

I fired it up recently to play the latest Rogue One offering and it just felt like such a shame that the game didn't ship as a complete package. It's fun as hell, but nowdays, just in short bursts.
 
 
 
Posted by ChimeraNZ
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:55 AM
2
Bought the Ultimate Edition (all DLC) for $20 during the Origin sale - safe to say only have played the coop modes as all the playlists were devoid of players :(
 
 
 
Posted by polarbear
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:59 AM
3
Yeah good article. I was actually pondering the DLC. I got the game near release and was very disappointed. There's something just bland about the gameplay, despite looking incredible. Thing is, I don't want to fork out the cash for the DLC when I already paid full price for a lacking game. They should make more of the content freely available. But this confirms what I had been thinking - that in most cases it's probably not worth it.
 
 
 
Posted by Mattress
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 11:59 AM
1
I'm going to give a slightly different opinion, despite actually agreeing with a lot of the problems outlined in the article and the comments above me. I bought the game at launch and recently bought the full DLC pack for a heavily reduced price during an Xbox sale. The problems of finding games in the DLC playlists are real and I really wish they would somehow conglomerated them so you could find players easier.

Having said that, the game is just a lot of fun to play and looks absolutely gorgeous. It is a nice and simple casual shooter and nothing beats pretending to be Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, or an X-Wing trying to blow up the Death Star in a trench run. It may has it flaws, but its fun.

I really hope they build on and improve the formula for the next installment. DLC that splits the playerbase is a cancer on mulitplayer gaming. Developers really need to figure this out...
 
 
 
Posted by captain X nz
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 12:10 PM
2
Interesting thoughts about the DLC, its been an issue for years.

I wonder if content was available to all, but limited in scope. No new weapons, vehicles and a smaller player area. Then pay for it and it all pops open. At least everybody would be matchmaking the same lists.
 
 
 
Posted by Mattress
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 12:18 PM
3
17 January 2017, 12:10 PM Reply to captain X nz
Interesting thoughts about the DLC, its been an issue for years.

I wonder if content was available to all, but limited in scope. No new weapons, vehicles and a smaller player area. Then pay for it and it all pops open. At least everybody would be matchmaking the same lists.
It's actually very easy. Just do it like Gears of War 4 and Titanfall 2. Free maps - find other ways to make money through cosmetic microtransactions
 
 
 
Posted by lax1
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 12:36 PM
2
17 January 2017, 11:59 AM Reply to Mattress
I'm going to give a slightly different opinion, despite actually agreeing with a lot of the problems outlined in the article and the comments above me. I bought the game at launch and recently bought the full DLC pack for a heavily reduced price during an Xbox sale. The problems of finding games in the DLC playlists are real and I really wish they would somehow conglomerated them so you could find players easier.

Having said that, the game is just a lot of fun to play and looks absolutely gorgeous. It is a nice and simple casual shooter and nothing beats pretending to be Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, or an X-Wing trying to blow up the Death Star in a trench run. It may has it flaws, but its fun.

I really hope they build on and improve the formula for the next installment. DLC that splits the playerbase is a cancer on mulitplayer gaming. Developers really need to figure this out...
Yeah agree - I still started playing this again end of last year and still have fun with it. I never really have trouble finding games but I stick mainly to Walker Assault, Supremacy or Death Star as they are the most fun. It's easy to play for me if I'm knackered and don't want anything too demanding , or if I have less than an hour to play..

I think some of the issues need to be considered against a fairly broad target audience also, where it needs to be accessable to such a broad base in age / ability etc that they spread it pretty thinly.
 
 
 
Posted by NZBuc
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 2:29 PM
2
17 January 2017, 11:21 AM Reply to 163Battery
I won't buy it. Multiplayer only, no campaign? Once you strip away the nostalgia for light sabers and pew pew noises, all you really have is a less fun/varied Battlefield game.

I totally agree with the statement that this was made for Star Wars fans, not gamers. Such a shame too, this game could have been great. Hopefully they have learnt from this and the sequel will be much better.

A contender for a GWG down the track I reckon.
Its included in EA access now, so I doubt it'll be in GWG (peggle is in both, so not out of the question)
 
 
 
Posted by shagwah
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 2:46 PM
2
I scored this from the mrs for Xmas just after launch, while I had already decided to give it a miss since hearing it was lacking. So I had to give it a blast, and it is fun with friends. But I've only had maybe a dozen games of it. Only grabbed the DLC recently when it was like 20 bucks, just to do the death star mission. Then it's pretty much back to walker assault.
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 3:04 PM
2
All of the comments above share my opinion. I had a lot of fun with Walker Assault, didn't have the same interest in any of the other game modes. Felt the player base fell off quick, and lost interest when that game mode only had 8 a side. Didn't buy the DLC because I wasn't sure I was going to find anyone else to play with... and then there was the fact DICE didn't know what there DLC was going to be, but expected faith from a audience who had no reason to be excited.
 
 
 
Posted by Moeggo
On Tuesday 17 Jan 2017 4:51 PM
-
I would get back into this if they rolled all the DLC maps into circulation with the older ones. Like COD does...
 
 
 
Posted by siamese
On Friday 20 Jan 2017 10:50 AM
-
I had some awesome fun in this game, but it doesnt last long. Looking forward to Battlefront 2 and hoping that it rights the flaws of this one.