The much anticipated Star Wars Battlefront finally launched this week, and delivers a truly exceptional experience for fans of the series — but will that feeling last?
Star Wars Battlefront came out this week and it is great fun — for a while. While the game excels at replicating the look and feel of the franchise, it’s rather less successful in delivering a multiplayer shooter that will keep players coming back for more.
Part of the problem is a lack of content, something that seems only too common as of late. Considering that the single player missions included are barebones, 12 maps spread across four locations and a handful of game modes isn’t quite the wealth of content that audiences expect from such a major release.
Of course, we’ve known for some time that EA has large scale DLC plans for the game, and that will no doubt mitigate this issue — at a price. However, a lack of maps and modes isn’t the only reason why Battlefront will likely struggle to maintain its player base in the months ahead.
Compared to the multiplayer gameplay in a title like Halo 5: Guardians or Call of Duty: Black Ops III, there simply isn’t a great deal of depth to what Battlefront has to offer. With a relatively low skill ceiling, there’s less reason for players to stick with the game for a period of weeks or months.
Playing Battlefront, it’s immediately rather obvious that there isn’t as much going on mechanically as some of its genre rivals. There are less abilities available to the player, there’s not a great deal of nuance to the ways maps are laid out, and the core tenets of combat don’t offer the same rewards for technique as we see elsewhere.
Beyond the first several matches played, the game doesn’t offer much of a learning curve. However, it does offer a great deal of fun if you’re a Star Wars fan. Rarely has there been a more authentic video game adaptation of any movie property.
The question is, does that make a great game? Running around Endor fighting Stormtroopers is completely engaging in the moment, but the lack of depth in the game’s mechanics means that it’s a case of diminishing returns from the first game played. Battlefront doesn’t have what’s needed to produce truly memorable multiplayer action.
That being said, it would be very difficult not to recommend the game to any passionate fan of the series. It’s a completely compelling experience for a player’s first several hours — the question is, is that enough to legitimize a full-price retail release? That’s for the consumer to decide.
Star Wars Battlefront is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.