I wasn’t going to buy Star Wars: Battlefront. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I mean HUGE (I was the Star Wars kid at school), but a few thing put me off this particular title:
- • My gaming back-catalogue is now so big that I’m going to have to get it it’s own room in my house.
- • I was incredibly put off by EA’s season pass policy which seems like a COMPLETE rip-off (but more on that later).
- • Most of the reviews were only lukewarm on the game and there was a general feeling of ‘it’s good but not great’.
So with all of the above in consideration I was happy to let this particular game go, but then everyone I (and I mean EVERYONE) at work spent a whole day discussing how excited they were for Battlefront‘s release, the fervour going so far as to convince two colleagues to actually buy PS4s just to play it. My defences were duly breached and I firmly fell off the wagon buying the game on my way home. Since I got it, a lot of friends have texted asking whether they should get it too; in fact it’s a question that’s pretty prevalent across the gaming world right now. People were very keen on this title but are now not so sure so we at The Action Pixel, dutiful as ever to our audience, are going to answer a simple question: Star Wars: Battlefront – To Buy or Not To Buy?
I’ve had the game for several days now and played two dozen or so matches in a variety of modes and I’ve got to admit, I’m having a lot of fun. Developer DICE should be commended for making the moment to moment gameplay in Battlefront incredibly engrossing and just addictive enough to keep you coming back for the proverbial ‘just one more match’. The huge team on team battles are intense maelstroms of blaster fire but the map design adds a nice level of tactics to your gameplay as you decide, for example, whether to reinforce the members of your team defending a chokepoint or take up valuable seconds sneaking round the map to surprise the enemy from behind. When you throw in the ability to jump into star fighters, climb into an AT AT or become your favourite Jedi (or Sith), well….there’s just a whole lot of fun to go round.
Where the game truly excels is allowing players to script their own jaw-dropping, OMG moments that you can discuss at the watercooler the next day. I had a big stupid grin on my face when my humble storm trooper took up a flanking position as Darth Vader’s bodyguard watching as the Dark Lord of the Sith carved a path of destruction through rebel scum; and I’m sure my friends will never let me forget the high pitched scream I let loose as I ran round a corner and was suddenly at the business end of an AT-AT’s blaster. The fact that it’s Star Wars and the fact that the multiplayer is stripped down, aracady, easy to pick up fun just makes you feel like a big kid being let loose in the world’s best playground.
As fun as the game is however, reports are true and it is very limited. Though there are a decent number of maps and a decent number of modes, the lack of single player will mean you’ll just have basically the same multiplayer experience over and over again. Now, as I’ve been at pains to highlight, this experience is indeed a lot of fun but I can’t imagine it holding my attention for long. I fully expect to get my fill of all this game has to offer in a couple of weeks (maybe up until Christmas as I’m sure people will be round to give it a go) and after that maybe dipping into it a few times a week. There just isn’t enough there to keep Battlefront at the top of my games library beyond that.
This lack of content is an incredible shame considering Battlefront’s season pass which outrageously asks for the price of the game again for as yet undisclosed content. EA are essentially telling us that the extras they’re going to bolt onto this game are gonna be worth the same price as any other full title. It’s a practice that a number of publishers are adopting and as a consumer I desperately want it to stop. I was pretty burned by the season pass content for Arkham Knight which was similarly overpriced. Battlefront draws the issue into the spotlight as the main game has quite rightly been criticised for not having enough content. Shouldn’t EA have worked to get that content into the main retail game rather than drip feeding it to consumers over the next year and charging for the privilege? I’d have rather taken a delayed Battlefront with extra content than stick with this method of distribution. It rips off consumers and it’s got to stop.
So should you buy this game or shouldn’t you? I’ve had a lot of fun with Battlefront so I would definitely call it a buy however, if you’re not particularly into Star Wars or if you’re looking for something to be your main game over the next couple of months then this definitely isn’t it. If, on the other hand you’re looking for a little bit of light-hearted fun that you can jump in and out of with your friends, this certainly does that in spades. The gameplay isn’t very deep but it’s not trying to be, it just wants you to have a laugh with it and for me, that’s worth the price of entry.
I sincerely hope that this diatribe has helped with your purchasing decision, and if you’re still unsure I highly recommend you wait a few months and see what this game looks like in the first quarter of next year. It could very well have a Destiny: The Taken King– esque resurrection and become an entirely different experience.