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Star Wars: Battlefront review

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Rogue One: Scarif 5
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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Excellent new Infiltration mode
  • Good variety and pace
  • New gunner mode for vehicles

Cons

  • You can't run through all the shrubbery

Available on Xbox One, PS4 (version tested), PC

Out now for Season Pass holders, general release December 20th

Star Wars Battlefront has been out for just over a year. It was generally well received, but the overriding sentiment was that it was a bit basic. The cynical would say EA withheld the good stuff so it could sell DLC packages and Season Passes. I reckon time was limited due to the game coinciding its launch with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

EA did subsequently release DLC packs, and some of it was indeed good stuff that would have made the original release a better game. The Death Star DLC introduced space battles and multi-phase modes with consequences, a move that continues with Rogue One: Scarif. This is the fourth and final expansion planned for Battlefront – just as Rogue One hits cinemas – and it's the best one yet.

Related: Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing is the best VR games I've ever played

Rogue One: Scarif 9

As the name indicates, this expansion pack is all about Rogue One, which is set before the events of the original trilogy. Narratively it doesn’t make a difference, but you do get to run around an all-new location: Scarif. If you’ve paid any attention to the marketing material for Rogue One, you’ll have seen the posters showing some sort of beach confrontation. This is that battle.

I should point out here that you don’t need to worry about spoilers, as the game gives away nothing that hasn't been in the trailers anyway: you fight on the beach, there’s some stuff to blow up, and some stuff to steal. The new playable Hero characters are Jyn Erso (she has a stick) and Director Krennic (he has a cape) but again, there are no plot details.

What you do get is a great new playground. Scarif is a lovely setting, very different to anything else in Battlefront (or, indeed, Star Wars in general). It’s essentially a tropical island. Patches of jungle open out onto wide beaches. There is an Imperial base here, so you get half-built ships and some narrow paths too. There’s a good variety to the action: storm the beaches or take pot-shots while hidden in the trees. The pace is more frantic, which feels more appropriate for something with ‘Wars’ in the title.

Rogue One: Scarif 7

My only problem is that not all shrubbery is created equal. Some sections can be run through, while others act as walls. In the heat of battle, it’s not always easy to tell which is which, so you may end up getting cornered. That’s clearly not an intentional move, just awkward design. It’s not a huge problem, though, as you do learn your way around, and you can also rely on your trusty jetpack to get you out of a tight spot.

What can you do on Scarif? A number of familiar game modes return: Walker Assault, Blast, Fighter Squadron and Turning Point. There’s also a new mode called Infiltration. The multi-phase mode introduced in Death Star was a good addition, so DICE have done the same thing here. The idea is to add an element of consequence to the game, so you have a reason to care about winning or losing. As before, there are three phases.

Related: 15 Best Star Wars Toys You Can Buy

Rogue One: Scarif

Phase one is The Approach, which has you in space. Rebel U-Wings are trying to get to Scarif and you must protect or destroy them. If you’re a Rebel, you are randomly selected to fly the U-Wing, which is fast but weak and requires a tactical approach. This makes the flying experience more focused and exciting, which is good, because otherwise the standard Fighter Squadron mode is a bit ponderous. If a Rebel gets through, the next phase begins.

Next up is Distraction, which has you on foot. This is your first look at the new uniforms, which are a bit bland on the Rebel side, but the Imperial Shoretroopers/Deathtroopers look badass. Rebels must rig one of several cargo ships with explosives, and Imperials must stop them. It’s nothing particularly fresh, playing very much like the Droid Run mode, which means you need to watch out for people camping with sniper rifles.

If the Rebels succeed, a ship blows up and phase three begins: Extraction. This is another on-foot mission, where Rebels now have to steal data tapes and get them back to their U-Wing. The catch: you can’t use a jetpack while you’re carrying the tape, which gives the Imperials an advantage. This plays a bit like Cargo mode.

There is one crucial addition to the on-foot modes: the ability to hop into a U-Wing. Instead of piloting the ship, you occupy the gunner position. This essentially an on-rails segment with a very powerful cannon. It’s great fun, and an effective way of keeping things fresh.

Related: PS4 Pro review

Rogue One: Scarif 3

VERDICT

Put it together and Rogue One: Scarif is the best DLC Battlefront has to offer. It’s taken a full year, but EA and DICE have clearly taken fan feedback into consideration. It’s a sharper, tighter experience with more variety, a better pace and the ability to release hell from the sky.

The result is hugely satisfying, and a compelling reason to get back into the game. If you’re going to get one expansion pack for Star Wars Battlefront, make it this one.

