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Star Wars: Battlefront review

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Star Wars: Battlefront – Death Star DLC 3
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Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Space battles add fun to Fighter Squadron
  • Excellent level design in Death Star
  • R2-D2 rescue is fun in Battle Station

Cons

  • Cannot choose Battle Station stages
  • Mandatory playlist across DLC modes

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

I was one of those who wholeheartedly embraced 2015’s Star Wars: Battlefront. Yes, it’s a bit shallow. Yes, there’s not much variety. No, I don’t care. But Battlefront didn’t actually have the ‘stars’ bit of Star Wars, which is kind of a big deal. It’s a key component of the package, alongside lightsabers, droids and lasers that go ‘pew’.

The Death Star DLC addresses that omission, if you pay for the privilege. You get it as part of the Battlefront season pass, or you can pay £12 to download it on its own. Is it worth it? I reckon so. It still sucks that the base game didn’t include a bunch of the DLC stuff in the first place, but what you get here makes for a more complete Battlefront. A fully operational one, even.

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Star Wars: Battlefront – Death Star DLC

As with the last two expansions (Outer Rim and Bespin) Death Star is a reworking of Battlefront's existing ingredients. If you’re familiar with that, you’ll be right at home with the the core gunplay and dogfight mechanics – even after the subtle patches and balances that DICE has been adding every month.

There are three modes: Blast and Fighter Squadron, plus the all-new Battle Station scenario. Blast is the team deathmatch mode from the core game, only now you’re running around the Death Star’s interior.

This is an absolute treat. The level design is massive, detailed and very polished. Narrow corridors open out into spacious halls, which makes for varied gameplay. The tighter spaces turn into utter meat grinders if you’re armed with a heavy blaster or thermal imploder. Then there are precarious platforms: I don’t know what the Empire has against fences in general, but it means falling to your doom is another thing to worry about.

Best of all, the Death Star plays to one of DICE’s greatest strengths: fan service. There are key nods to scenes from Episode IV: the boardroom, the cell blocks and the trash compactor, plus big hangars and massive blast doors. It’s an authentic experience, more so than any other level.

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Star Wars: Battlefront – Death Star DLC 9

Fighter Squadron, as in the core game, has you flying an X-Wing or A-Wing if you’re a Rebel, and a TIE Fighter or TIE Interceptor if you’re an Imperial. The Death Star and a nearby planet (it looks like Yavin IV to me) make for lovely backdrops, while floating asteroids and debris help to make flying a little more perilous.

The best bit is flying around a Star Destroyer. It just feels right; there’s something immensely satisfying about weaving over and under it to chase/escape your opponents. DICE has also decided to shake things up a bit by letting you call in some help. There are rare power-ups scattered around that let you call in B-Wing/TIE Defender reinforcement. If you’re a fan of the original flying sections, you’ll be happy here.

Star Wars: Battlefront – Death Star DLC 7

The new Battle Station is essentially a souped-up combination of Blast and Fighter Squadron. It is a three-chapter mode, and the closest that Battlefront ever gets to a storyline. The first phase has Rebels trying to get to the Death Star. There is a Star Destroyer in the way, and you have to attack or protect it.

In phase two, Rebels have made it into the Death Star with the goal of rescuing R2-D2. A Rebel can control the droid and move towards the extraction point. R2 doesn’t have deadly weapons, but it can send out pulse scans to detect enemies, release a smoke screen, and use electricity to stun enemies. Imperials, meanwhile, can damage the droid and stop it in its tracks. This is really tense and a lot more fun than the standard Blast mode.

If R2 reaches the extraction point, phase 3 is triggered. You’re now back in your starship. Rebels must do the trench run to blow up the Death Star, and Imperials must stop them. Hero pick ups are available, and you can choose to fly Luke’s Red Five X-Wing or Vader’s TIE Advanced fighter. If you’re a bit bored by the standard Fighter Squadron fare, flying in the trenches and innards of the Death Star is a good remedy.

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Star Wars: Battlefront – Death Star DLC 5

The problem with Battle Station is that you must play the three phases in sequence. If you want to rescue R2-D2, you must fly around before and after. That’s not great for people who have no interest in flying.

Adding to this nuisance is DICE’s insistence that the DLC modes must be part of a playlist. Sure, you’re able to single out Blast mode, but as soon as that round is over, the game will automatically move you over to Fighter Squadron or Battle Station.

That’s incredibly annoying if you get into the game mode you want, only to find there’s 30 seconds left on the clock. A quick skim of the Battlefront forums shows that I’m not alone in finding this infuriating: some users have resorted to choosing a mode they don’t want in the hope that the game will bounce them where they wanted to be in the first place.

The regimented approach to game modes is simply obtuse, and it undermines any joy and thrill this expansion otherwise offers. If this can be fixed, Death Star DLC provides a compelling reason to stick with Battlefront.

Verdict

Death Star makes Star Wars: Battlefront a more complete offering, but that game mode system needs to be fixed.

Best Deals for Electronic Arts Star Wars: Battlefront

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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/watch?...

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/watch?...

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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