Overall Score

9

Derrick Scarberry

October 14, 2015, 10:15 pm

This game has some serious balance issues with the walker assault mode it is laughable at how one sided it is. I played the beta for all of an hour and couldn't bear it any longer I had a feeling EA was gonna drop the ball on this. Hopefully things get fixed but as of right now the game in my opinion is shit it's not very fun. I will say though the game looks incredible graphic wise. Can't speak for consoles because I don't use that shit inferior hardware but on PC I was playing at Ultra settings at 1080p and getting anywhere from 90-100fps. So gotta tip my hat to them for great optimization but who the fuck cares when the gameplay is fucking broken???

Shaun Jones

October 20, 2015, 2:32 am

the game swayed me, after hearing there was no iron sights and it was all lock on weapons and that it was matchmaking only i said "oh ok no thanks then" but after playing the beta i loved and im 100% getting it, likely in january though, heres my short 10minute gameplay vid, 5mins of capture the pod and 5mins battle of hoth

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Adrian Morera

November 17, 2015, 6:35 pm

they fixed it. vehicle controls are not as crazy as the beta. playing the rest of the maps was cool. All to their own i guess. I found it fun.

Riste-ano Conaldo

November 20, 2015, 4:39 am

It's mostly dreadful. Don't bother. Online mode is horrible with an unreal challenge and unfair. The flight controls are still bad. 3/10, nice graphics, bad gameplay.

mark choletti

November 20, 2015, 9:48 am

It's like a lot of games these days. The build up is very promising, the anticipation is at fever pitch, and then when its finally delivered, it turns out to be just like every other FPS in existence -- with a new lick of paint.

Rios

November 21, 2015, 3:20 am

It would be great to have a storyline....it feels like we are just dropped there .and thats it.Only played for 30 minutes and i got that feeling.Am i wrong ?

Gigantic Walrus

November 22, 2015, 2:21 pm

For PC, Vehicle controls are horrible. It's as if the game was meant to be played with a controller. The aiming is clunky when zoomed in, flying is nearly impossible and with AT-ST controls you can easily get stuck on a log or a rock while helplessly taking rocket fire. This game needs a lot of work. They could have done a lot better. The graphics and sounds are great, that's about it. I think the complete game is going to be released to those who dumped 120 USD for the Ult edition in the end of expansion pack releases. Right now, the game is basically a 60-70 dollar playable demo.

gonals

November 22, 2015, 3:11 pm

It is really expensive but definitely worth it guys! got my key from g2a @ www.g2a.com/r/fbdiscount-sbf and saved around 25%
Theres a lack of maps to play in but there is definitely a lot of potential in the game guys.

Chris F.

November 22, 2015, 6:56 pm

I echo your exact sentiments. I pre-ordered Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe and added the Season Pass PS4 digital-download later thinking with all the over-rated media hype this would be the game of all games. Graphics wise this game is stunning. However; having played the game over a week I'm seeing this Disney/Dice game falling in demise with another once over-rated game namely Destiny. In summary; Star Wars Battlefront in Disney-Drag is really no better than the likes of Bungie Destiny. The popular novelty of this game will have a short life span.

Shaun Jones

November 25, 2015, 12:26 pm

im still loving this game to be honest its awesome

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Firestar4500

November 26, 2015, 12:07 am

this game is just battlefeild 5, its sad when the old PS2 SWBF2 has more content and better all around, apart from visuals, then this
im keepin mine in hope of space battles/Galatic conquest modes, maybe better SP but if it ant there, I expect by summer i will be returning the game im 100% expecting the dlc pack to be just maps, probaly empired tilted like the rest of this game

Levi

November 26, 2015, 7:30 am

This game is worse than Battlefield 5. It is supposed to be Star Wars Battlefront but instead we got nothing. It is a travesty that this game was even allowed to be sold to consumers. It is basically Call of Duty Star Wars. Except less story mode, which is even more sad.

raptorjesus169

November 27, 2015, 1:07 am

the battles are from the movies. if you don't know the storyline, than I have no idea wtf you're doing playing this game.

Keith Harrison

November 27, 2015, 3:33 pm

The game itself is good. Its all the little garbage kiddie players that dunno what day it is that spoil it. Ive stopped playing during the day now as its full of retarded kids, and its basically a lose every match. I now wait till night time so they aint on, its far far better.

Note to kiddies that cant play it properly, GO PLAY TETRIS.

David Parish-Whittaker

November 28, 2015, 4:28 pm

Played it at a friend's house, won't be buying it. Looks great, with absolutely no substance. Particularly disappointing was the Mario Kart style dog fighting-- I didn't want a flight sim, but things like an inability to roll 360 without executing a canned "evasive" were beyond lame. That coupled with no defined story left me cold. On a scale of fan disappointment, place it halfway between Jar Jar Binks and the digital remasters. In the meantime, I might go back and replay Bioware's original KotOR (it's stupid cheap on Steam right now)

SarcasTex

November 29, 2015, 7:36 pm

What a bargain! So long as you don't spend more than $10.00 for the game. I really wish I had not bought this garbage game. It's a cookie cutter of a game. Take any shooter and insert star wars themed characters and give them blasters instead of guns and you've got Battlefront.
Nothing new.

heavydny86 .

November 30, 2015, 3:27 pm

Looks and sounds absolutely amazing, and fails miserably in every other capacity. I might buy it used a few months from now for bottom dollar just for the novelty of it. Why used? Because I don't want EA getting a single fucking cent from me.

I'm not gonna hold out any hopes for SW:BF2 that's already in development and likely coming out next year... but I can't see how it could be any worse than this. I'm so glad I didn't preorder this game, my nostalgia almost made me break my no pre-order rule but luckily I was strong enough to resist the dark side.

Oflife

December 1, 2015, 10:43 pm

As someone who has not owned a console since an Amiga in the 80s (and a PS1 for a few days when it first came out - both amazing machines at the time), audio visually, Star Wars Battlefront is quite simply outstanding. Am blown away - and being blown away!, mainly by storm troopers hiding in the mountains of Hoth. ;) Anyway, as you can tell, I'm not a contemporary gamer so easily pleased being I come from a planet called THENINETEENEIGHTIES, so to me, Battlefront is like being IN the actual first two Star Wars movies that I saw in 1978 and then later The Empire Strikes back, like many, my favourite of the franchise. It's awesome to do battle in and around AT-AT walkers.

I run a software utility company, and first releases are often innovative and have a good hook, and we upgrade later based on our own ideas and user feedback, for no charge if fixing things of course. If EA are reading this comments, let's hope they listen to those who expect more.

In these days of OTA (Over The Air as we call it in the world of boring utilities), it's not going to be hard for EA to issue version upgrades - or is that not how it works? Is Star Wars Battlefront locked into a specific gameplay format and backend engine, so the flaws many of you are highlighting unfixable? If so, then I guess anger is understandable. (I agree the space craft flight controls are bad, I used to play flight sims and other 3D space shooters, Elite included, and here EA did screw up.)

I bought the (new lower power model) 1TB Star Wars Limited Edition PS4 with Battlefront in the box and so probably didn't pay full whack for the game and understand people are probably upset if it's too easy for a £50 title. For me, I'll have so much fun 'reliving' the actual movies with my contemporaries in split screen or multiplayer mode, I think it will be worth it. Equiv to 5 visits to the movies at today's £10 a pop ticket prices!

Anyway, if anyone has any tips on a game that I should buy that really does offer good gameplay AND stunning visuals, let me know, my fingers are itching! Fallout 4? COD?

(Remember, I have a PS4.) Oh, and am very impressed with the UX on the PS. I'm a UX designer, and got to grips with the whole machine in seconds from plugging it in. Very nicely done Sony! :)

Thx :)

Rios

December 2, 2015, 7:55 am

R u dumb or you dont understand English .But in that case i understand.Everyone understood what i was saying ..and only you didnt.So you think the game coundt be better with a immersive storyline following the movies with somehing more linking the action with the story?If youy think like that i pitty you man.

raptorjesus169

December 2, 2015, 8:40 am

No it doesn't need a "storyline" put in. It's completely redundant to have one and a complete waste of developer time and money. I'd rather the developers focus their time and money on the gameplay and graphics. Most players of this game are fans of the saga and know exactly what is going on with the battles in terms of storyline. Also, it is clear I have a firmer grasp of the English language than you.

raptorjesus169

December 2, 2015, 8:40 am

and yet Destiny is still going strong a year later...

Rios

December 2, 2015, 8:45 am

So i assume that you already saw the movie that is coming.? Great. But you have to assume that for the price tag of the game everybody were expecting more than this.I keep playing the game and somehow it seems like something is missing to capture the real essence.

raptorjesus169

December 2, 2015, 8:52 am

No man. The only map that I know of that will be based on the new movie is The Battle of Jakku. The others are from the previous 6 movies, like Hoth and Tattooine.

Rios

December 2, 2015, 8:56 am

So you bought some version without the new map of the new movie. Ok.. i understand. Even so... you re wrong.. too damn expensive for what they delivered. 120Bucks for this? Damn..

raptorjesus169

December 2, 2015, 9:30 am

well you're going to get new maps included with that $120 price tag, aren't you? And I'd be pretty mad to play that new map and have some of the movie spoiled.

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